Yesterday was a day of full immersion (aside from the internet). I stayed at home for most of the day studying for school. Eventually I went to explore my neighborhood and found a shopping center nearby. With the soldes drawing to a close I was lucky to find a ski coat for 30 euros. I plan on going skiing this Spring, because it’s only 25 euros for transportation, rental equipment and a lift ticket. Only problem is I packed no clothes for mountain weather.
As I left the mall it began to rain and I was without an umbrella, but I’m glad I forgot it, because the temperature was not too cold and the rain made my walk through a park very peaceful. The world was silent aside from the pitter-pattering sound as the rain hit the creek next to the path. I discovered that the paths in the park continue out to the roads and on. I plan on getting a used bike in the next couple weeks so I can explore them more and bike around the parts of Pau I don’t reach by bus.
When I got home I had to hurry to dry my hair and fix my makeup before my host mom took me out to a Raclette party. On the way we stopped at a bakery to pick up a Courrane des Rois and a Gateau Basque. The courrane des rois I may have previously described, but I cannot remember so I’ll explain what they are once more:
A “Courrane Des Rois” is a sweetbread/cake shaped in a ring form that comes with a paper crown when you buy it. The name literally means “crown of kings” because it has historical significance in the Catholic Church of the three kings at the birth of Jesus. At dinner the crown is cut and the youngest person present decides who gets which piece of it. In one piece there is a porcelain ornament called the “feve” and whoever gets is has to wear the crown for the rest of the night. They also are supposed to keep the feve with them for the rest of the year as a good luck charm.
My host mom picked it out so I could try it =)
It actually isn’t as good as it looks. Filled with almond paste and nothing else. The outside isn’t that sweet either, but I’m sure it is packed with calories!
After stopping at the bakery we picked up two of her friends to give them a ride to dinner. A couple named Pierre and Veronique. Pierre teased me for a good portion of the night and Veronique was very nice and a typical French woman: beautiful and remarkably thin for how much wine she drank.
When we arrived at the house I spoke to the host about his visit to Seattle a couple years ago. He visited the Boeing plant in Renton!! He asked Pierre if he spoke English and he answered, “yes of course”. Anyone who speaks English naturally wants to practice it when they meet an American and the two men were about to start conversing in only English when my host mom interrupted and said they must only speak French around me. Thank you Patricia!
Our Raclette Dinner looked like this:
The way it worked was we tooked baked potatoes adn grilled them while we melted out cheeses in the little blackl shovel things sticking out from below. Once the cheese partially melt we cut up the potatoes and meats and stuck them in with the cheese to heat up for a minute….so yummy. Best meal I have had here hands down.
The Raclette cheeses originally originated in Switzerland, but parts of France make them too. They are certain cheeses that I’m guessing you cannot get in the US. Mmmmm….delicious.
After dinner my host-mom dropped me off at a swing event in the town of Monaie. I was hoping for dancing, but it only a concert. I was by myself and probably the only foreigner in the room aside from the guitarist for the band. The muscians were all wonderful and I was quite tipsy from the wine at dinner so it is probably better I didn’t get to dance (Pierre kept refilling my glass, not thinking anything of it since it obviously didn’t affect him or Veronique who drank far more than I did).
At the concert I took a video of one that I will try to post it in another blog. This one is very long and my second one of the day too, sorry about that!
~ Oh yeah and forgot to write the host (named Patrick) gave me a hand rolled cigarette….which I had difficulties smoking haha. Sorry parentals, but when in France!