Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The leaves that are green turn to brown

The scent of fall has descended upon the little city of Strasbourg, and with it came a sore throat and a runny nose that are really more endearing than annoying. I took my midterms on Thursday and am looking forward to taking finals in just over a month.
This weekend was nice and quiet; I read, ran, went to the museum of modern and contemporary art, and went to a small get-together chez Jason.
But by far the best few hours were spent making pancakes for my host family on Sunday morning, accompanied by real maple syrup. I’ve wanted to make them “American food” for a while now, but it’s so hard to think of meals that don’t have European roots and taste good without meat (France isn’t big on tofu). So I decided that pancakes would make me happy, and taste delicious all at the same time.
Reasons why this was the best breakfast I’ve had in months:
1) I cooked pancakes in my pajamas
2) We listened to Daisy May and other folk music to warm the soul as well as the
3) I explained rooibos tea to my host father who is an amateur tea connoisseur
4) They loved the pancakes and took the recipe so they could make them themselves
5) We had real conversation that didn’t involve me hesitating on every sentence

This was sort of an epiphany for me. I was able to talk with them, understand them, and joke with them like a normal human being. I felt like I was actually a part of their family, definitely not a daughter, but maybe a niece or godchild. And I could form phrases and be funny. Humor is something I really miss about speaking French. It seems impossible to be funny because it’s hard enough being understood, let alone trying to be sarcastic or witty; you mostly come off as being stupid.
More proof that I can actually speak French: I had a conversation with the mail man and he didn’t have to ask me to repeat anything.
Because of this wonderful experience brought to me by food, I’ve decided to take on the task of preparing a small, but hearty, thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, complete with turkey (not a whole bird since there are only 3 of us and I will not be partaking), stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I’m sure this will both ease my heart in knowing that millions of others across the ocean will be doing the same in just a few days, and make me homesick for my family who will be gathered together without me.

These pictures are things that I see everyday; on my way to school or just around the city. This last one is from the Christmas carnival that is already set up for the season.
Bonne journée.


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