here are a few more friendly tips for when you are in france or a french-speaking place. what i mean to say is that WHEN you come visit me, remember these few things:
– a pastis is a very aix-ois apéritif. if you do not like licorice or sambuca, do not order it. if, however, you do like those things, aix-en-provence may just be your version of heaven.
– bouillabaise is a very aix-ois (and provençal) food. it is fish stew. fyi.
– 5 o’clock is happy hour. mandatory. fill the patios, order some drinks. no food allowed, just happy hour.
– by 8 it is now acceptable to be eating.
– if you want to ask what’s in your food, particularly if you want to know if there are any preservatives in what you’re ordering or purchasing, the proper term is “conservatif”, rather than “préservatif” which means something else entirely. as my friend josh joked when we learned this in class tonight, “there are condoms in my strawberry jam??” we laughed so hard we nearly cried. probably funnier if you were there.
– anything administrative takes… forever. think of the most frustrating back-and-forth, paperwork-filling, line-up-waiting, id-showing, money-costing thing you’ve ever had to do, and know that that is both efficient, streamlined, and easy compared with here. also, add in a language barrier. one small example: classes start on monday, but i don’t know when, or where, or what classes.
– speaking french becomes much easier when one has had a drink (or two). (dear grandma: i don’t know this from experience, only hearsay!) or possibly it just seems like it’s easier but really you still suck and you just don’t care as much. likely the latter. but we’ll pretend for now that it’s the former.
as i learn new things in preparation for being your best tour guide ever, i will continue to educate you in the ways of the aixois french.