Friday, July 3, 2009

I've probably already mentioned that I live in a foodlover's paradise. Not just because I'm in France, although I know that this whole country is a mecca for butter enthusiasts, but my quartier in particular seems to be made up entirely of butchers, charcuteries, fruit stands, cheese shops and bakeries every third storefront. I was in the 7th yesterday afternoon, looking for a sandwich to take to the Champs de Mars with my new library books and was shocked that I had to walk three blocks to find a decent bakery. This is what living in my neighbourhood has done to me.

I love being around food like this. I love going to three shops to pick up bread and cheese and jambon with my dad. I love the bright colours outside the greengrocers'. I love the window displays at the fancy patisseries. I love sitting in the cafe downstairs and watching the butcher unload whole cows off of the truck. (As a side note: last week I was walking down the street to pick my dad up from his hotel and the butcher called out, "Bonjour madame!" to me from behind the counter. Like I was Belle in Beauty & the Beast. I pretty much moved to France for that one moment, and now that it's actually happened I can go home happy, even if I never speak French or find a job or learn how to wear scarves.)

When my father was here, he couldn't believe how many people were walking around with baguettes in their hands - he said he thought that was just a picture from storybooks. But there are three boulangeries between my apartment and the subway station, so the baguettes are everywhere. Right now there's a kid who looks about seven years old standing on the corner underneath my window holding one that's almost as big as he is, and it's pretty cute. Around this time at night there are lineups in all the bakeries as people stop on their way home from work to pick up bread for dinner. And lately my very favourite thing about Paris is that on every corner there is a grown man in a suit looking around furtively before breaking off the end of a warm loaf of bread and cramming it in his mouth.


  1. Rachel, Rachel:

    You won't remember me, not least because keeping track of your father's friends would seem, well, slightly icky, but at your father's insistent urging I have read your blogs back as far as May (the one about the King, the Queen, and the gardener was so funny it had me reaching for my Depends...). Anyway, this is to assure you a) that I'm insanely jealous (it's not a youth thing; it's about Paris, so you'll understand me on this one) and b) you really are as funny and delightful as your father says you are. Your dad, in case you hadn't noticed, thinks that you're the best thing since, well, Parisian baguettes...

  2. How kind! Of course I remember you (or did, after my father sent me an email revealing your secret identity, Anonymous). Men with daughters named Rachel are all aces in my books.

  3. Baguettes are also good weapons as well lol
    living in a small town near Bordeaux we hardly ever had crime but once a unsuspecting woman was tapped on the shoulder and startled she whipped out her baguette & promptly smacked him several times on the head lol