Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Cousins Are Awesome

In March, I went back to Luxembourg to visit my cousin Sarah, her husband Matt, their daughter Abby, and new baby Luke. I had such a nice time seeing everyone, despite a food poisoning incident on the morning of the third day of my visit. My cousins were so great to me. They nursed me back to health by buying me Sprite, making me jello, and just being wonderful in general. Here are some really cute pictures taken before my ailment kicked in.

Sarah and Abby in downtown Luxembourg.

Matt, Sarah, and Abby in Trier, Germany.

Matt and baby Luke.

Me and baby Luke.

Little Abby.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

La Grève

The students at my university have been striking for five weeks now. They're protesting many of Sarkozy's new education reforms. This strike is quite bizarre to me. Strikes are a way of life in France. I probably see some sort of demonstration at least once each week, sometimes more (I've already seen two this week). Lately, they've been mostly student demonstrations, but I hear another mass strike is planned for all of France next week. Also, it is the students who are striking and have set up the blockades in the halls. And from what I hear they do it almost every year.

I take only two classes in the actual French university. My other three classes are held in the center for the foreign students. So for the past (almost)month and a half, I've only had three classes each week. Some of my friends, who are only taking classes in the French university haven't had any school at all. Of course panic kicked for all of the Americans due to the fact that eventually, the French students will have to make up all of the classes they've missed, probably this summer. But the study abroad students are leaving. We can't stay to make up classes. Oddly enough we've been assured that we'll still get our credits for our classes. So, not actually going to classes but still getting credits for them is...good. Right? At this point I'm not going to worry about it. There's nothing I can do, so as long as I get the credits I need, I'll be happy. And I have to admit that sleeping in every day is pretty damn nice.

Party at Jeanette's

Last weekend I went to a party at Jeanette's place. Jeanette is from Nova Scotia, and she is a lectrice at the university. It is a teaching job, and she teaches one of my classes along with a French professor (of course I haven't had that class for a month and half due to the strike, but that's another story). The party was delightful; great people and a great atmosphere made for a fun time had by all.

Here I am with our lovely hostess, Jeanette.

Sarah (England), and Sam.

Samuel (Hungary), Anne-Laure (France), Edel (Ireland, she is also a lectrice), Ilias? (Tunisia), and Jeanette in front.

Keeva? (England), Kathryn (England, also a lectrice), and Asia (US).

Pierre from France (sitting), Isabel (Germany), Sarah (England), Sam (US), and Jeff (US).

Miguel, Eduardo (Spain), Joaquin? (Spain), and me.

Dancing. Stripey 1 is from Poland, but I forget his name. :( I didn't meet Stripey 2, and Brooke in the blue is from the States. He is also a lecteur.

Lorella (France), Reshma (England), Matthew (England), Asia (US), Adam (England), and Sarah (England).

Hillary, another lectrice from Nova Scotia, and Lorella (France).

Great night.

St. Nicolas

Last week, I took myself out to one of my favorite restaurants, the St. Nicolas, which is about a thirty second walk from where I live.

I've been there a couple of times before and I always get the same thing because it's one of the best meals I've had in France. I get the 16 euro menu which includes an entrée, main dish, and dessert. To start, I always get the Farci Poitevin, a specialty of this region. It's sort of a mix of cooked greens with goat cheese on top and it is sooo good.

Then came delicious, succulent pork cooked with prunes, with veggies on the side. Amazing.

For dessert I chose the day's special, which was pain perdu made from brioche. It's essentially what we think of as French toast. Delicious.

The owner was telling me that the restaurant is called the St. Nicolas because it used to be a church, L'église St. Nicolas. Here is a part of the original 11th century church wall.


Little Dogs Everywhere!

I was at a pizzeria last week, and one of the people working there had a delightful 5-month-old pug which I attacked with love.

Its name was Praline, which I think is a very good name for a tiny pug.