A Travellerspoint blog

December 2014

THINGS THAT DON’T SOUND ANY BETTER IN FRENCH

I AM JUST WAITING FOR A SAUSAGE MONSIEUR

overcast 11 °C

I wasn’t really planning to post today but I did find a few amusing things to share on my after work walk today.

In reality, work trips are not all that glamourous. I did leave the hotel at 7:45 this morning and return at 6:30 this evening in the dark. I was really feeling the jet lag after a full day in a warm crowded room but decided it was much too early to retire to my room. Besides, my pre-Christmas diet hasn’t been going that well with that heavy supper last night, petit pain au chocolate for breakfast, and a smoked salmon baguette for lunch. You get the idea. So I skipped the social meal this evening and decided to walk and explore the downtown area. I have determined that there is no Christmas shopping to be done here unless you want Christmas chocolate (not cheap)

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I wandered streets full of shops and only found clothes, perfume shops, pharmacies and the usual range of sweets described last night. There are no Christmas decorations to buy although the city is full of lights and Christmas is in full swing.

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One of the neatest things was this square that had a large building filled with Christmas trees full of paper tree ornaments. On closer inspection, I could see that this is where people write their Christmas wishes to Santa. I saw young and old filling the 20 or more trees with their wishes and lots of kids waiting nearby to meet Pere Noel. There was even a kids Christmas movie playing on the big screen outside.

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I only read a handful and had elected to take a picture of this one before I even read it. For those that don’t speak French, this person wants weed to be legalized. Perhaps they should meet the dope smoking Santa that was on the cover of the German newspaper.

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It also appears to be duck season. Or maybe they just eat a lot of duck here. Duck fois gras, duck parts, duck pate and so I decide to join the obsession and have a duck sausage for supper (ok...so much for the healthy walk). I had paid and was waiting patiently when one of the gentlemen asked if I wanted to order, to which I replied, “Non, J’attend un saucisse monsieur”. I got a few chuckles.

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Just a few pictures to share as I wandered the market, sausage and bags in one hand, while trying to grab a couple semi blurry shots in low light with one hand…but you get the idea.

Vin Chaud (Mulled wine)

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My dessert, one of my favorites, meringue... and I know I don't need that either. When I paid for it (2 euros), I had given her a combination of euro, Canadian, and a Belize dollar. Time to clean out my wallet.

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Market fun. It is unlikely I will see the city in the daylight

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Posted by curlygirl 12:19 Archived in France Tagged market christmas toulouse airbus Comments (4)

JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE

VISITING AIRBUS AND THE TOULOUSE CHRISTMAS MARKET

overcast 10 °C

Bonjour mes amis

I think it goes without saying that sometimes my job is really great. Not only because it occasionally brings me to beautiful places in foreign countries but also because it allows an aviation geek like me to have access to things that I would never see any other way.

I spent my day today at Airbus. Yup, the place where they manufacture the airplanes.
During our lunch break we had the opportunity to visit three of their aircraft, the A320, the new A350 and the enormous A380. I was surprised to learn that I was the only really enthusiastic one about this tour. It is probably because I am with a bunch of aviation experts who live this stuff every day. Nevertheless, I dragged them all along and will be willing to bet most would admit we had a lot of fun running around and under the A380.

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After work Kim and I eagerly hit the Christmas market and I hate to say it was a disappointment. It was simply lovely, but I am a little shocked to be empty handed in the Christmas shopping department. It was certainly more manageable without the crowds and the lights and people were spectacular, looking even more so as I sipped my hot mulled wine. Sigh. Most of the market was just “stuff” as my good friend Tom puts it and there is little evidence of anything Christmas. Then again, everything pales in magnitude to the excessive North American traditions and show. After searching for a few Christmas ornaments for gifts, I found one for about $35. Sorry friends. The food booths, both fresh and preserved looked amazing. I somehow managed to spend about $75 on 4 pieces of really pretty nougat. Obviously I didn’t check the cost first. My luck did not improve when I popped into some shops so I am afraid, I am without my final few gifts.

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This evening I just relaxed and enjoyed a lovely walk through the empty streets of Toulouse and enjoyed a fantastic meal which included fois gras and a scallop and shrimp risotto. You just have to enjoy the French food while you are here. I am still amazed that every third shop is somehow related to food, either a boulangerie, a patisserie, a chocolate shop or a restaurant, yet the people are tiny.

Hopefully I will time to explore some more tomorrow evening. I think there is lots to see in this quaint city.

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Posted by curlygirl 14:58 Archived in France Tagged market christmas toulouse airbus Comments (6)

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