More Random Paris Thoughts

Are you tired of me talking about Paris? Well, too bad. It’s my blog, so I get to pick the subject.

We went to a farmer’s market here yesterday, and all I can say is WOW! It was several blocks long and four aisles deep. There were some vendors selling odd assortments, but most of the market was food. Not just vegetables, but meats (rabbit, anyone?), cheeses, fruits, etc. Stuff I had never seen before. Like some alien lookiing broccoli/cauliflower thingy. They sold prepared food, like olives stuffed with feta cheese. My friends and I almost had a fist fight over those olives. And the flowers were beautiful. I know I’ve probably forgotten what pretty flowers look like, but I’m not kidding when I say these looked fake they were so perfect.

It doesn’t take a history hound to know the French have a rough history. I spent the day at Versailles today, case in point. I walked for probably five hours and covered maybe a fourth of the estate. The entire palace (700 rooms) is not open to the public. So, in the two and a half hours I was in the palace, I probably saw less than 50 rooms. The grounds cover almost 1000 acres. That’s bigger than the town I grew up in. Then, there are two “quaint” getaways that were built for the king and queen to escape the pressures of royal life. Pressure? Give me a break. The French people, at the time, were subsistence farmers. No jobs, no medical care, no education, high taxes. What they taxed is hard to say since the people didn’t actually earn an income. While it was incredible to see such beauty and wonder at how precisely it was built, it was also depressing to think that a man could enjoy such a lifestyle at the expense of his own people. The people he should have been protecting and helping. Of course, America does not have a stellar history in dealing fairly with all of its citizens, but I don’t think we have anything to rival this. You would just have to see it to believe it.

Is it a secret that the French can cook? If they do all the cooking in heaven, we are set for some excellent feasts. My friend who lives here says the ingredients are very different than what we use in North America. Flour is not just flour. And neither is butter and cream. Also, they use almost no prepared food or fake ingredients. It’s mostly the real deal. Pasta is freshly made, not dried. Fish was swimming recently, probably in the last 48 hours. Meat is ground daily and does not sit in the refrigerator for days. Ground meat is just ground meat. Nothing else. It isn’t died red, like the ground beef in the US. You didn’t know they used food coloring in meat? MMM, isn’t that appetizing? Even McDonalds serve’s herbal teas and fresh pastries.

It’s no secret that I like coffee. I’ve never been fond of espresso, though. I usually find it too bitter. The French coffee is like espresso, though, and it is fabulous. I have had to curb my caffeine intake at home due to anxiety attacks. I drink several espressos a day here and have not once been jittery.

Customs is going to think I brought back a grocery store. I have a shopping list that I plan to fill tomorrow. Cheese. Coffee. Tea. Wine. Chocolate. Unfortunately, the bread won’t stay fresh enough to take with me. That is very sad.

Tomorrow, I’m off to see a few museums and Notre Dame. Tuesday, I’m shopping with friends and seeing more museums. I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to see as many real Monet paintings as I can. So, I’m hitting three museums over the next two days. Wednesday, I go home. My hands are starting to itch to hold my babies.

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