I had a fantastic time with Anna and Nico and Basil (meow) in Toulouse. They have a great little apartment. Nico made it his personal mission for me to eat well, and I'm not the type to turn down geat food. I tried cassoulet, a white bean and, well, lard casserole, which was heavy but satisfying and delicious. We had some cannoule, a baked thing which was very good. Of course, in Jackie's memory, Anna and I got a chausson au(x?) pomme each. Anna also made a great tomato and chevre salad one day, too. We had a tuna and tomato pasta one night, and Nico made a pie, which was apparently normal for France, but we would call it more like a flan. Tres deliciouse.
Don't even dare writing me about my French spelling.
Speaking of French (hon, hon, hon), I didn't fare too bad, in the end. I could make myself understood if I needed to, and people were kind to me. I listened intently to a story that an upstairs neighbour told, and found I kinda followed the plot. Lianes = vines. Vierge = virgin. TGV = aggravating train.
I bought a couple of BDs, bandes desinees. This is a huge cultural element of France that I'd previously not known of at all. I'd say the closest we know is graphic novels or manga. BDs are large-format hardcover books (for the most part) which are very varied in subject matter. Most PEIslanders who went to school with me would know "Asterix et Obelix," but beyond that and "Tin Tin," I didn't know anything about them. They can be funny, or adventurous, or science fiction, or pornographic, for children (but most of the ones I saw were for adults), and there are many styles of illustrations.
Nico was a fan of the BDs. To say the least.
Anna, I'm pleased to report home, is doing well. She has picked up on the tricks to living in France much quicker than she lets on, and she was a fanastic guide. Although communications with her Uni is increasingly irritating for her, I know she's going to be just fine in Toulouse with Nico. Nico was a proud countryman, and was enthustiastic about teaching me about the quirks of Toulouse, France, and Europe.
Oh, and Jackie e-yelled at me because I didn't mention that Carcassonne was the location where they shot the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Kevin Costner stood in the same place I did. Squeee!!!
(Jackie also e-yelled at me when I mentioned that my first day back fom France I planned to stay at the Munden's house in Kent and do laundry. She said I shouldn't be wasting possible time in London with frivolities like washing my knickers. Since then, I'd gone into London every day. Then she e-yelled at me when I wasn't updating my blog enough! Le sigh.)