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Saturday, March 08, 2014

From the Files of Elizabeth: Le Restau U


Le Restau U à l'Université de Nice est similaire à la cafétéria de mon lycée. Les repas sont cuisinés sur place par le personnel de la cuisine. Normalement, il y a un tableau noir près de l'entrée qui énumère les plats du jour. Souvent, le menu affiche les deux plats principaux et les deux plats d'accompagnement. Le dessert comprend des fruits, gâteaux et tartes.

Comme mon lycée, les lignes sont longues, mais ils se déplacent rapidement. D'abord, on rencontre les plateaux, les couteaux, les fourchettes et les cuillères. Le prochain arrêt est à la section dessert. Après la section dessert, on se dirige vers la zone plat principal. À ce point, la ligne a tendance à ralentir, car il est difficile de prendre une décision. La destination finale est à la caisse pour payer le repas.

Le dernier jour du semestre d'automne, je décide de déjeuner à l'école. À midi, je vois le formulaire en ligne et je me joins la file d'attente. Je choisis un couteau, une fourchette et une cuillère et je marche à la section dessert. La ligne se déplace lentement, mais finalement, je me tiens devant les deux plats principaux offerts. La première sélection est le saumon dans la sauce. Le deuxième repas est un ragoût de non identifiables. Tout d'un coup, j'entends un chuchotement à mon oreille: Qu'est-ce que c'est? Chien?

Voulant connaître l'identité de mon interrogateur confidentiel, je me tourne vers ma droite et je me retrouve à regarder dans une paire des yeux bleus malicieux d'un jeune homme. Je souris et il sourit; puis, ensemble, nous éclatons de rire. Le serveur nous demande ce qui est si amusant, mais nous ne répondons pas à sa question.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

De Miami à Nice, Un voyage surréaliste

Thoughts written in hindsight . . .
      Miami est une ville qui repose à la frontière sud des États-Unis. Le climat, la plupart du temps, est ensoleillé et chaud. Le paysage est rempli des palmiers et de fleurs exotiques, et le rivage est encadré de plages de sable fin et de l'ocean Atlantique. Bien que la population de ce paradis tropical soit diversifiée, ceux qui proviennent d'Haïti, de Cuba, d'autres pays d'Amérique latine sont fortement représentés. C'est également le foyer des peuples indigènes, le Seminole. L'anglais peut être la langue officielle du pays, mais l'espagnol semble être la langue dominante. On entend aussi le créole haïtien et, si vous aves de la chance, peut-être l'une des deux langues de la Seminole, Muscogee ou Miccosukee.
      Après un vol transatlantique de neuf heures, je me trouve dans la ville de Nice, qui est dans le sud de la France. À l'arrivée, les gens me parlent en français, la langue officielle du pays ; mais je remarque, à la sortie de l'aéroport, un panneau de signalisation en anglais qui me dit d'arrêter. Après debarqué, j'ai exploré mon nouvel environnement. Je découvre, d'abord, le climat qui est semblable à celui de Miami - ensoleillé et chaud. Je marche dans la célèbre Promenade des Anglais et je vois d'un rivage rocheux (avec une section nommée Miami Beach) bordé par la mer Méditerranée. Semblable à Miami, la population est diversifiée, ce qui reflète l'héritage de cette belle ville - les Italiens indigènes, les Russes, les Britanniques, et les Nord-Africains.
      Et étrangement similaire à mon séjour à Miami, personne ne me prenait pour une touriste.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Power of Sound

The new school semester will be starting in a couple of weeks, and with it returns my often fascinating commute via public transportation in Washington, D.C., also known as Metro. If I'm flush with cash (which is rare given I'm a full time student), I take one bus to the subway station. From there, I take one train to the College Park Metro station. Usually, though, my commute entails a number of buses.

Among the assortment of people with places to go and things to do with whom I share my daily commute will be those who are plugged in to some device via earphones. The “Wired Ones” are usually listening to music. Depending on the leg of my commute, the musical concert may be a rap or hip hop selection or a tune from the rock genre.

