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Hen heads

February 2, 2010

The internet doesn’t work. Apparently it takes about 3 weeks to get a connection in France and we jus ask to set it up about a week ago, which means we have another two weeks without. Without internet, without a phone line and without television. The television is something I can live without, although it would help to listen to some French to better my pronunciation, but whatever. It is the internet that I can’t seem to live without. Principe was also going a little stir crazy this last weekend without internet, but he has access to it today and the rest of the days through work, so now it is just me who is going a bit keyboard crazy. By the way, did you know that keyboards in France are different from an American keyboard? Like so different that the letter A is where the Q is and you have to hit SHIFT  in order to get a period at the end of your sentence? Super strange. Good thing I don’t plan on going to work here. It would take me a month just to learn to type again. They do it for their letters with accents on them and I’m sure it’s just as easy once you get the hang of it, but it would be a pain! Principe forgot to tell them explicitly that he wanted a normal keyboard, but is hoping that the lady in HR figured he would anyway. Here’s to hoping.

Today we are taking it easy. At the moment Queenie is napping and I just finished putting together the two chairs and the small “bookshelf” for the kitchen. Against pregnancy advice I lifted it and placed it where it is supposed to go, placed the microwave on top and then stood there for about twenty minutes trying to figure out what to put on the shelves. Spices, no. They need to not be where Queenie can reach them. Plus, there are too many. I don’t want to use it as storage for cans and stuff either since that is pretty gitano (white trash. Oh, boy. I’m probably going to get blasted for not being PC enough since Gitano also means gypsy, which is a clan of people who live in Europe who are originally from Romania, but have now lived generations in either Spain, Italy or France. Thing is, they have their own way of living and it isn’t very cleanly, so Spaniards also use the word to mean white trash. I’ll still probably get blasted.). I want my kitchen to be pretty, even though it is old and I can barely reach the cabinets. In the end I placed the vinegars and olive oil on the top shelve, Queenie’s plates and bowls and cups on the second and cereal on the last. Not sure if it will stay like that, but it is how it is for right now.

This morning we went exploring and ended up getting lost for a moment. The downtown is actually pretty small in comparison to what I believed at first. Within less than fifteen minutes Queenie and I were at Place du Wilson where we stayed in the hotel while visiting here. And that is walking at a toddler’s pace. I could be there in five minutes flat, easily. Unfortunately for Queenie the neighs (horse, or in this case, the carousel) was closed, so I bought her a small pizza instead at the market. I waved my hangs a lot and said s’il vous plait (please) and merci (thank you) more than I probably should have, but it got us the pizza. Then we walked around the market to look at prices. Food is definitely more expensive here than in Spain. My inlaws told me that, but I didn’t want to believe them. Now I have to believe them. Meat seems to be outrageously expensive. To the point that I’m not sure we will ever be eating beef in this house. Ever. I went to see what chicken was priced at but was frightened away by realizing I was looking at the chopped off head of a hen, of many hens, actually. Eyes still intact and all. After realizing what they were I suddenly noticed all the mountains of livers and guts and not yet cleaned whole chicken carcasses. I grabbed Queenie’s hand and led us outside to the fresh air where we were again surrounded by wine shops and bakeries with chocolate croissants. What in the world do these people eat? And how in the world do they cook it? What do you do with the head of a hen? I’m going to have to buy my meat at the grocery store where it has been cut into squares and triangles that make you forget where it actually came from. I’m not against cooking a whole chicken. I have done it quite few times. And I’m not against meat markets, but what in the world do they do with the head? And why don’t they clean out the chickens? Even the pieces that looked like they could be chicken breast still had the heart or small other small organ still stuffed inside, like they had just whacked off pieces of the chicken without taking anything apart. Am I grossing you out? Well, I was grossed out, too. In Spain we have large pieces of animal for sale to be chopped how you want or not chopped or whatever, but they don’t sell heads with eyes still in them, and everything has already been cleaned out. As it should be. Seriously. Gross

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