Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 4.7: Around the Neighborhood

I slept really late today after my walking adventure yesterday -- such luxury!

I caught up on my email, ate a banana, washed dishes, and did a bit of laundry (I figured if I washed out a few things, I would be able to make it until my return home without going to the laundromat again).  Then I went to the movies (stopping on the way to pick up a sandwich from the corner shop, which I ate during the movie -- they seem much less concerned about outside food at the movies here, and they don't understand about movie popcorn and hot dogs!)

I had wanted to see Gemma Bovery since I saw the trailer for it. It's about an English couple (Gemma and Charles Bovery) who move to Normandy and their French neighbor who realizes that they are reliving the story of Madame Bovary.  I thought I would be able to follow it better because part of the movie is in English (the main characters and some of the others speak English at times).  I also studied up this time -- I read a synopsis of the plot of Madame Bovary and also a summary of the graphic novel Gemma Bovery that the movie is based on.  Moderate success!  I understood about half of the French (and of course all of the English...), so I followed most of the movie except for a few details here and there -- even the ending, which is different from the novel.  It was fun to watch a movie in French that I actually (mainly) understood.

After the movie, I had a kir pêche at a nearby cafe, then sat on a bench reading a book for a while, then went back to the first restaurant I ate at in Paris -- La Jacobine.  I had had trouble finding it again, but had the business card they'd given me with a little map, and finally remembered that it's down a sort of alley off bd St-Germain, not a drivable street.  They didn't have any tables, but they took my name (I was very proud of managing that particular transaction in French! - although they also speak English there, since they cater to a lot of tourists...) and I only waited about ten minutes.  This time I ordered a dish that had intrigued me the first time -- camembert rôti, which was just broiled/melted Camembert with a bit of salad and some bread.  Really yummy and simple.

For the main course, I had filet de mignon de porc à la sauce moutarde - very tasty, tender pork medallions in a mustard cream sauce, with potatoes and vegetables.  The sides were just OK, but the meat was really delicious.

Continuing my quest, I walked by Amorino for dessert -- chocolat Amorino (a repeat), coconut, and bergamote (which I didn't know what it was, but after tasting and looking it up on Wikipedia I realized it's a kind of very tangy orange that's most well known for being the source of the essential oil that flavors Earl Gray tea).  I'm just one flavor (banana) away from trying them all!

Hard to believe I've been here for nearly a month, and will return home in a week.  It feels weird and unsettling -- I'm definitely ready to go back home, and yet there's some nostalgia creeping in, knowing that I'll probably never do anything quite like this again.  Every time I do something feels like (and probably is, at least for a long while) the last time -- last movie in Paris, last visit to La Jacobin, last visit to Amorino (but not that, yet!)

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