Monday, March 28, 2005

Joyeux Pâques, Happy Easter.

A quick note, because life's been hectic. Yesterday we invited four or five people over for an Easter meal in the middle of the day, which featured traditional Provençal preparations of lamb, potatoes, salad, and more potatoes. And some chocolate-and-pear cake. And lots of wine, and then some champagne. We're running a four-star restaurant at 4 rue Barthélemy. Actually, that's a joke we can't seem to stop making, and it's getting old. Not that it was very funny to start with -- I'm pretty sure it's just amusing because of our limited French skills.

After the huge meal, Stéphane disappeared into his room and passed out until 8PM, thereby missing his chance to go in to work. Score one for food coma. Incidentally, food coma in Italian is "abbiocco." I'm trying to learn a little Italian, since there are so many willing instructors around my apartment all the time. So far I've got the subjects and present-tense conjugation mostly down, along with some random filler words. Learning a language is a lot more fun this way, even though I'm sure it's less effective than taking a class. I get to learn more curse words, though.

To shake off the abbiocco, we decided to go for a walk to the beach, about forty-five minutes to an hour away. Well, everyone else did, Victor and I drove. We passed the afternoon, until sunset, at a little port named Vallon des Auffes that was tucked away on Marseille's coast. I uploaded a few pictures of it, so you can see for yourself. It's really magical, as it's about thirty or forty feet below the rest of Marseille at that point, you can't hear any of the noise of the big city, and it's filled with the kind of colorful little boats you imagine in a small fishing town. A great place to watch the sunset, too.

Today we're hoping to rent a car and go to Avignon or Montpelier, since the weather is beautiful and the Monday of Easter is a jourférié, or day off, in France. We'll see how that goes, however, because we've gotten a late start.

Check out the pics on flickr. There are also some random pics that I haven't put in photosets of our trip to the Calanques, which I should write about, and some random around-the-house pics.

Signing off, til next time I get a chance to sit still for half an hour.

P.S. I realize I should probably clarify something. The name of the city I'm living in is spelled "Marseille" in French, and "Marseilles" in English. So while I keep writing Marseille, which is kind of technically misspelling it in English, I suppose, I'm not just entirely an idiot who doesn't know how to spell the name of this city.

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