Tuesday, December 20, 2011

There's no place like home.

Three train rides and three plane rides later, I'm finally home. For now I'm going to make the most of my time here, but I'll be sure to give the details of the successful trip home later. 

There weren't any serious issues on the trip (besides another scare at the beginning involving my first train connection), but it certainly would have been easier to go home The Wizard of Oz style.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

If I was home, I would watch this:

Swiss Air will not refund me unless my flight is cancelled again. They told me that I have to call the company I initially booked my flight with (Cheapoair) to change my flight, but then Cheapoair said I have to talk to Swiss Air to change my flight because the flight Cheapoair booked me for departed and now I'm in Swiss Air's hands. Unless I want to pay another 200 euros to change my flight (not to mention at least another 100 euros for another train ticket and hotel room), I have no choice but to go to the airport tomorrow and wait for my flight to be cancelled again

Update: Flying out of Geneva in the morning! No fee!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

La grève

Today was officially one of the worst days in the history of my life. That may just be because it was supposed to be one of the happiest. I was supposed to go home today. I was supposed to take an early train, wait around for four hours in the airport terminal, and then fall soundly asleep on a very long flight. Everything happened according to plan, aside from the last step.

Bref: There was a strike at the airport in Lyon and I spent eleven hours there trying to find a way to get back to Arizona with no luck. My flight has been rescheduled for Monday morning. Click the link to read more, but I warn you: It's depressing and there are zero pictures.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Le retour

After completing my medical visit, finishing the visa process, and wrapping up the majority of my Christmas shopping, I'm finally on the home stretch. Literally. Wish me luck getting my suitcase under the 50 lb. weight limit...

Monday, December 12, 2011

La cuisine française

I've started and deleted several blogposts lately, a little unsure of how to organize the past week's events. I guess I'll stay true to form and start with food.

As Christmas has been approaching, we've started eating more and more "traditional" winter dishes. Unfortunately I feel too silly busting out my camera at the dinner table, so I'll just have to rely on google images this time around.

1. Les œufs à la coque

Basically an egg that's been partially hard-boiled. 

You add salt and eat it with a spoon and/or dip mouillettes (strips of bread) and/or cheese.
Super delicious, unless of course you don't like eggs. 
We had this for dinner the other night.
Eggs are not a breakfast food around here. 

2. Le boudin

Okay, so I had serious reservations before eating le boudin, because it shares an unsettling likeness with the many piles of dog poo I have to avoid day to day. The family asked me if I wanted to know what it was made of before or after I ate it. I figured after might be best, and felt slightly more comfortable after they assured me that it was in no way excrement. Waiting ended up being a wise choice because the taste was actually delicious. If I'd known what it was, I probably would have been too disturbed to even take a second bite.

I don't typically like sausage, so I was surprised to find that it was far more delicious than any sausage I'd had before. Who would have thought that the "secret ingredient" my tastebuds had been wanting was... pig's blood. That's right, people. I'm one of those crazies that likes blood sausage.

3. Papillotes

Papillotes are chocolates wrapped in shiny paper and on the inside, there is always a small piece of paper with a fact, joke, or famous quote. I've done my best to be like Mimi and savor the chocolate instead of scarfing it down, but it hasn't been easy. These chocolates are amazing.

In lieu of French Music Friday, here is one Christmas song I haven't been able to get out of my head.

I'm so excited to be home for Christmas in just a few more days!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Le Marché de Noël

Last weekend Pierrelatte had their annual Christmas market, so I decided to meet up with the other assistants on Saturday for a pre-market picnic by the lake. I have very few pictures of the other assistants, but this one was taken on our way to the lake.

Me, E, K, C (the Spanish assistant), and M (another American assistant)

We walked for at least twenty minutes to get to the lake and it reminded me a lot of Freestone Park. Personally I still think I prefer Freestone, but it was nice to go somewhere new. It was also super cold. While we were shivering over our sandwiches, someone made the comment that we would be the only people crazy enough to go to the park for a picnic in winter. 

Me and an underwhelming tree


Friday, December 2, 2011

French Music Friday -- Vol. 4: Claire Denamur

Today I felt like posting a video from one of my favorite French singers. I'm sure I've talked about Claire Denamur before, if for no other reason than to covet her hair swoop, but I adore her voice. 

When I came to France just over two months ago, one of the first questions the family asked me was what French music I liked. I mentioned the obvious (Edith Piaf, duh) and a few other famous artists, but when I said Claire Denamur, they were completely shocked. They said that she's not at all well-known in France outside of certain circles, and they asked me how on earth I discovered her music all the way out in Arizona. Thanks, Little Brown Pen, for making me seem awesome.

Despite how cheery this song may sound, it's actually quite sad. It's about a fairytale, happy ending not turning out the way it should have. I still love it though. I think you can guess what "Le Prince Charmant" means, but Tyler always called it the "restaurant" song because that was the one line he understood. I still have to play that game from time to time -- trying to remember snippets of French lyrics to google songs after hearing them on the radio. I did the same thing with the Karimouche song with the "pourquoi c'est comme ci, pourquoi c'est comme ca" line. Thank goodness for search engines.

Anyway, Claire Denamur came out with a new album recently and supposedly it's "edgier," whatever that means. The first single off of it looks much more intense than "Le Prince Charmant," so I guess I'll just go off of that. If you were wondering what I want for Christmas, now you know. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cookies, John Denver, & the Muppets

Yes, I did just make a success kid meme.
Really though -- it's intimidating to try and bake when you're in Carrefour and can't even remember the French word for flour (it's farine by the way). 

The oven here is another story. The knob doesn't have degree markings (even if it did, it would be in celsius) and many of the buttons don't work anymore. It's also gas so I have to literally light the oven and Mme. T told me not to feel bad if I can't make it work because even her mother-in-law can't do it. Well, I sure showed them.

The cookies did end up looking a little square, but I don't even care. They are delicious! (And by delicious I mean that they taste like the pre-made dough cookies I usually make at home.)

Now excuse me while I go pour a glass of milk and reminisce about listening to John Denver & the Muppets with my family while decorating the tree.