People keep asking for pictures...so here is a story with some pictures plus a few random things thrown in.
Yesterday I decided to throw caution to the wind and venture out in jeans and a t-shirt. Who cares if everyone in this country is dressed up? Not I...I am going to be comfortable I say!!
It was a great day, it felt about 70 degrees but it was probably only 65. I needed a few things to get me by this week until I leave for the US so I thought I would walk to my local 8au8 and boulangerie (bakery). The 8au8 is like a 7-11, except they are only open 8-8 as opposed to 7-11 (chuckle, chuckle, insert French joke here) and is more like a small market than a convenience store. I decide I will just throw on a jacket, jeans and some European looking walking shoes (not tennies, I don't need to make that much of a statement). Once down my block I realize it's too hot for the jacket. I take it off and proudly show my "Ride Lots" t-shirt from my old bike shop in Sedona. Then I notice I have a spot about the size of a dime right between my boobs. Awe man...I was trying to look confident casual, not sloppy American!! I hold my jacket close to try to cover it but end up looking more like I'm scared someone is trying to steel my coat.
I make it to the 8au8 and then to the bakery. I have had small issues here before but I think everything is ok now. You see, at first I would go into the shop and as for "une baguette s'il vous plait", translation "one baguette please". Then the lady would hand me a flute, which is like a baguette but about the half the size, and charge me .90 euro for a baguette! At first I didn't think it was really happening, but then Cyr kept coming home with these long baguettes! (insert man with large baguette joke here) One weekend I went in with Cyr, we ordered together and sat down to have coffee there. Ever since then I get an actual baguette. I guess they saw my bad-ass Frenchman and decided to play nice-nice!! Well yesterday I order 3 croissant, she put them in a little bag and I walked home. Typically this place is fantastic, and they are not rude at all, they just smile and give you the wrong thing sometimes. Well, I got my croissants, but they were burned on the outside! I should have taken a picture, but I ate the ugliest one first, then the second ugliest one for breakfast today so all I have is the only slightly overcooked one left. Still, they tasted fantastic, but I can't help but think my sloppy American getup contributed to me getting the 3 crappiest croissant in the place...
So I then begin to curse the bakery lady because I have never seen them once produce a croissant with anything resembling a black or even dark brown outer crust. I calmed down a bit when I ate the blackest of them and it was still better than most I have had in the US (sorry, don't know why this is, but it's true). I then turn to wash some dishes and while cleaning a cheese knife (a very French thing to have) I slice it across my thumb and can feel the flesh and nail being carved like a piece of baloney. Said knife must have heard me cursing the French baker and taken it personally. Damn culinary revenge!! I wasn't hurt badly, but you guys keep asking for pictures so here you go...
I am wearing actual athletic shoes here, but just around the apartment. She probably would have charged me double if I had my tennies on. Here is the vengeful cheese knife. Freshly washed.
...and here is a picture of how large our concierge's rain gutters are. Is that strange or is it just me? I saw this and thought "Damn! Those things are over a foot wide!" I wonder if that makes for harder or easier cleaning. I'm thinking there is a lot more surface area for leaves to fall in.
And here is a bottle of Westvleteren 12 beer. Voted the "Best Beer in the World" by Ratebeer.com and a bunch of other groups. It was 12 euro ($18 USD in a beer shop) but was worth it I think. Seriously!! It's dark, complex, seductive and smells fantastic. Just like the trappist monks that make it I'm sure. It's such a cool beer it has no label. Just a bottle cap with the beers identity on it.
So there you have it. A lot of pictures and a cool beer to boot.