Sunday, January 15, 2006

My husband is having an affair with "The Da Vinci Code"

As I type this posting, my husband is deep into his reading of the book. "I can't wait to get home and read.", he tells me as we're spending a nice weekend with his friends. I want him to hurry up and finish so I can finally read it. Today, he was discussing the book with some friends who have already read it. The discussion was in French, but I swear he was ruining it for me with each French word that came out of his mouth.

I have a new favorite French word: un sac a dos (a backpack). Remember, this is French so 1) the "n" is silent in "un" and 2) the "s" in "dos" is also silent. I just love (silently) saying "sac a dos sac a dos sac a dos." More and more French words are making there way into my tete (head). Someday, I'll be able to link them together and make an understandable sentence.

Friday night, Darin and I consumed a few cheap French beers with my new 19 and 21 year old classmates from Israel and Australia. Why would they want to hang out with a married 31 and 32 year old couple? Anyway, the topic of 9/11 came up in the conversation and each individual was able to tell me where they were when they found out about the planes hitting the towers. It was eye-opening for me to hear how much of an impact the event had on not just us "Americains/Americaines" but on individuals from every country in the world. My experience living abroad and meeting people from all over the world is opening up my eyes (in more ways than one) to life outside of the U.S. I'm embarrassed that I'm so ignorant about the world.

This weekend, Darin took me skiing to a place that is translated to be called "The 7 Lakes". I haven't been on skis in 2 years so I was a bit nervous, but I ended up having a great time. I even allowed Darin to teach me a few things. He introduced me to a "pomatow" which may be near extinction in California. It's a mini "chairlift" sort of thing where you pull a bar (which has a disk the size of a salad plate at the end) in between your legs and then let it pull you up a hill. So, you're standing with your butt resting against the disk and the bar in between your legs which you also hold onto. I enjoyed it so much that I made Darin accompany me on it again. I could have rode on it all day long if possible.

We spent the night with Darin's friend who was celebrating his 30th birthday with 28 of his close friends. The building we stayed in is called a "gite". It's like a dorm in the middle of nowhere surrounded by snow. During the summer, it houses a kid's camp. The entire night consisted of French conversations and lots of eating and drinking. I did a lot of observing and wished I could participate in more of the conversations. Most of the other "party attenders" spoke some English and a few individuals were more willing to speak to me in English than others.

The birthday boy served us "Raclette" which is a popular meal to have in the French Alps. Similar to fondue, but not quite. We each have a little plate with a handle where we place a slice of cheese. Then we pop this little plate into a mini oven that we share with 8 other people. As we sit and wait for the cheese to melt, we prepare a potato (it's customary to peel the potato, but I ate it with the skin) with a piece of cold cut ham on top and then some mini pickles and onions on top of all of that. Once the cheese is melted, you scrap it on top of the potato/ham combo and "voila!"...dinner is ready. It's very tasty, but super heavy and filling. I could only eat 3 or 4 potatoes worth of "Raclette". The guy sitting next to me ate at least 8 - 10 potatoes. I don't think he was done until an hour after I was finished. It was amazing.

Today, Darin drove me along Lake Annecy which has Annecy on one end of the lake and Albertville (home of the 1992 Winter Olympics) on the other end. It was gorgeous. I must say (again and again) that I am very lucky to live in such a gorgeous part of the world.

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