Saturday, December 20, 2008
Well, we’ve arrived at the season for jingle bells, spiced cider, and awkward moments under mistletoe. Or, if you’re French, Douce Nuit, vin chaud, and awkward moments with foie gras. (ok, that last one is limited to myself and other fellow foreigners—after all, wouldn’t you be hesitant to eat something called ‘fat liver’?) So what kicks off the holiday season with a bang of overeating and precious moments? Thanksgiving (in the States that is!)… Well not being ones to turn down an opportunity to eat fabulously good food, Matt and I accepted an invitation to get together with other fellow Americans (missionaries) in the Paris area for Thanksgiving. (Now if I’m going to be really honest with you all, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual holiday but the weekend just after. In reality, on the real Thanksgiving Day I ate a mediocre cafeteria version of chilli con carne…)
Everyone was contributing something, so I decided to do my family proud and bring my Grandma’s yummy broccoli salad. Matt, sweetheart that he is, had to put up with all of my last minute recipe requests. Probably those wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t mistakenly grabbed cauliflower, waited through a huge line, only to find out he had to walk back to the store and do it all over again. Now before you start wondering how he could of mistook a head of cauliflower for broccoli, let me just assure you that this was no ordinary cauliflower. Picture bright green and lots of pointy things coming out from the top—even the saleslady hadn’t been sure what exactly it was. Just to be sure I gnawed off a piece of it and verified that it was indeed, cauliflower.
Crisis over, we headed out the door and onto the metro with our broccoli salad and homemade spiced cider. The evening went great—it was so fun to speak “American” with those around us. I stuffed myself full of turkey, twice baked potatoes, and chocolate chip cookies…ah, bliss… My favorite moment has to be though when Matt started opening a bottle of mineral water inches away for my face. None of that would have mattered, except for the fact that it was a rather volatile bottle, and all at once I found my face drenched by mineral water. Everyone had a good laugh and I think my face is more exfoliated as a result…
This last Thursday night was our campus Christmas party. I can’t tell you much about the first half other than I’m pretty sure it happened, because I was hidden away working in the kitchen, listening to stressed French and trying for the life of me to figure out how to say ‘never mind’. I never did figure out how to say it, but I was able to escape for the second half of the program. Good thing too, because my big debut as a French super star wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t. Somehow (my bet is because I’m a native English speaker) I had gotten roped into participating with the choir during the party. The original plan was for me to sing a short solo during the song “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.” Not being one to really brag about my exceptional singing voice, I managed to act feeble enough to illicit the help of two other people to come to my aid and form a trio with me. All went well and the song turned out pretty cool, with the choir singing the song in French and various members singing a piece in their native language.
The night ended with a Beauty and the Beast skit with the Beast being a broken-hearted mean non-believer and the Beauty being an inspiring Christian girl who was able to turn his now-softened heart to God. It was pretty funny and well done. Stuffed from cookies and cream puff galore, we all headed back to our rooms for the night.
And there you have it, a small taste of the holiday season from an American living in Paris (wait isn’t that a movie?….)
PS. the pics are from our Thanksgiving party