Monday, June 29, 2009

Le charmeur

Almost everyday of our week in the Lot, We drove by the
small town of Gramat. A painted commercial sign from long ago on the side of an old stone building catches our eye although it is almost obscured by a leafy tree in front.

Charmed by the coquettish eyes of the moon and the moustache of and the beautiful, soft
watercolor effect of age on the painted sign we stop on a sunny day to take pictures of it.

We've barely taken two steps from the car when M. Foufou sees a cute
pair close by: un canard and une cane. The drake and the duck are irresistibly close, especially when he takes out a telephoto lens.

I am left holding the camera bag while he tries to approach as slowly and silently as he can. The ducks are totally aware of their photographer, registering his every move and the constant clicking the camera. As he gets nearer they begin to inch away. Soon enough their feathers have been ruffled from the photo shoot and they fly off.

We turn to leave and face a Frenchman. He speaks to M. Foufou and gestures at the ducks
and then at me, "Madame". He smiles. Il parle trés rapide. He repeats himself, lentement. Slow enough for us to get the gist of his French remarques: If I were you I would be taking pictures of the beautiful woman and not the ducks.

Off we go to take a picture of a moon that we think is smiling, too. It's France- who's charming, who?

M. the abbreviation of Monsieur, requires a period

Mme the abbreviation Madame, no period

Il parle trés rapide He speaks very fast
lentement slowly

remarques comments

Les photos: Gramat, Mai 2009.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Le Menu

My first visit to France this year was also my first French immersion course ever. For one week my gracious host guided me through joie de vivre in the French Alps. She corrected my French, answered my questions, explained cultural traditions and prepared our meals.

One of the very first things I learned was to come back to the table to finish my meal. The first three days I was getting up after the main dish thinking that the meal was finished only to find out that there was still fromages and dessert. By the end of that week I had learned to stay at the table- my stomach full and much wiser. Joie de vivre means enjoying a meal of many courses!

So on my recent one-week visit to south-western of France I vowed to put what I had learned to practice: stay at the table til dessert is served! Everyday I sampled one of the fixed-price menus instead of ordering à la carte.

le menu the fixed-price menu
joie de vivre joy of life

fromages cheeses

dessert dessert

la carte the menu

à la carte ordering from the menu

Les photos: Delicious four-course 21€ prix fixe menu at Le Bouche à Oreille, Alvignac. Mai 2009