Several weeks ago, I fully embraced the fact that I would not be eating "dinde" (turkey), cranberry sauce, stuffing, et al. It would have been nice to have the whole shebang, but Thanksgiving is a regular workday in France, so who can stay home and cook a turkey? Not to mention the fact that my kitchen is, frankly, rather inadequate to the task of hosting a dinner. In general it would be something of a stretch to describe my apartment as designed for entertaining, since I don't actually have a living room. My place is basically 2 bedrooms off of a kitchen. It is a fairly strange little apartment, as a matter of fact. I don't even like to host poker night since everyone ends up crammed around my little table.
But, I had to do something to mark the holiday. I conferred with the other American in my department, Eric, and we ended up inviting a big group of Americans, Canadians and Brazilians to go out for dinner. Of course, there are no American restaurants in Lyon, so the turkey paradigm just wasn't gonna happen. Instead, we went out for Thai food to this place. Strangely enough there was something vaguely Thanksgiving-y about it, since we all ordered together and shared multiple dishes. Plus, Thanksgiving is about seeing family, and people I work with are my family here. There are also frequently people one doesn't know well at the Thanksgiving table, stragglers who could not make it all the way home for the weekend that someone invites to share the meal. Since we all are a long way from our respective homes, it felt right to share the meal together. And it was delicious.
And the news on everyone's lips was:
They are opening a STARBUCKS. In LYON.
Unbelieveable! Lyon, the center of French cuisine. That pinnacle of gastronomy. Mind you, Lyon loves Lyonnais cuisine the best, hardly even messes with dishes from other regions of France. Why bother? Here in Lyon we have the richest, most delicious sauces, the freshest legumes, the most supple viandes. The thought that an American restaurant, an American chain restaurant, no less, can make a foothold here is shocking (McDo notwithstanding). On the other hand, they should have better pastries than American Starbucks do.
So, maybe when I get homesick I'll wander over and get me a grande latte. It will be along Rue de la République, near the Opéra. Not so far from my casa.