Tag Archives: Food

eat this

11 Jan

I feel that I am falling short of my voice on this blog.  The niche of ‘teaching assistant in France’ has already been filled in blog world, much more technically and adeptly than I could ever hope to do.  See the Jennie en France link on the sidebar to connect to this past assistant’s blog and website on working, teaching and living in France.  Jennifer  has also made available a plentitude of tutorials for French and lots of other languages.  Although I have never met Jennifer, she has been my metaphorical lighthouse, illuminating the path as I grope my way over the urchin-clad rocks of this experience, even, and especially, before I arrived in France.

Speaking of lighthouses, this reminds me of a comment my friend Chris made sometime in April when we were sitting together outside the only carousel in Missoula, Montana:  “Don’t take this the wrong way…today, you look like a lighthouse.”  I still don’t know what he meant by that.

This is the thing about traveling:  you’re not stuck in a one-track rut, thinking only about the new place you’re in and new people and new tastes, smells, colors.  You’re also thinking about the past, and people from your past.  Living in a different culture so acutely sharpens your emotions and sensibilities, that forgotten memories snap together again with the help of entirely irrelevant triggers in your new environment.  But this time, you are reflecting on your past from an entirely different angle — from below, or around a corner, or through a sheet of green gelatin.  And this may nudge you into interpreting your past somewhat differently from how you were interpreting it before.  This is not to say that everything is suddenly clearer than before; far from it.  It’s just subtly, very softly, different.

My colleague and her family will be taking a roadtrip through the American Southwest in July.   This afternoon at her house, we leaned over a road map of the United States, running our errant pointer fingers across the paper in directions having nothing to do with the actual roads on the road map.  I showed them photos from my spring break trip last March to Moab and southern Colorado.  They asked if there was an REI in San Francisco and if food costs a lot more in the States (I said that it depends on what you eat…obviously, Reese’s peanut butter cups and ramen noodles are going to be cheaper than fresh produce every day).  I let them in on the “secret” about BLM lands—yes, you can camp anywhere you want in that orange blob—and couchsurfing.  Long live spendthrift travel.

I have stumbled across a couple links that I find fascinating for their focus:  edible art.  Food is like the the undiscovered medium in the fine arts world, the last frontier before we begin carving out virgin Brazilian rainforest in ornate patterns visible from the sky, in final protest against global warming.

http://laprochainefois.blogspot.com/  This blogger, who happens to also be an assistant in France, creates, among other things, necklaces and earrings out of dried fruit.  The photography is excellently tactile.

http://www.alicia-rios.com/en/food/edible-representations.html  Alicia Rios makes ‘edible representations’ for the public to enjoy both visually and gustatorily.  Her “Urbanophagy:  Eating the City” exhibit is backed by the intriguing premise that, Rios says, “we desire to devour our surroundings.”  Her culinary conquests include Melbourne, Madrid and London.

And finally, a photo from le marché aux puces (flea market) in Marseillan, France.  What does it make you think of?  Me:  bagpipes and the female as commodity.