Most intriguing to me, though, is this: If the Wired One is wearing earphones, why am I able to hear, oftentimes with great clarity, the musical selection of the moment?

While stumbling around the 'Net' this morning, I came across the following interactive chart at the website of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

 Fact Sheet: Know the Power of Sound

Something  to think about!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Petite Treasure No. 5

You might find Petite Treasure Number 5 an odd choice, but that is precisely why it is a treasure. It is a drawing I discovered at the bus stop. I do not know who the artist, Stanley, is but it was a delight to discover this master piece. The shelters at the bus stops in Nice are glass enclosures. They are very well maintained, and the advertisements are changed frequently.

Thank you, Stanley, for this marvelous treat!!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Petite Treasure No. 4

In between raindrops, I took the opportunity to visit Parc Phoenix, which has a wonderful combination of thematic gardens, zoo, and an interesting display of miniature figures. It has an amazing collection of palm trees and some very colorful residents who may join you for lunch!! The meandering paths and hidden delights such as this beautiful fountain are well worth the trip!!


My gorgeous lunch date:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Petite Treasure No. 3

Now that I no longer feel the urgency to gather the animals two by two and to try to figure out where one buys or what the term “Pitch” is in French, the urge to venture out in search of that which I find interesting or intriguing has returned.

I happened upon Petite Treasure No. 3 while riding the bus home one evening. Not being positive I saw what I thought I saw, I decided a closer look was in order. Thus, I present to you my Petite Treasure No. 3!


Now, you tell me what you see!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Living At the Casino!

No, I have not acquired a new hobby!! Casino happens to be the name of one of the local supermarket chains. In my neighborhood, the Casino is situated on the southeast corner of the intersection of Boulevard Gambetta and Rue Bottero. It is similar in design to the supermarkets in the States, with the grand exception being the products are labeled in French!! (Surprise!!)

Upon entering the store and going through the turn-style, I find myself in the Produce Department, and I am confronted with a dizzying selection of fresh produce. The Produce Department happens to be “the budget buster” and the “time consumer” in my case!! After grabbing the staples for my petite cuisine (onions, garlic, and bell peppers), I turned my attention to fruits and vegetables that refuse to be ignored!! This week, the celery, carrots, and cauliflower begged my attention!!

After weighing and ticketing my selections, I made my way to the Meat Department by way of the “Bread Department.” There I grabbed a loaf of French bread and I decided to try the mini gaches too!! Finally arriving at the Meat Department, I pondered the selection of chicken, turkey, and what we know in the States as “rock Cornish hens.” Moving along the aisle, I reached the section containing rabbit. I examined the offerings of veal, beef, lamb, and pork. This day, though, I was searching for beef bones (os à moelle) for my soup stock. Finding none, I headed back to the poultry section where I found a bargain on chicken wings!! So, instead of French Onion Soup prepared from “hearty home made beef stock,” I am to prepare the soup using “hearty home made chicken stock.”

Leaving the meat section, I headed over to the Yogurt section. Yes, I said “section.” There one finds an immense variety of yogurt!! I deliberately avoided the smoked fish section and headed over to what I call the “Cheese Department.” Once again, I chose a block of Provolone Piquant. Since the Cheddar looked particularly enticing, I could not resist dropping a block into my basket.

As a result of the change to French Onion Soup using a base of “hearty home made chicken stock,” I visited the Wine Department to choose a “dry white wine.” I selected a reasonably priced Chardonnay, and after checking my list and confirming I had not omitted anything, I made my way to the check out counter.

With a view to quickly paying for my purchases, I decided to queue at the “self check-out” counter, given the lines for “live” cashiers were quite long. It seemed the other shoppers also had the same idea! So, I found myself in what I thought would be the “line of the quick,” given there were only four people in front of me. Of course, it turned out to be the “line of the glacially slow!! In fact, my line neighbor and I even commenced to chat. The topic of conversation? How glacially slow the line was moving, of course, and what could possibly be the cause!!

Would you like to know more? Stay tuned, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!!

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