So Ryan got an earful of madame's "philosophy" today, which, as one might guess, was highly enlightening and reasonable. So, in her universe, this is her home, and we are all a big happy family with no boundaries or personal space. It is wrong to keep doors closed (and god forbid we put locks on them like "the Chinese [Taiwanese] girl"), and anyone is free to enter each others' rooms as they wish, because, you know, someone might want "air from the window" of someone else's room. To this Ryan replied that it's both a matter of privacy AND the little fact that we have paid rent and therefore are free to do anything we want with our rooms. And she said "no no, is like French family... is a concept, is a concept." So it's good we got that cleared up. And then apparently she said to Beppe today that I am a problem in the house, that I give her awful looks and yet she's done nothing to warrant it. I find that beyond hilarious. The looks part is definitely true.
Karl and I went to see the downstairs neighbor last night, which went quite well. He suggested that we write a statement listing all the abnormal aspects of living here, and take some digital photos of everything in disrepair. He has been assembling a dossier on madame for his court case against her, so this will become part of that and should hopefully help all of us. He was very, very cordial, which made things easy. Apparently he works at Roissy airport and knows lots of cops and lawyers, so he seems fairly well-versed in the system. So that's looking hopeful!
In the rest of life, things have been pretty good. Jeremy came, and then left early, which was too bad but the right decision for him. We went out a bit of course, which was fun. Finally went to The Crocodile, a super awesome bar in the Marais, which I will definitely return to. Last week there was a great BBQ at Mario's lovely house in the burbs, pictures soon to come. Saturday saw a FANTASTIC circus-y theatric gitane music show at a park in Nanterre which was part of an art fair weekend. And we finally got a spell of warm weather, to a fault in fact.
This week of class is really good, as the teacher is fantastic-- passionate about food, knowledgeable, easy to understand (which matters a lot these days!), funny, practical, on task. And the stuff we're making is for the most part excellent, like a truly killer bordelaise (albeit marrow-less), sauce amoricaine (or as I say, Lobster Madness), lamb shoulder sous vide Robuchon style, etc etc. Tomorrow we're roasting Bresse roosters, making bearnaise, and regenerating sauteed cod as well as scallops with langoustines. We learned a pretty sweet trick to make langoustines (or anything) super rosy-red: take raw lobster coral and whisk it up (this can be defrosted frozen coral that gets saved here and there over time) and brush it on the raw product before sauteeing-- it's so bright it's almost unbelievable, but looks nice.