ON A ÉCHAPPÉ!!! We are officially free from you-know-who's zany clutches! It remains to be seen whether I will recuperate any of my cash. Let's just say there is a possibility but I'm not exactly optimistic. At least a lesson has been learned here... DON'T GIVE A PSYCHO A TON OF MONEY UP-FRONT, OR PREFERABLY NOT AT ALL!
But tonight we made a highly, um, idiosyncratic curry concoction (ready-made vindaloo paste, jarret de boeuf [shank-- pretty much only used here for pot au feu], button mushrooms, red pepper and zucchini) on top of Thai sticky rice with sliced cucumber on the side and crème fraîche on top (and with a Portugese wine!), in the very considerable comfort of our new apartment--- faaar from the 16eme. Indeed, we have relocated to the 19eme, which could hardly be further from where we were living before. This neighborhood is much more our style-- multicultural, lots of restaurants, a family feel... it seemed to me that the only non-white folks in the 16eme are either nannies or working at the grocery checkout. And I cannot say enough about how good it feels to wake up (in a real bed, no less-- not a dumpy mattress on the floor) in peace, without a radio blaring through the wall, sopping wet floors, a kitchen sink full of potato skins (or egg shells, or noodles, or chicken bones...), or any number of other unpleasant surprises.
Our vacation is about ready to launch, final preparations are underway. One week of adventure en route to Rome from Milan, then several days there, then "?" for two days (Naples, we hope? Beppe, where are you?), then Barcelona, then back home. And then it's back to school for me! Five weeks off have blown by at tremendous speed. How the heck did that happen, you might ask? Well, one class I wanted was full, another I decided to move closer to the final exam so it would be fresher in my memory, and then my much-looked-forward-to Maîtrise de Conserves (read: High-Fallutin' Pickles) class was cancelled seeing as how I'm apparently the only one out there who wants to spend a week making high fallutin' pickles. Er, I mean, master conserves. And then on a note of double misfortune, the timing has worked out neither for a stage in production at the school nor for a stint at an organic farm. There would be the possibility to push some of my classes back even later so as to make room, but I think they've been pushed quite far enough as it is. My stay here is extending itself a good deal longer than originally anticipated already. My pipe dream of the week is to somehow hustle a stage at Michel Bras' in Laguiole, but I find it pretty much inconceivable, especially given that there's only one week where I'm off classes before they close for the season. But I've slopped together a new resumé nonetheless, and if I can muster up the motivation in the next day and a half I'll send it off into the ether just for the hell of it.