(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)
Monday, October 12, 2009
had a fun week-end. friday, sat'day, sunday ... social outings neach day!
friday night I was invited to my neighbor's house (french) for a gal's night. It was me and four french women ... daunting, to say the least.
I still don't seem to have mastered etiquette for the various french affairs. this was more than aperitif ... and I was asked to bring wine. I picked a couple of bottles of red from my own stock ... and crossed my fingers. a couple of hours before the event, a knock at my door and neighbor's daughter inquired if I had any cheese I could bring as well. I searched the fridge and came up with some feta and some goat cheese with herbs.
later on I arrived with 2 more kinds of cheese I found, and my wine. my feta cubes were on offer with aperitif wine, so that seemed to be okay. my wine was quickly reviewed and put up on the shelf in favor of others ... I get the impression that everyone here knows more about the french wine than I ... and that I rarely hit upon the best match for the occasion.
the other guests began to arrive and the conversation began. one gal was belgian and I confess if I understood 10-15 percent of what she had to say that night, I am being generous. the first to arrive was also Perigordine ... and spoke rapid fire ... but I still understood more.
when any of them engaged me 1:1, I did better. but when you are in a setting like that, everyone is conversing. can I also say that much of the time they spoke at the same time! exhausting! ha, but at the same time good for me. I lasted until midnight and by then was just over it in terms of trying to keep up with what was being discussed. I started to zone out and so bid my adeus. When I returned home and let the dogs out, I could hear them all still laughing in the garden. over digestifs. more than anything, I was thankful to have been included ... :P
another entertaining fact about the evening occurred when we all went outside for a smoke on the terrasse. Nicole flipped the light on and there were probably about 8-12 snails slithering about. one of the guests oohed and ahhed and immediately began collecting them. she then asked for a torch (flashlight) and a container and proceeded to search further about the garden, delighted to be retrieving so many escargots! that's right, she filled up the equivalent of an ice cream container, snapped on the lid and put them aside to be taken home for 'cuisiner!' ...
won't see THAT in the good ol' you ess of ay!
(here's a link to preparation methods, if you have a bunch and are so inclined ...)