Provençal Pig-Headed Politicians (or Gobbling a French Gobble-Gobble)
Your taste of life in Paris and France Wednesday, November 23, 2011 • Paris, France
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
The host of our Thanksgiving dinner in the Luberon area of Provence sent me this photo – and we wondered if instead of the traditional turkey, we’ll be having roast pig? She must have taken this photo at her local butcher in the tiny town of Ansouis where she has a village house that is rented to vacationers when she’s not there enjoying it herself (Ansouis Rustic Luxury).
The butcher is a politically active guy, she tells me, and this is his statement about the upcoming Sarkozy vs Holande elections. We can guess what he is meaning to say: both are pigs? And the entrails are the people of France? I can’t wait to learn more!
My sister and I are training down to Aix-en-Provence, renting a car and then trekking over to Ansouis for a two-day fest in the countryside of France with other Americans. American friends back in Paris may be disappointed that I’m not there making the usual French turkey. One American friend told me a story recently about how she overcooked her French turkey and had a disastrous holiday as a result – guess she never read my recipe for success: cook a French turkey in HALF the time.
Yes, believe it or not, French turkeys are bigger, thinner, juicier and tastier than their American counterparts and because their meat is not as dense, cook in half the time. They are also at least four times more expensive, if not more considering the rate of exchange…but no matter, Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving and I refuse to miss my favorite American holiday, no matter where I am at the time.
Paris is dead at this time of year. Americans aren’t the ONLY tourists in Paris, but it does seem their absence makes a dent on the streets. Restaurants are not filled to the brim as usual and you can walk down the middle of most Marais streets without getting hit by a car or even a motor bike. For those of you who want a travel bargain, this is the best time of year to visit the city because of air fares and rates on apartments (hotels, too, although we all know it’s more fun to stay in an apartment).
On Friday, after we’ve eaten more than we can possibly put into our bodies and visited the Luberon a bit, we will trade in our little VW Golf for a minivan and head to IKEA in Toulon. IKEA is in process to build a store in Nice, but it’s not there yet, so for the new apartment in Nice (“Le Matisse”), we must make a stop in Toulon to purchase all the accessories. IKEA is the best one-stop-shopping for choice and price for the long list of things that must be purchased to turn the apartment into a real home. Hopefully the minivan will be large enough!
We expect to be there all day long – there are too many decisions to make and too many miniscule things to purchase. Then by nightfall we hope to be in Nice unloading the loot.
Mosaïst Véronique Husson will have arrived there by tomorrow to begin the tile work in the bath and kitchen at Le Matisse. Over the weekend we’ll be meeting with the contractor to review the renovation and I hope to visit some other properties for sale and rent that might interest our clients. If all goes well, then Sunday will be free to take a drive along the coast all the way into Italy to show my sister who has never been there.
Monday we train back to Paris and by then there will be lots of stories to tell, no doubt.
A la prochaine...
Adrian Leeds Editor, Parler Paris
(with sister Diana Gorlin, on the train to Provence)
P.S. Meanwhile, don’t miss the ongoing exhibition in Paris that opened on the 19th and runs until December 4th at La Bastille: SEX IN THE CITY. Yes, you read right. It’s all about SEX. Now, isn’t that so very French? Visit Sex in the City EXPO for more information!
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