"And on Easter Sunday, the blog arose, as if from the dead..."
Hey folks. I's been a while. Since last we spoke, the gray, dreary, un-ceasing and sun-less Parisian winter has blossomed into a fragrant spring. The outdoor 'terasses' of cafés have exploded with sunglass-clad clientel, cigarettes in hand as they gesture to the waiter for another midday 'demi'. I've awoken from my drawn-out midwinter slump and realized that my hibernation dreams of living in the best city on earth are the reality of Paris in the Springtime: magnifique. And I've decided, (following a few recent 'whhhhhhhy aren't you bloooooogggging anymore?' emails) to recommence sharing my life in this magnificent city with all of you. Joyeuse Pâques! (Happy Easter!)
And now, a corny Easter franglais joke:
Q: Why do the French chasse aux oeufs de Pâques (Easter egg hunts) always end early?
A: Because for the French, one egg is un oeuf ('en-ough!')!
The flower shots are from a trip to Giverny (the garden town famous for being the home of Monet) that I chaperoned last Friday for the study abroad company I work with. It's true that the journey is getting a bit repetitive at this point, but if visiting Monet's house, getting a comped three-course lunch and having two hours to read among the flowers in the afternoon is becoming routine, I feel that I haven't got much to complain about with my job.
Easter is sort of a big deal in France. Schools have practically the entire month off to celebrate: a two-week spring break followed by a national holiday on Easter Monday. The day itself is a family affair, rich suppers and wine for the adults and chasse aux oeufs for the enfants to discover the delights delivered by the Easter Bells that fly from Rome. Yes, they actually believe that over here. True comment from one of the girls I tutor: "American children think rabbits deliver eggs? But rabbits don't even have hands!" She was incredibly smug while saying this, as if sure that the superior logic of her 8-yr old brain had defeated me. I can't say that I blame her for her incredulous attitude, though--even if the belief in inanimate belfry benefactors seems a bit silly, it must be a bit of a stretch to take an animal best known as a main course with Dijon mustard sauce and suddenly make it into a hero. No, here it is not the rabbit, but (perhaps more logically) the chicken who is ennobled and immortalized in advertising in the windows of the chocolaterie. One shop on the road I worked actually had four live chicks running around day and night under heat lamps in a window display. Another had this larger-than-life model (for an idea of scale, yes, that's an American football the hen just laid):
The hen worship makes sense, though, when you see the care and craftsmanship that goes into her eggs:
Adventurous chocolateries like the following branch out from the traditional egg and chicken chocolates and tackle a more seaside-y theme...
Love Actually fans should note that there was (apparently) more than one lobster present at the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Not to mention the fish:
For me, the fish were a little too reminiscent of a different holiday that occurred earlier this month: Poissons d'Avril. This equivalent of April Fools is the day when you attempt to stick fish-shaped "kick-moi" signs to the backs of your friends and loved ones without them noticing; you also eat chocolate fish. To end with, here's the poisson d'avril I received as a gift from my boss, back on the 1st of the month.
Little did I know as I started to munch that I had actually received the Puppy Surprise edition, and out popped a surprise (sadly, as was also the case with the classic 90s toy, mine held far fewer 'surprises than originally hoped. Seriously, did ANYONE actually get '...or 4...or 5!' out of theirs?)
Happy Holidays everyone!