Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pas de Pub SVP

So I've been quiet for a while. No worries, though. I've been quiet because I've been keeping busy, not because I'm on the brink of despair. My homesickness seems to be conquered. I think joining the gym was one of my better ideas since getting here (other than eating all those pastries and chocolates, that is). I've not only been kicking my butt into shape again, but I've also learned a lot of new vocabulary that you would only learn in fitness classes.

You're probably wondering what these photos are about. Well, how about I tell you? Most everyone here has mail slots, and to avoid unwanted junk mail, a lot of people post stickers or signs near the slot to announce that they don't want any "pubs" (ads) "svp" (s'il vous plait). I love the diversity of the signs, and so I decided to do a little photography collection. I just carry my camera around as I make the rounds and try not to look creepy as I photograph mail slots.

Just think of this as my quirky little gift to all of you who have been expecting great things of a blogger in France. I have no good excuses other than that I've been busy doing things besides blogging. I hope you'll forgive me.

So here's an interesting tidbit for you. As amazing as the French are with pastries and chocolates and food, I have to say I've been gravely disappointed with their coookies. The cookies here just aren't...well, let me just say that I've been an understudy of the Cookie Monster since I was a child. Cookie jars are not safe around me. And I don't discriminate either. Chocolate, chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, oatmeal raisin, cranberry, peanut butter, shortbread...they all work for me. But here cookies are just not quite right. I can't even say what it is that makes them inferior. They just aren't cookie-y enough or something. They don't have that butteryness that makes eating a cookie so amazing. They tend to be neither crispy nor exactly moist, lying somewhere in between.

My friend Val and I got nostalgic for cookies, so we bought a box mix. That was our first mistake. The cookies were ok, but we both agreed that we could do infinitely better. And then we discovered that allrecipes.com has a metric converter, at which point we both got way too excited. Now the problem is what kind of cookie to make. Please leave some suggestions in the comments if you like.

Just so you know, there will be some interesting posts coming up. On Sunday I will be leaving to meet my boyfriend in Strasbourg. We'll be staying there a couple days and then going to Paris. I know I've already been there, but it's Paris, and you can't see everything in one visit. Besides, he wants to see the Pompidou Center, and I'm not about to argue with that.

I'm hoping we can go up the Eiffel Tower at night. I still haven't done that, and talk about the perfectly stereotypical romantic thing to do in Paris! How can I resist? I may also try to get back to Laduree for some more macarons. I am obsessed with those things. Hey, I guess macarons count as cookies, so I have to amend my judgment of French cookies. Macarons: amazing. Other cookies: just get the macarons instead.

Ok, so there's a Star Trek movie coming out here (I just saw the preview so I don't know if it's actually French or if it's American dubbed in French--I hate it when they dub movies), and I am very excited. This is a confession, I guess. I really like Star Trek. I am absolutely not a Trekkie, but there's just something about Star Trek that pulls you in in spite of yourself. Let me also say that I've read almost all of Virginia Woolf's and William Faulkner's writings, and I am currently reading Moby Dick thank you very much.

It's coffee time for me. Man, I love espresso.


brandi said...

i love all the little notes by the mail slots! in our apartment in italy someone had put up a sign telling everyone to shut the gate quietly because it had a tendency to slam. the english part of the sign said, "please shut gate with kindness," which made all of us so happy!

good luck on your cookie baking! i'm a fan of oatmeal with dark chocolate chips.


Fiona said...

Ditto on the cookie issue. One place for recipes would be David Lebovitz's blog. He's American, living in Paris, so the cookie would be right and the measures, too.

I wish we could opt out of junk mail. grr...

Phillip said...

Hi, Megan. Love the blog. I have a question...how do you intersperse photos in your blog text? I have not been able to figure out how to do that. i use blogger, too, but it's just not intuitive enough for me.

Robert said...

Oui! We have the same things here in NZ- most people just write 'no circulars' on their mailbox in sharpie, but some go to some length to make their statements of 'no junk mail' as creative as possible. If i can stand taking picture without being creepy (giant camera, hard to be discreet) I will post them. Inspiration! Sweet as!