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Something unidentifiable on the plate…..

Close up of two cows

http://cheekyonetwo.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/bullsht/

This situation occurred more than once. The first time we thought it might be celery, or something that sort of had the texture of jicama. It was mixed with eggplant, whatever it was. Neither the waitress or the cook spoke English, so we are not sure, but it tasted okay.

The second time was a whole different story. It came on a plate drizzled in olive oil and cheese. At first glance it sort of looked like salami or sausage, but then we tasted it. It was… raw beef. Totally, completely, uncooked and cold, raw beef. I’m not talking rare or seared, but bloody -ass raw. Now if the menu had been in English, or had some version of steak tartare, I would have figured it out sooner. But no, it was, “boeuf.” No clue. Well, I tried it. YUCK! The texture was just all wrong. I spit it out and looked both way, no one saw. Next task was to cover it up so I wouldn’t have to look at it. Yuck. I double stacked a plate over the top of it, but you could still see it. I didn’t want the waitress to see what we were doing, because then we would go through an agonizing translation attempt to explain what I was doing. That probably would involve communicating that there was nothing wrong with the raw meat – except that it was raw, and most amerikanas don’t eat cold red meat ground to a pulp. Nikole started trying to poke the red meat further under the plate before the waitress saw us. I ate a loaf of baguette trying to scrap the memory off my taste buds.

The third time it happened we were at a café in Rouen. No one spoke even a shred of English and the menu did not have a lot of clues. The waitress brought us paté that sort of smelled fishy. The menu, deciphered with a lonely planet translator, narrowed it down to duck, rabbit, goat, mutton, or wild pig. We think it was wild pig. We never figured that one out either.

Once again, I still marvel at the fact that people eat so much here. We are playing a game now called, “Spot the Baguette on the French Person.” We have seen it coming out of briefcases, in trunks, under arms, in purses, and my favorite, under the baby in the carriage.

We left Paris for the countryside. We headed towards the Palace of Versailles. During the French Revolution a mob from Paris had made the decision to march on Versailles while Marie Antoinette, the king, and their children were present. Not only did we see where she escaped her chambers that night, but we also stood in the same place (Hall of Mirrors) where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I!

A long line outside of the Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles – lots of people in line to see

We then moved on to Giverny to visit Monet’s house and gardens. This was absolutely amazing, and so far my favorite stop of the trip. Claude Monet’s gardens include the waterlily pond that appeared in so many of his paintings. In addition, the types of flowers planted in the garden keep it blooming all season long. We took pictures of ourselves and then claimed we were now part of a Monet.

Finally, we moved to the community of Rouen. This is the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. I am not sure what to make of this stop. It was right there with the catacombs; a little morbid and a strange stop related to death. The French have erected a very large cross near the spot, but the actual spot is plain and simple with ruins and a simple sign. What made the whole place really seem a little odd was that this place is a center courtyard-like area lined with cafés overlooking the site. So, you can sit and sip your cappuccino or beer and give a toast to the memory of Joan of Arc, which we did.

A sign in French dedicating the burial site to Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc – Rouen, France.

A pond overfilling with water lilies - Monet's pond

Monet’s pond

We are off to wine country and to also prepare for the marathon in Bordeaux, which is really the reason why we came. This is marathon #2 on continent #2 – five more to go after Saturday! We hope to someday be proud finishers of the Seven Continent Club (a marathon on all seven – including Antarctica).

They drive like amerikanas
Death, Catholic misery, and more bread...
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

Comments

  1. Good luck with the marathon. I am guessing that Antarctica marathon is not going to have as many nice cultural amenities during your on-site training!

  2. Thanks for a peek from afar!

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