Home > Everyday Life > As an American, I Have an Obligation to Give a Deposition

As an American, I Have an Obligation to Give a Deposition

Helping Hands

Helping Hands

There was no point in hiding and trying to integrate this past week. Yea, uh huh, it was Thanksgiving this week, and everyone knew it.  I honestly believe the one American holiday that the French are most intrigued with is Thanksgiving.  The fact this holiday is really about food, it shouldn’t surprise anyone why.  (Of course there is the nice aspect of the gathering of family and friends.)  So everyone at work made a point to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving.  Still several even inquired what exactly is Thanksgiving and what how it originated.  I gave my insights and didn’t hesitate to find French translations on the Internet of this hallmark of American stories.  I even had a selection of activities to attend Thursday night in honor of this American holiday.  I chose a fundraiser dinner affiliated with Helping Hands, a charity organization supported by Amadeus my employer.  They selected a very nice restaurant in one of the affluent villages in the area, Mougins.  We had an excellent dinner serving chicken (sorry, no turkey).  There were presentations on the different areas the organization serves including France, Thailand, Ukraine, Haiti and others.  The evening ended with a silent auction of various prizes.  The only challenges to the evening was that the acoustics made the presentations difficult to hear and everything dragged on late forcing me to leave early as I had to drive all the way back to Nice.

Thanksgiving even made one of the French channels on 100% Mag, a culture show.  It is in French if you watch it and the segments starts at 05:40 into the video.

Of course the benefit of living in such a large expat community, you’ll never be alone for any holiday.  There is always an opportunity for something.  As my friendships continue to grow I may soon have difficult decisions on who I choose to spend my holidays with.

Continuing on the thought of food in this country . . . French cuisine actually made UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage list this year.  An honor that will make any Frenchman smile.  There were other cuisines that made the list as well but of course the French entry attracted the most attention.  The reasoning for their selection is how the French are attuned to every detail of the experience.  There is a heritage in France of not only good recipes but of presentation, sequence, wine pairing and the refined vocabulary to talk about the experience.  As one learns the language there are several informal and slang vocabulary that use a gastronomic item as a way to refer to something else.  Choosing to become a chef or even a bread baker are respectable professions.  During that schooling, one has to make the choice of either learning the art of making bread (boulangerie) or the art of making pastries (pâtisserie) as one couldn’t master the art of both. 😉  The president of the Sorbonne in Paris put it best that “the meal is a profound part of French people’s identity.

They are also willing to share it.  Several top chefs even did presentations at one of the key metro stations in Paris this past week.

An Almost Perfect Dinner

An Almost Perfect Dinner

What really puts the icing on this cake is the top reality show in France.  I have never been a fan of reality shows but Un Dîner Presque Parfait (an almost perfect dinner) is one of originality and truly French.  You always have five contestants (one for each day of the work week) and they each put on a dinner party for the other four.  The remaining four vote on the experience based upon cuisine, presentation and ambiance.  Of course who gets the most points from their teammates wins.  It is entertaining to see these truly average Frenchies take on an air of being one of the best cooks in all of France.  What is even more hilarious, to me, is that the show catches each teammate in the moment of the dinner party for their reaction.  Of course this on-the-spot interview has to be private, away from the other teammates.  Remember, this event is in someone’s house – it is not staged – so they interview everyone in the host’s bathroom.   Of course bathrooms are tiny and so you have the camera crew and one contestant shoved into a small space to conduct an interview.  I don’t know what is more comical, the arrogance of the contestants or the host’s shower curtains.

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