The Pudding Cup Brigade

Madame was running a little late this morning. The tea was on the table at 7:50 instead of 7:45, so that worried me a bit, but I made it to l’Institut on time, so it didn’t really matter. We talked about different parts of the United States after Mme. Geai asked us “if I were a tourist in America, where do I have to go, and what do I have to do?” Someone mentioned “Disney,” so I chimed in and said that there were other things to do in Los Angeles than just Disneyland. There are other amusement parks, like Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios, and if you’re in Los Angeles, you should go eat at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles (I’m sorry, it was the only specific place I could think of, and Madame had asked the people that talked about New York about food already). Roscoe’s required an explanation… Madame was still confused as to how chicken and waffles go together… She then asked us each to go up to the computer, and do a Google search for a picture of a place, then describe it. Going off of my amusement park rant, I Googled the Mall of America in Minnesota and mentioned the fact that it has an amusement park in the middle of it. Madame LOVED this idea. After that, we talked about architecture, and I clammed up. This isn’t something I talk about often…

Fabian’s class was definitely up my alley today. We got in groups and did a little theatre piece today! My group choice to do a piece based around the idea that someone forgot to invite their best friend to their wedding, but since we had three people in our group, we took some creative liberties… after working through our break, our skit ended up something like this… Krystal was the bride, and Joan was her maid of honor. Joan was just finishing up her speech (third time’s the charm!), and Krystal was talking about how happy she was that Joan was her maid of honor, and no one could have given a better speech. Oh really? I COULD HAVE! I came out from the audience, and Krystal was NOT happy. Why was I there? I should have been the maid of honor! “Not after you slept with the husband!” Joan spits out, and Krystal tells her to shut up (in the worst way possible). This sends the class into a laughing fit. “It’s not my fault Krystal can’t satisfy her men.” Pause for more laughter, then I continued. “If it wasn’t for me, she wouldn’t have any men to disappoint. I introduced them! Krystal, where did you find this idiot?” Joan’s playing drunk, so she says “on Craigslist!” totally dissing herself. Now Krystal’s really mad. “Stop it, Joan! You’re my best friend from high school, and you’ve gotten yourself so drunk, you’re not a maid of honor, you’re a maid of HORROR. Claire, I didn’t pick you to be my maid of honor because your would have looked good in my wedding colors with your red hair.” We were pretty hilarious… not to toot my own horn, but we were pretty hilarious.
We hung around for Sandra and Suzannah to finish class, then we split off into a few different groups to go get lunch. My little group wanted to go check out the markets on the Boulevard, so we set off. There were a few vendors at the market that sold food, but none of them had anything I could eat. When the rest of the group found a deal that they couldn’t pass up, I was left without a meal. We were near the train station, so I convinced them to let me go exchange my traveler’s checks for this month, then we walked back to l’Institut, and I stopped by Carrefour to find something to eat. I tried one of the microwave meals that didn’t have any gluten in it, but wasn’t labeled gluten-free. It was like an Indian-style fried rice with some chicken, and for under four euros (can of soda included), it was pretty good! Speaking of soda, Schwepps Agrum’ where have you been all my life?! Agrume translates to citrus fruit, so I believe it’s meant to be a mix of citrus instead of just grapefruit or orange, but it’s delicious. The soda itself tastes a bit like Squirt at home, but it’s so much better here! After lunch, I hung out with the gang (Rouge, Sheila, Suzannah, Joan, Charlotte, and Kyle) and some of them left as they needed to for home, wine and cheese tasting, and other rendezvous. On the way home, I spotted a really odd spectacle. Young people (around my age) were dressed in crazy hats and loudly decorated smocks, and when I first saw them, they were dropping pudding cups (just the pudding) over the side of the bridge over the Loire, and I had no clue why. Once I got a little further out onto the bridge, I figured it out…
The people on the bridge (top right corner of photo) were dropping the pudding out of the cups down the side of the bridge, and the shirtless men (or de-smocked tank top-wearing girls) were trying to catch the pudding in their mouths and swallow it whole (they’d stand where that cardboard is up against the wall of the bridge under the pudding droppers). Evidently, crazy stuff still happens in France, it’s not ALL civilized all the time.
Once I got back home, I did some basic packing since I don’t want to do all of it tomorrow night. I rolled up all of the clothes I’m not going to need for the next two days, and I packed all of the boxed things like medicines. I’ve decided I’m going to not give gifts or cards to my professors, since I don’t know what to put in the cards. After dinner tonight, I’m going to bring the 48 flavor Jelly Bellies out for Madame and Anna to try as a pre-gift. I’ll give them each actual gifts with cards tomorrow night after dinner. Dinner involved a simple salad for entrée, some steak with tomatoes and potatoes for plat principal, and the usual cheese and nectarines. Madame hadn’t had jelly beans in a very long time (so she was tickled that I happened to bring them as a gift), and Anna had apparently never seen them before. They both loved them very much. Madame brought out some pictures of her grandkids in the form of workbooks that she put together for them. Instead of an Advent Calendar where kids get chocolate every day, Madame made a workbook that went with a calendar where her eldest granddaughter got pictures of her family members every day to glue into the workbook. She likes doing these workbooks so that her grandkids get to know the family members that have passed on, or will soon (the book included pictures of her mother, and aunts and uncles that passed long before the granddaughter’s time, for example). She also showed us her “Christmas Letter” that she mails to the family every year that includes about 10 new recipes that she’s tried out and likes, so her letter is really a cookbook. I flat out told her that I’m going to steal these ideas…
That jelly bean and workbook conversation lasted a little too long. I managed to write up Madame’s thank you card before dinner (with some mistakes that I tried to cover up), but I need to write Anna’s tomorrow. I’m too tired to do it now…

Cherchons le femme.

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