Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The only travel tip you need

It seems that strangers (friends I haven't met yet?) have been finding my blog with the search string "cheese course +how to eat." It goes without saying that this fills me with immense sense of pride.

I call them friends I haven't met yet because people who google cheese courses in their spare time are absolutely my kind of people. On the other hand. "how to eat"? Really?

So. A cheese course primer.

After dinner, before dessert, your host will bring out a plate full of cheese. Maybe just one big wheel of gooey raw milk Camembert, but probably a few different kinds. Your French companions will take really silly miniscule "French women don't get fat" portions.

Then it's your turn.

Start eating and don't stop until there's no cheese left on the plate. You're full? Suck it up. You can't get this cheese in Canada. It's against the law there, for real. Once there's no cheese left on the plate, check to make sure that there aren't any little pieces, gooey crumbs stuck to the plate. Possibly lick your fingers.

Your gluttony will tell everyone that you're North American, confirming French suspicions that all Americans are fat. It doesn't matter - you're wearing running shoes. They already know. They already think you're a slob. Step into this role and revel in it.

I got a lot of advice before I left for France. "Be careful, the French can be snobby," "take your striped shirt," "get a French boyfriend, it's the easiest way to learn a language." By far the best advice, and what I'm passing onto you now came from Kingston's favourite Shirley Temple-sipping DJ:

"Eat everything you see."

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