I think the French could take lessons from the Americans on how to verbally abuse others who have been rude or are acting in an uncivilized manner. While we were at the train station in Strasbourg, my husband needed to renew his “old person” discount card. There was a long line because on Sundays the French train stations operate with a bare skeleton crew. The way they live for the weekends and holidays, I guess we should be grateful for that! Anyway, a really obnoxious lady, too much in a hurry to line up, went to the front of the line and shoving the man in front aside, forced her way to the counter. The man, absolutely furious, called her a canard sauvage which means wild duck. Really! The French curse like children! If this had been Texas, the abusive language would have been a lot more interesting and shots might have been fired :D Wild duck, indeed! SMH.
I am the trip planner in the family and pride myself on creating enjoyable, comfortable trips. Using our young people and old people discount cards, I always book first class tickets on the train. I also knew that whenever Jade and I go to Sens from Stuttgart, they serve drinks and a meal at your seat. Lunch solved! But not. This time we drove the car to Strasbourg, parked it and took the train from there to Paris. No meal, no drinks, just a bar car. So now I know. After looking over the food on offer in the bar, we chose starvation and a couple of miniature bottles of red French a la Thunderbird. When I got to Sens, I did some quick shopping at the supermarket for a picnic lunch for the train back and threw in some cans of beer and 1/2 bottle of a good St. Emilion. We had a four seater all to ourselves, so we “dined” and drank with abandon :)
Knowing that I would be taking pictures during Antonio’s birthday celebration, indoors with artificial light, I searched the internet for “taking pictures indoors with artificial light.” I set my camera on automatic focus, the dial on Av(whatever that means), my ISO on automatic and my white balance on tungsten light. I probably should have set it on florescent light because I think that’s what it was at the hotel, but this setting changing is new to me and I still prefer manual with natural light! But Mad will be pleased.
The party was held in a hotel conference room about a kilometer outside of Sens with close to 80 people in attendance. This was a combination birthday/retirement party for Antonio. He’s been retired for about a month already, I think, and the adjustment is going to be hard for him. He cleaned my three oven stove while I was in Stuttgart! I appreciate it but what’s he going to to next?! The garage is kind of messy :D
We were glad to see M. Parret and he was disappointed that we only came for the day but he does love a party.
Of course he brought the cheese and a fabulous platter it was with fruit and nuts. I wanted to snatch the plastic wrap off, but that would have been ugly American of me :D
I didn’t get a lot of pictures of the meal because there were so many people that I knew and although we were seated with name tags, the affair was very “décontracté” and there was a lot of movement between tables. I love parties like that!
We began with an excellent duck terrine, probably the best I’ve ever tasted! The main dish was roasted chicken with perfectly cooked potato fries; crispy outsides and soft and hot insides. The cheese, of course, and then pastries filled with vanilla ice cream on top of a plate of creme Anglaise, drizzled with chocolate. Champagne, a very good Chablis, and a St. Emilion, a-go-go.
Everything was so good and I didn’t see one person “texting” or talking on the phone.
So far, the French haven’t forgotten the art of good conversation.
The French, like the Swedish, also seem to have eating/drinking songs, minus the shots of schnapps.
First you laugh, drink wine, talk and then you sing. Finally, you throw your hands up in the air and laugh some more :)