let’s kippis!

Tram B, not unlike the New York subway system in the summer, has its own special micro-climate (technical term). Described by some as ‘surprisingly tropical’ it is consistently a departure – and somehow always surprisingly so – from the weather conditions on the outside of the tram, particularly during early morning journeys to school.  Dressing oneself in the morning is a careful exercise of selecting clothing appropriate for the walking portion of the trip, but that can also be divested quickly and with a minimum of arm movement, as once inside the tram, one is hemmed in on all four sides by other students drawn, like mosquitos to light, to the various campuses in Pessac.  (Mosquitos are clearly still on the brain chez moi.  N.B. The plugins are far more effective than the sprays.)

The infamous Tram B passing the opera house. My morning walk takes me across this field.

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school is now (v)in session

I took chemistry once.  It was fifteen years ago, during first year of university.  “Baby Chem,” as it was nicknamed, (not even Chem for Dummies or Chem 101) represented the bare minimum amount of science I needed to progress to Intro to Food Science (aka. cooking class) and then to the restaurant course (which also had a real name that nobody ever used).  From that initial chemistry course, my vague recollections indicate that carbon chains exist, and are somewhat important, but the remaining details seem to have escaped me.  I’m sure it’ll all come back very organically.

This idyllic scene from week one has been replaced by this terrifying depiction of tannin polymers in week two.

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one in Emilion

I dined and dashed yesterday.  It was a strange experience for someone who is typically physically uncomfortable with leaving less than a 20% tip. (Yes; if you see me ill outside of a KFC, it’s because I couldn’t tip.  No follow up questions, please.)  In my defense, it was less dash and more saunter, but let me backtrack: I had ordered oysters and a glass of wine, which took half an hour to arrive.  I didn’t mind it because it was a lazy afternoon, and one is supposed to enjoy a slower pace of life over here, one hears, and one was also catching up on writing and email correspondence (not to mention studying up on how to refer to oneself in the third person). Read More

a brutish invasion

There is totally room for potatoes in all the gaps in the meat section. Especially if you slow-roast and mash them..mmmm

There is totally room for potatoes in all the gaps in the meat section. If you slow-roast and mash them, they’ll definitely fit… mmmm.

High on the list of things that may be the worst idea in the world: attempting to eat a Paleo diet while living in France.  Look.  It seemed like a good idea when I got here, and it didn’t seem so tough to implement with some deregulations – at home my pantry is paleo-friendly, and when I go out I can eat what I want, although I haven’t tended to stray too far just yet.  But then I went to London and gorged myself on potatoes.  (There was some wine in there too.) And now that I’ve been back for one day, I’m in potato withdrawal.  (Not even bread… clearly I’ve got some Irish in me somewhere!) Read More