Waffles in Brussels and Souflees in Paris

I'll be in Spain a week from now, which means it's almost Toussaint, which means it's almost December, which means I'm almost home. Time flies, I tell ya.

Welllll, let me give you a quick rundown on what's happening in Gay Payree and elsewhere.

Monday, a friend and I went to Père LaChaise, a large cemetery in East Paris filled with the bodies of the rich and famous. We hobnobbed with Oscar Wilde, Molière, and Jim Morrison. I'll try to get some pictures from her to put up so you can see my pretty face, as well as the beautiful fall colors. That day was so gorgeous, and the light in the cemetery was just perfect. Paris doesn't do fall very well in general, so that beautiful day soothed my ache for my favorite season back home. It's constantly rainy and cold here, and nobody jumps in piles of leaves, or carves pumpkins, or drinks hot apple cider, or goes apple picking, or goes for a hayride, or dresses up for Halloween. Thanksgiving is going to be ROUGH, you guys. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm supposed to embrace cultural differences with open arms, but when those differences mean I can't have Papou's cranberry sauce, naturally I get a bit rowdy.

Early Tuesday morning I took a truly amazing (technology we don't have at home (yet) blows my mind) 1.5 hour high speed train ride to Brussels, city of chocolate and waffles and capital of Europe. It was a cute city, nothing compared to Paris, but what can you do. Belgium is kind of the Canada of Europe. What are these Beligians all about? No one really knows. All we can tell about them is that they have 2 official languages, and make waffles (which coincidentally go along great with maple syrup).

To add to the oddness of the Belgians, one of the main attractions is a fountain of a little boy taking a whiz. It's called "Manneken Pis", or literally, little man piss in Dutch. I refused to go see it, because that is basically the silliest thing ever. Why would I go out of my way to watch a little pudgy baby pee? I don't need to go all the way to Belgium to see that! French parents don't change diapers, they just let their babies go to the bathroom on the sidewalk. I've seen it far too many times.

We visited the European Commission and the Council of Europe, gained some knowledge, and I got some free EU goodies. All in all a successful field trip, even if I ignored one of Belgium's national treasures.

Now I'm back in Paris, fresh off a visit to the Opera Garnier and a cooking class. The cooking class was fun times, y'all. My friend and I figured it would be us and a bunch of 50 year old ladies, and we were totally right. Our chef, Emmanuel, was laid-back and unpretentious and helped us make cheese and chocolate souffles along with a salad. There was also wine, so, score. Emmanuel clearly loved all the adoring attention he got from the ladies, but who can blame him. Everyone was moaning with pleasure or in the throws of ecstasy after tasting their chocolate souffle (***OMG LOL, There is just something *special* about chocolate, right ladiezzz??? ;-)***), so I guess he does have the right to be appreciated as well. Thanks, Emmanuel. You rock my world.

Oh yes, and everyone is on strike again! Which means lousy mail service, and a crowded sweaty metro, with only a few trains running. Blahhhh. My absentee ballot better get to the states in time!

Bon Week-End, everyone! Now off to start on my piles of papers....

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