Friday, November 19, 2010

Not Your Routine Meal

It sure knows how to rain in Normandy. When I woke, the view out the window was all funny because of the rain. I have seen a lot of rain in my life, living in one of the rainiest places on earth, but this rain was intense, co;in out of the sky with immense vigour, like all the water in the air longed to be on the ground all at once.

After a breakfast of fresh bread and nutella, Gheslain and I headed out into the rain to get apples for the dessert she was making. We donned our jackets and scarves, and by the time a minute had passed, my goretex jacket was soaked through.

The market we went to, just down the street, had all kinds of goodies. Stalls selling fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries, flowers, meats, and more covered the little square.

Back inside, I watched the preperations for lunch. It was going to be a special meal, as it was the birthday of Marianne, the daougher of the family. She was coming in from Paris on the train in hour or so, and after preparing the apple tarte that was dessert, we went to Rouen to pick up a gift for Marianne, as well as Marianne herself.

Walking in Rouen for the first time in daylight, I saw many more amazing buildings. The town is spectacular, the spire of the cathedral reaching many tens of meters into the air.

None of the buildings seem to have straight lines in them, and they just bulge out to occupy as much space as they can, or sag due to the centuries they have stood. There are all different colors, with the wood crossbeams usually a contrasting color. It is impossible, no matter how hard you try, to recreate the scene in a photograph.

Back at their house, the meal was fantastic. It was veal with green beans, and bread, cheese, and ham, with wines to choose from. The apple tart dessert was fantastic.

Later that day I was to head to the other side of town to another of my sisters host families. I did not have the phone number or address of the family, and as the day progressed I was trying to contact my mom, and my sister in Canada as they woke.

I eventually did reach them, although it did not help much, they did not have any of the information either.

I did know where the house was, my sister having showed it to me on Google earth, so the plan was that we would head out there and see what happened. I finally managed to get their phone number, and we contacted them, and everything was all right.

Having heard from them a month or so ago, I knew that there was some sort of little party going on that night. I thought that it was going to be a few friends over or something like that. It turned out that we were heading to their golf course for a dinner party. The theme was to be Morrocan.

Now when I pictured a dinner at a french golf club, I pictured quiet music, peacful views, subdued tones. As it turns out, I was dead wrong. As wrong As I could be.

When we arrived we put our coats away in the back room. In the entrance area, there were probably around 90 people, all sipping wine, and talking, many dressed in Morracan garb. The music was turned up, and a few people were pretending not to be dancing.

Pretty soon, a magician arrived. He set up a little table, and the space around him quickly filled with curious faces, young and old. He started off with coin conjuring tricks, and the ones with cups and balls underneath. He was pretty good. After doing that for a wile, he moved on to cards.

He was really good at cards. He was making things appear and dissapear and change in ways that I could not figure out, and usually I can figure these tricks out. He finished, and moved to another spot. I followed him and made sure I was watching not the hand he was doing something with, but the other, to try to figure it out. I could not. He moved again, and I took up a spot behind him, and still I could not understand.

That magician was very good. Funny too, and I could not even understand what he was saying!

We moved into the dining room after a little while, tabes for 10 set out with many glasses, knives, forks, and candles. I regretted allready that I had not brought my camera. I was seated at a table with 20 somethings who spoke english. Mostly they talked in french, but it was still fun. The wine arrived, Morrocan, both a rose and a red.

Eventually the cous cous got there. It was simply amazing. The taste was exquisite. About half way through the meal, the lights dimmed and the music got a lot louder. We all looked around, trying to find the reason.

As laser lights turned on, two girls dressed with sequins and jingly things came out and started dancing throught the tables. It was very bizzare. It went on for three songs, and then they left.

After the dessert course came out, so did the dancers again. This time, after the first song, they started pulling guys up and dancing with them. Finally, at around midnight, the family came and got me and we left to go home, the party anything but winding down.

It was a strange, but very fun second night in Rouen, but it was nice to get to sleep.

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