This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign. In this case I chose to focus on the word foreign meaning outside the United States where I grew up, and have lived my entire life. Almost anything that is out of our comfort zone could be classified as foreign, and this trip was as foreign as I have ever felt in my life. I hope you enjoy my long past memory of Paris, France where we traveled to be with my husband’s son when he married a Chinese-Laotian girl who grew up in France.
“The French approach to food is characteristic; they bring to their consideration of the table the same appreciation, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for the other arts, for painting, for literature, and for the theatre. We foreigners living in France respect and appreciate this point of view but deplore their too strict observance of a tradition which will not admit the slightest deviation in a seasoning or the suppression of a single ingredient. Restrictions aroused our American ingenuity, we found combinations and replacements which pointed in new directions and created a fresh and absorbing interest in everything pertaining to the kitchen.”
Alice B. Toklas
The short time we spent in Paris was lovely – eat visit museums, eat, eat, eat. Wear fat lady clothes. Someone told us that we had to go to this lovely alley Basque restaurant, Auberge de Jarente.
We have a large Basque community in Fresno, and they are famous for their hospitality and home cooking. This one was no exception. It was early September, slightly cool enough to be comfortable in a light jacket at lunch time. We sat outside and watched people come and go into their apartments across the alley. The dining experience itself bordered on being elegant. Cloth napkins and table cloth. Handsome waiter checking on you often to bring you more of whatever you wanted. Yet the location was an alley – very foreign! I gained 10 pounds just sitting there that afternoon.
We had kind of a meat paella. There were foreign kinds of meats I had never eaten including duck, which was sort of heavy and greasy as I remember. It must have been good, but you’ll never know until you go to Paris. Amateur photographers may take a decent picture once in a while, but they forget that picture-taking is the MAIN objective. That would mean as soon as the meal comes out, the camera is set ready to go. As amateur photographers, we finished our delicious food, then we remembered that we Spencer and Margaret ALWAYS send us picture of their food. oops – oh well! I think that must be a foreign tradition – I still struggle with it. “Eat first, photograph later – the All American Tradition.” – U.S. diner. (me)
This really isn’t an interesting photograph, but it shows just how narrow and crowded the streets are. I can’t imagine driving in Paris, and that is very foreign to me. In my work I was driving about 30,000 miles a year. We stayed in the Hotel du Vieux Marais which you can see if you enlarge this photo is on the right side just in front of the black car.
We did visit the Louvre because you can’t go to Paris maybe only once in your life, and ignore the largest museum in the country, and third in the world. We got too close to Mona, and had to be ushered back. I probably tried taking her picture. (You know those amateur photographers always taking the wrong picture in the wrong place!) I remember the big crowd standing around this tiny painting. It is much smaller that I expected it to be. I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed by museums and SO MUCH visual input. I can only take in a little bit, and then I feel stuffed and tired, almost like eating too much. My brain won’t process all that I am seeing. I know I won’t remember more than about one or two things in the museum at the maximum, yet I have this insatiable appetite for visiting museums.
This was one museum I had to visit in honor of my friend, Elane Geller, who survived the Holocaust. Going through this museum really brought home the fact that Jews had been in Europe for at least 400 years before Hitler was even born. I wasn’t able to take pictures inside any of the museums, and I didn’t buy tons of souvenirs. But the golden and bronze religious items on display were ornate and definitely foreign to a simple American like me.
I hope you enjoyed my short walk down my short memory lane. There are a few more pictures, but I have to find out what they are!!! Maybe if I post one that I don’t know you will tell me what it is!????
Sorry that my photos are sort of grainy – too much noise. We discovered undeveloped rolls of film YEARS after we took them. We didn’t even think there would be anything to develop, but there’s enough here to jog our memories. I’m not sure what happened to the rest of our pictures. They were before digital!! That’s foreign to me now! How did I ever exist before digital?
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (beyondpaisley.net)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Embracing the World – Foreign (2) (chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com)
- weekly photo challenge : foreign (bodhisattvaintraining.wordpress.com)