Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: cheese

Foire internationale de Bordeaux

The summer atmosphere haves arrived in Bordeaux! The month of June has already been filled with events in every corner of Bordeaux that brings the city to life. During the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting updates on the festivities around the area.

We started out with the Foire internationale de Bordeaux (International Fair of Bordeaux), which took place between May 28 and June 5. A friend and I decided to go on the last day of the fair without knowing what the whole thing was about. All we wanted to see initially was the Fabuleuse Egypt exhibition, and little did we know that we were in for a mini World Expo.

Upon arriving at Parc d’Exposition, we saw rows and rows of booths and kiosks from countries all around the world – many countries had more than one booth – selling their specialties, ranging anywhere from food to clothing to musical instruments to crafts. These countries included but were not limited to Madagascar, Tahiti, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Senegal, Italy, Russia, Canada, Egypt, and Peru. At various points during the day, there were also dance performances from the islands in the French Overseas Departments and Territories, such as Martinique, La Réunion, and Guadeloupe. Never have I wanted to visit Martinique so much!

An anticipated short visit turned into a 4-hour outing as my friend and I roamed around the exposition grounds, surrounded by a million different colours and attracted by the unique items on sale. We wandered from booth to booth, cozily packed together, and saw quite a lot of fun and unusual stuff that you wouldn’t expect to see in Bordeaux.

A piece of ornament from an African country, either Senegal or Madagascar, I can’t remember exactly.

Continue reading

Plunging back into work

Back in Bordeaux, we’re in our third work week of 2011. According to 680 News, yesterday (Monday) was the most depressing day of the year. I wasn’t all that depressed, but I certainly felt unusually tired for most of the day, to a point where I was almost sure that I’d fall asleep in the lab.

Work as a PhD student was starting to pick up slowly and surely before the winter holidays, but as soon as I returned to work from the break, stress and workload escalated exponentially. Before Christmas, I already felt the sense of impending doom as I planned the big experiments to perform in the new year. Then came two weeks of indulgence in festivities and now, that foreshadowed impending doom is manifesting. All of a sudden, I am not bored anymore. Tasks and responsibilities began to pour upon me like Niagara Falls, and for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’m being productive, if that is even possible in France.

Since being busy means that I haven’t had much time to go around and take new photos (and in turn, update on time), I will be putting up some previously acquired photos for the next few weeks. Today’s set of photos were taken throughout the winter holidays, and incidentally, these were all taken by my cell phone. You’ll notice that a few of them are related to a Christmas gathering that was held at the Bordeaux Church on December 24th, 2010, of which I was one of the organizers along with my Christian fellowship. Click here for photos of the actual event.

Here’s a guy cutting up cheese at Auchan, the local mega-supermarket. THOSE WERE GIGANTIC HUNKS OF CHEESE! Greatly amusing. This reminds me that maybe I should resume the wine and cheese tasting, the regularity of which has declined since December.

Continue reading

Tidbits of life

Tomorrow marks one month of leaving Toronto, Canada, North America. 1/36 of my program is over. I always like putting things in fractions; it seems to give me a whole new perspective on the life I’m living. I’d think, if one month passed by so quickly, another 35 of these would probably fly by before I know it.

Here’s a little anecdote of the week. I went to a colleague’s house Thursday night for a little gathering, since three people in the lab had birthdays this week. As we were chatting, someone arrived and entered the door. Thinking I was blocking the way, I tried to move to let him pass. What I didn’t notice for a good 10 seconds was that instead of sitting down, he was trying to lean over. I was then told that I was supposed to give a “bisou”, which was the French greeting involving a kiss (or simple brushing) on both cheeks. OH, I FEEL DUMB, I thought. I always assumed that only people who know each other very well did it, but apparently not! So I leaned over and did a rather awkward bisou where I gently brushed my cheeks against his (his face was VERY soft). I hope that my ignorance in the beginning didn’t offend the guy and that he didn’t think I was trying to run away from him or anything.

This week I thought I’d post some pictures that don’t comprise a theme. Previously I’ve shown specific places I’ve gone for my Saturday explorations, but the following pictures are taken randomly – on my way to work, on my way back from work, groceries, places nearby, etc. Just little tidbits of life.

Lizard on wall

It seems as if here’s an abundance of these little guys in hiding. I often hear shuffling of leaves near as I walk down the sidewalk, and at first I thought it could be mice. I finally caught a glimpse of one of these lizards around the corner one day. They’re everywhere.

Continue reading

Of strikes, wine, and cheese

So, that road sign I was talking about in the last post – apparently it means “end of a path for pedestrians and cyclists” according to this web site. HOWEVER, take a look here and here. Two very similar signs with slight differences, and what I saw last week was the first one. So whether the border is a square or a circle makes a difference…as well as whether the adult is holding the child’s hand. GOOD STUFF, FRENCH PEOPLE. I was almost 100% positive that these signs had something to do with children specifically. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE THE KID!? You got me with that red herring, France…

One thing I found out this week is that Bordeaux is referred to as Port de la Lune, or Port of the Moon. When I first heard that the Port of the Moon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I was determined to find out where this “port” is situated so I could go visit. I was convinced that it was a specific location somewhere within the city of Bordeaux. Many searches later, I found nothing with regards to where the Port of the Moon is and how to get there. Strange, I thought, that there are no directions to such a place. It wasn’t until one dark and stormy night when epiphany struck me that maybe…just maybe the Port of the Moon IS Bordeaux itself. Well don’t I feel stupid. Anyway, it is named so due to “the crescent shape of the meandering Garonne as it traverses the city”. What a pretty name!

Yesterday I went on a city tour organized for new students. To be honest my motivation to attend mostly came from the free lunch. It turns out that the tour itself was rather boring, and I much preferred my spontaneous explorations. As a result, I strayed from the group halfway through and wandered off on my own. Then I went to the grocery store to get more wine and cheese, but that is besides the point.

Inside the Grand Theatre

We started out at the Grand Theatre at 10:00. I would be still in bed if it weren’t for the tour. In retrospect I should have stayed in bed. The interior of the Grand Theatre reminds me of Roy Thompson Hall, though it’s smaller and much cozier. I ended up on the 4th floor, which I think was as high as you could go.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: