As I wrote in the July 6 story, there are any number of things that I enjoy here in FR. I mentioned some of them in that story. Now, as promised, here are some additional items:
- The food – After I wrote the first story, I asked the guys what they liked about living in FR. Naturally, being young men with working thyroids, they both said, “The food, especially desserts.” Favorites include the Saint Honore, the Dame Blanche, and the ever popular tarte tatin.
- The food, part deux – Being more of a fuddy duddy, I appreciate having fresh vegetables. And by going to the local market each week, I get my healthy fill.
- Le patrimoine – This would be the FR sense of heritage. Every town is proud of its history – grand or small. I especially like the journees du patrimoine held each September, when there is a weekend dedicated to opening up historic places – private and public – that are otherwise off limits. We’ve visited chateaux and grandes maisons the last couple of years.
- The architecture – Here southern FR, tiled roofs and stucco exteriors are de rigeur. Reminds me of the American southwest. I remember hosting a party for members of the expat club, Americans in Toulouse, early in our stay here and in my email I gave our address and then – being a bit of a smart, er, aleck – I said, “And if you get lost, our house is the one with the tiled roof and beige stucco exterior.” The then-president showed up late and said, “I remembered the street, but not the number, and then I remembered the description you gave of the house. I looked and ALL the houses on the street have tile roofs and beige exteriors! I went next-door first, but then I heard everyone in your pool and came here.”
- Roundabouts – I wrote in story a while back about the town of Colomiers, which has a population of +20,000. There isn’t a stop light in the whole town. Instead, they use roundabouts, which aren’t nearly as confusing as Clark Griswold would have you believe.
- The availability of great cigars – ‘Nuff said.
And that’ll do it for today. If other favorites occur to me, I’ll be sure to post them.