Thursday, June 28, 2012

paris (actually, just french food)

The cord that connects my camera to the computer is somewhere in Reykjavik Harbor -- whoops -- so I'm going to plunder photos for this entry.

I'm in Paris.




Some of the stereotypes are real.


no joke, they're huge into dark and white horizontal stripes


When I landed, I got to go up to the control tower at Charles de Gaulle airport, and the air traffic controllers (who were a bunch of clowns) had snacks laid out for their morning shift.  Brioche, nutella, confiture framboise in a little artisinal jar -- it could not have been more French if it were wearing perfume.




The French have a lovely but sometimes exhausting approach to eating.  Every meal is an event.

For breakfast this morning I had eggs, cheese, jam, and bread.  I had to go to three stores.  The eggs and jam at the market, the bread from the bakery, and the cheese from the fromagerie, which is a shop that sells cheese.  Just cheese.

Borges said that heaven must be some kind of library, but I think it must have a fromagerie attached.




Throw that on a fresh baguette, and what more could you want?

Compare this with American bread and American cheese.  I still think the name "Wonderbread" is an inside joke, and American cheese cannot legally be called cheese!  (That's why they're called "singles.")




The French version of "the best thing since sliced bread" is "the best thing since that wire that allows one to slice large blocks of cheese into more manageable pieces."  The difference is subtle but telling.

(My host slash cousin Jacques, who is a real mensch, now tells me no no no, it's the wire that cuts butter.  Because, unbelievably, that's a different word.)

I have to cut this short, because typing on this azerty keyboard is genuinely exhausting.  But one last thing I just love.

At Pere Lachaise cemetary, where Oscar Wilde was buried (omg I love that man), many of the tombstones have the same striking word.




Like the ultimate RSVP.

I'd love to, but...

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great fun to read your blog.

Regrets? J''ai ne regretez pas rien? Or something like that.

-Mom

Anonymous said...

Will you be able to get a cord to connect your camera to computer?

-Mom

X Bakes X said...

Thanks for the updates, Coop! I like it better when I see your pictures, but that was entertaining : )

Christine Cooper said...

"regrets" is the "ultimate rsvp"--very, very good!! outstanding!!


pops

Christine Cooper said...

"regrets" is the "ultimate rsvp"--very, very good!! outstanding!!


pops

Jack said...

Did I read "clowns" !!?

Anonymous said...

Yes Jacques, you read "clowns!"

-Chris

Unknown said...

Yes, Jacques, but we have GREAT respect for clowns here. Some of our most famous people are clowns: Bozo, Krusty, Homey the Clown, John Wayne Gacy, and The Joker. See, we hold them all in high regard!

Seriously, though, I think Jake means the same thing that I noticed: despite (or because of) the incredible importance of your job, you and your colleagues retain a sense of humor and an air of comfort.

I still wonder, though, what would have happened if I had pressed that huge red "alarme" button. I really wanted to.

- Joshua

Jack said...

Josh, you forgot the most famous US clown : George W Bush !

Anyway I am not offended, no worries, I understand what Jake and you mean (which is true!).
Where did you see that button by the way ?

Happy Independance Day !

cb said...

Jake, where are you now?