Archive: Further patisserie pitfalls

Standard
Calaveras skulls

Sweet, sweet skulls

Stumbling blearily into the bakery this morning, I was reminded of the perils of under-prepared patisserie shopping. What I wanted was a croissant and a pain au chocolat. What I asked for, my go-slow synapses muddling the first syllable of each word in protestation, was a fish and a chocolate skull. Neither of which is, to my knowledge, a common patisserie item.

Still, you have to laugh. Albeit wearily. And try to pass it off as a knowing contrepèterie (consonant switch)…

From here on July 21st 2008.

Advertisements

Archive: First impressions…

Standard

…are strange wee beasties.

These are some of the fascinating things I have learnt about my new home in Paris in the first few days:
* In a supermarket, you have to weigh fruit and get the price yourself – there are no magic checkout scales. Failure to do so risks incurring scornful looks and aggravated hand-waving.
* A man may knock on your apartment door looking for a chimney. Although the word “cheminée” sounds pretty familiar, preconception can be one’s downfall here – whoever heard of a chimney in an apartment?
* The art of patisserie making being extremely advanced in France, one may be asked how well done one would like one’s pain au raisin. Certain steak vocabulary can clearly be recycled – I intend to ask for it “blue” next time.

Yes, first impressions are never very deep. My Japanese students used to be greatly disappointed to hear that my first impression of Japan was that “it was very hot”. I could have added “like walking through soup”, if that would have helped?

Paris Eiffel Tower

This is where I live. Broadly speaking.

 

From here on May 23rd 2008.