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Showing posts from March, 2018

LES SAVEURS DE THAU, MEZE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

The Étang de Thau is the largest of the string of lagoons or salt water lakes that run along the French Mediterranean coast from the outlet of the Rhone down to the Spanish border. These lagoons form an excellent environment for all sorts of fauna, from flamingos and herons beloved of photography buffs to mussels, oysters, and all sorts of fish for that fine, Mediterranean cuisine. So, when you attend a late afternoon concert in a village on the Étang de Thau, why not have dinner at one of the fine seafood restaurants that generally line the waterfront? I've written about restaurants in Gruissan, in Bouzigues, and in Sète. Now, thanks to Bach and a whirling Dervish, Mèze.

(Yes, a Dervish performedd with Sufi chanters in a Protestant church in a small town on the French Mediterranean coast, right after a French group of singers and instrumentalists offered a Bach motet.. I'll be writing about that singular experience anon.)

Internet investigation reveals that there are a dozen…

AN AMERICAN EXPAT'S TAKE ON WORLD POLITICS: PART 3 - TRUMP

When talk about politics among English-speaking expats here in the south of France turns to the USofA, two questions are inevitably asked.

1. How did Donald Trump manage to get himself elected President of the United States?
This is a technical question, asked by those who are aware that Clinton received 3,000,000 more votes than Trump.

2. How did Donald Trump manage to get himself elected President of the United States?
This is a philosophical question, asked by those who do not understand the current body politic in the United States or, for that matter, in much of the modern world.

Let's take these questions one at a time.

THE MECHANICS OF AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
A quick rehash of the fact that American Presidential elections are fought state by state is in order. The coastal American states are relatively few but with highly concentrated populations. The interior states are less populated but are more numerous. While Clinton racked up big wins on the two coasts, Trump ne…

10,000 STEPS AROUND QUARANTE WITH PICS

When you live in the rural south of France in a village of 1,500 souls that's off the main road to anywhere, the countryside is right at your doorstep. Walk a few minutes in any direction and the accoutrements of modern living fade away. In a place with as rich a history as our little corner of France, you may even run across a 1,000 year-old church back in the woods, the exterior in amazingly good condition, with no signage to point the way. Is that an old Roman road leading up to the restored walls of an abandoned windmill? Could be.

The season for group walks approaches. Over the winter, I mostly walk alone. Short, brisk walks along a manicured path maintained by the village along the old railroad bed. Just to get the blood pumping. But as the weather warms and friends begin to open their holiday homes for the season, I begin walking in groups at a more leisurely pace to more interesting destinations. My brisk 2.5 miles in about 45 minutes becomes 10,000 steps in about two hou…

KFC VS LA PATATERIE: FAST FOOD CHALLENGE

After our recent visit to the Asia Market in Beziers, The Southern Woman That I Married and I decided to try out a local place for lunch. One of Cathey's favorite cooks is Somebody Else because when Somebody Else cooks, Cathey doesn't have to. It's not that Cathey doesn't enjoy cooking. But every once in a while, a vacation from the kitchen is required in order to keep Cathey happy. And keeping Cathey happy is an important part of my portfolio.

There's a McDonald's around the corner from the Asia Market. I haven't been in a McDonald's since the year that the cow had the two-headed calf for a reason. The only thing worth eating at McDonald's are the fries and decent fries are just not enough of a reason to spend my lunchtime trying to gag down one of their burgers.

There's a KFC right next door to the Asia Market. Oddly enough, we'd just been to a KFC. At a friend's house a while back, we'd discussed fried chicken. I lamented the fac…

ASIA MARKET, BEZIERS: WORTH A VISIT

The Southern Woman That I Married is an accomplished, multi-cultural cook. Over the years, our table has been graced with examples of authentic fare from the world over. If there is one limitation to the diversity of the menus that Cathey can create here in the south of France, it's the availability of proper ingredients. Sometimes, it's the simple things. I've spent my entire life enjoying lox on a bagel smeared with cream cheese for breakfast on a Sunday morning. There's fine smoked salmon on display in just about every supermarket here, but even though the packaging of Philadelphia Cream Cheese looks the same as in the States, the formula is clearly different. It just doesn't taste the same. And a bagel? A real, honest-to-goodness, Brooklyn-style bagel? In the rural south of France? Fuhgeddaboudit.

For Cathey's cookery, more exotic fare than bagels and cream cheese is required. Almost immediately after our move here four years ago, she lamented the difficult…

TRUMP COUNTERS PUTIN'S NUCLEAR THREAT

In response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that Russia was perfecting a nuclear-armed missile against which there could be no defense, President Trump announced that the United States had already considered its response.

"I've met with Wayne LaPierre and we agree. The only way to stop a bad guy with a nuke is by giving the good guys nukes. To that end, I have authorized the distribution of our entire nuclear arsenal to our friends in the Ukraine, where my good buddy Paul Manafort assures me that they will be put to good use, as well as to our allies in Saudi Arabia and in Taiwan. What could possibly go wrong?"

US Senator Marco Rubio commented,"Gee, I wish I had thought of that. Maybe we could get a few of those bad boys for my friends in Little Havana."

US Vice President Mike Pence could not be reached for comment. His spokesperson said Pence had traveled to Jerusalem to await the Rapture.