Friday, November 19, 2010

So, What Type of City is Limoges?


I've heard it called "the smallest big city" in France.
I've heard it called "nothing spectacular."
I've heard it called "a charming and tranquil place."
Oh and also, "a good place to be young."

I'm not so sure what that last one means, but so far I've found Limoges quite agreeable.  But I can tell you some of the things that I have done here that I have never done in the States.  Last weekend, I participated in a goth parade.  That was pretty unique.  Who would have thunk that Limoges has a very lively goth subculture? Definitely not me, considering most of the teenagers at my high school are dressed to the nines everyday.  But anyways, I actually walked in the parade (while wearing my black skinny jeans and bright yellow jacket, I stood out like an American in France.  Oh, wait...).

In addition to the goth parade, I went to the party that followed, also goth at this really cool club in downtown Limoges.  I hung out with my new English friends (they own the goth store Rezurektion in Limoges, check it out on the web).  Again, I stood out like crazy considering that I was not wearing dark eyeliner and leather, but none of that seemed to matter.  I had a great time and met some really awesome people.

What else have I done here? Oh, yes, just last night, I went out with my baker to this awesome restaurant where he performed in a Bluegrass group.  Two Americans are in the band, the singers, and the other two are French through and through but have a little space in their hearts for the good ole bluegrass ballads of the US.  I never would think to go out with my baker for a night of awesomeness, but it totally happened here.

Oh, and I have officially made pancakes by hand.  They were so delicious.  my roommates wanted to try a real American breakfast, so I bought the flour and everything, because there is no Bisquick or Aunt Jemima here.  It went pretty well, but next time, I need to put more baking powder in the mix, they were very dense pancakes rather than super fluffy.*  But the taste was absolute heaven.  I even found the maple syrup here, imported from Canada, and it cost 3 Euros.

Another new experience that I had was eating a Boudin Noir.  I went to a charcuterie feast type thing, called the Petits Ventres.  Holy Crap, I've never seen so much meat in my life!!! I ate so many sausage-y things that night, I thought I could never look at another sausage again.  But back to the point, Boudin Noir is a sausage that is pretty much just blood.  That's right, I ate a blood sausage, totally blood and a couple of nuts (chatagnes). But it was delicious.  There's a first for everything.

So here is just a taste of a couple of new things that have happened in my life in the past moth that have really stood out.  I still can't get over that I marched in a goth parade.  That was pretty cool.

*Update: I wrote this a little while ago and have made pancakes since that were extremely fluffy and perfect.  The key is more baking powder and also to whip the egg whites separately and fold them into the pancake mixture after.

Whadya Know?

So, anyone who knows me knows that I don't really read that often.  Here is my official apology to every English, History, or whatever subject teacher that assigned a book for the class to read and I neglected to do so.

Dearest teachers,

I lied.  I lied by omission when I showed up to class to discuss a book or turned in a paper.  I'm sure you already knew this, but in your class when you assigned that classic novel, I probably read the first couple of pages and then just got the Spark Notes.  I'm terrible sorry, for I have finally realized the error in my ways.

I had always thought that I was too busy, or maybe that the book would not be interesting enough.  I mean, it is well believed by many that if it is assigned as homework, then it can in no way be an interesting book.  When I should have read Wuthering Heights in its entirety, I skimmed.  When I really tried to read Olaudah Equiano, I fell into the best sleep of my life.  When I heard the name of the book The Invisible Man, I thought of that terrible movie with Chevy Chase.  And for this, I am sorry. 

In the past month, I haven't had internet at my house, I haven't had television, I haven't had any sort of entertainment.  Except for books.  And what an entertainment it has been.  I have read half a dozen books in only a month, including Jane Eyre and I am now in love with Bronte, Charlotte that is.  I have read classics and some not-so-classics, but I am reading.  I love it.  It is the most joyful thing to do.  While I was reading Jane Eyre, I experienced something.  It's hard to describe it, but I could not put the book down.  I felt what she was feeling, I felt the most intense pity when Jane had to leave the man that, I knew as well as she, loved her with every bit of his heart.  I found myself devouring every word of every page and savoring the beauty of the writing.  I felt what one is supposed to feel when reading a book, a classic, much like the ones assigned in your classes.

So, here it is.  I am sorry.  I was wrong, you were right. I need literature in my life.  I need to make time for the classics.  I need to read and write and enjoy.  And now I promise you this, I will find the time for reading the classics.  And if a book is assigned in grad school, I will read it with enthusiasm because I know it is worth my time and effort.


P.S. Thanks for the good grades.  And if I ask you for a recommendation for grad school, let's pretend I didn't write this one blog.  Please?