Monday, February 11, 2008

Where in the world is Claire Woodard?

Bonjour all, and sorry I've been a terrible correspondant lately. I hope to make up for it now with some juicy facts about my life in France (ok, maybe not juicy...)!

So life has been good here in Montpellier (except for the occasional and inevitable waves of homesickness). My French is getting better and better, and I no longer feel lost all the time. I have gotten to a level where I can usually understand most of what people are saying, but the problem arises when I try to say something back... I am getting better though.

So here is a quick summary of the things I have been up to:

- Running
There are tons of nice little streets to run on around my house, plus a giant park nearby, and then the Montpellier Zoo is nearby too, and it is free and very big, so I run there and try not to feel too depressed by the caged animals...

- Cooking
Well, I've only made one meal so far (recipe here; it's very easy), but I think it was a hit. I am going to try baking soon, but it is confusing for me to use the oven because it is in Celsius...

- Guitar
I have been playing a bit of guitar here, and went to a lesson with my host sister Marie last week, which was fun. We learned a song by Amos Lee (I hadn't heard him, but he's very James Blunt-ey... not exactly my style, but no worries, I'm a music snob anyway!). The guitar I am using is Dominique's (my host dad) old guitar, and it's pretty ghetto (going higher than the 12th fret doesn't work too well), but it's fun nonetheless.

- Bandes Dessinées
Aka comic books. Everyone here is really into comic books, and there are ones for kids, teens, and adults. They're really cool- my favorite series is Lucky Luke (not sure if they have been translated into English or not, but they are about the "Wild West," in the grand ole USA), and of course, Tin Tin is great too.

- Eating
Good lord, the food here is good. I know that's what people always say about France, but I had no idea. The cheese (fromage) is amazing, and there are literally hundreds of different types. So far my favorites are goat cheese and camembert (similar to Brie, but more creamy). I also tried Roquefort cheese the other day, which is Dominique's favorite, and very good (though very strong as well). Then there are the baguettes, which are obviously amazing, as well as delicious desserts, many of which involve chestnuts (which I love). Last night Pascale made soufflées, which were delicious and last Sunday we made crêpes, which were magnificent. I had one with eggs, one with cheese and spinch and one with nutella. Speaking of nutella, it is everywhere. Pascale buys a giant tub of it every week and it all gets eaten up. They also eat tons of fruits and veggies here, and there are bananas, apples, pears, and tangerines in the house at all times. I am in hog heaven (see pictures).

Roquefort cheese... I told you it was intense.

Camembert is the staple cheese in the French diet, and is very good on bread, cooked with vegetables, or in crêpes.

Another staple of the French diet.

One of my favorite hazelnut products. I put a glob of it in plain yogurt and eat it for dessert- yum!

Anyway, I think that's it for now. I really will try to put some pictures up on here that I took (not just ones of food...) soon, but as of now my internet is still not working, so I will see what I can do about importing the images. Sorry it's been such a long time, and I will write again much sooner!

À tout à l'heure (talk to you later),



Justine said...

So excited you are having a great time. Sounds like Rebecca's kitchen! Haha. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Kevin3789 said...

Did that book of cheeses ever help you out?