What a French Dinner!

Friday offered another first for me. Large dinner with the host fam’s fam. Two of Xavier’s uncles came over, along with his father. There were plenty of people, with plenty of food. In fact, there was a lot of food… with a lot of champagne and red wine. Everyone spoke French, including me and Sean (mostly to each other), and it an interesting experience. Everyone else knew each other, and they were all enveloped in conversation, whereas Sean and I were almost detached from the discussion, seemingly out of the fray. Sean’s French is better than mine, and he was able to follow what was being said better than I could. Once I found an opening though, I took it, and tried to enter into a discussion about the weird hours of a popular library. The library is closed, but people find a way to sneak in and get in line before it reopens. I asked, in very good French I thought, if anyone works there in the afternoon, and I was met an answer in French from one guy and a response in English from another. I tried to force the action and I spoke in French, but I was met with English again. Totally disconcerting.

The food. How can I forget the food! Everyone knows that having guests come over for dinner is a good enough reason to go-all-out and break out the good stuff, and Friday was no exception. The feast consisted of some interesting fare, including caviar (I tried to refuse), salmon slices (again, my refusal was rebuffed with, “Oh, it’s really good Ampson!”) and an interesting brown bread cake that was incredibly delicious with the caviar. In fact, everything was delicious, even the fish. I was a big fan of the chocolate served afterwards, olive in shape and color, these chocofeuilletes were addictive, with chocolate shavings on the inside and delivered a wonderful crunch with each bite. And of course, there was the red wine…

Went out with Sean and met up with some other friends. Went to an English pub, The Who, where I gave all my money away. One of those moments were I bought a girl a beer, and I thought, “Hey, this can’t be that much.” Enthralled in conversation and subdued by her smile, I neglected to notice how light my change was – 9 Euros. My consolation prize was the night. Good times with good people – does me good.

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