Thursday, September 11, 2008


AH!!! You would never have guessed it, but I have blisters—absolutely awful, retched, no good, very bad blisters. It’s disgusting, and if I were to describe them to you in any other manner than the technique used in the sentence before this one, you’d probably end up getting sick. However, as I usually end up doing because I don’t mind people giving me their pity, I did take photographs of them for you all. Haha! So, if you truly are intrigued by the rather disturbing images, I can most definitely send them to you. Just ask.

Now, onto the more curious part of this posting... How do I, Gabrielle the prepared and highly intelligent (oh yes, I’m modest), get blisters in the first place? Well, unfortunately, I wasn’t held down while someone grated fabric against the sensitive area of skin on my heels for hours upon hours… I got these lovely brownie-red-beige decorations by making just one horrible decision: I wore a brand new pair of black flats out on a walking trip to a restaurant in Lyon. All it took was one way, and I knew I’d be walking back with the backs of my flats folded under my heel.

You see, before leaving America, I knew I wanted to get a pair of black flats that could be easily walked around in. As Wendy and Stella described things, flats are considered high fashion in France (it’s true!), and they can be very versatile because one can wear them with casual pants, trousers, or even skirts. So I went to Kohl’s and picked up a very cute, comfortable pair. However, I picked them up on Wednesday and didn’t wear them until today (ugh).

However, one most definitely cannot let such a depressing experience ruin her entire evening. So, I must admit that the in-between phase, during which the group was actually sitting down to our first meal at a lovely, fancy French restaurant, was tres magnifique! The well-hidden venue was called Le Bistrot de Lyon, and upon entering the facility I knew we were going to be treated like royalty. We were all seated at one table and given the most decadent bread and wine to start off our dinner. As one ought to assume, the menu was in French, but Wendy helped us all to find a dish that we found appealing and then taught us the correct way to pronounce it. Fortunately, even if our annunciations were a little skewed, the waiter didn’t seem to mind. He was absolutely lovely and made all the appropriate approving and disapproving facial expressions throughout our “Introduction to French Cuisine and Properly Ordering It” lesson (picture a parental “tsk-tsk” expression for those that did not completely finish their meals and a large ear-to-ear grin for those that were able to eat it all). Now, although I’m sure anything would have been better in comparison to the airplane food we’d had for our previous three meals, this food was undoubtedly delicious (especially the desserts!). I ordered a dinner that included cuscus, chicken, and green beans in a lemon flavored sauce. For dessert, I stole a bit of Lisa’s Dessert de jour (dessert of the day), which tasted like a mix between strawberry cheesecake, marshmallows, and fluff! It was a great way to be introduced to French culture, and I can’t emphasize enough how perfect it was to dine out on our first evening in Lyon. In doing so we not only got to get a sense of the city we would be calling home for three months, but Wendy also made the experience of our arrival here feel extremely important and special. I appreciated it.

In conclusion, I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this hands-on experience that I may have not learned if I had never came to France: Never bring brand new shoes to a foreign country unless you’re being driven around EVERYWHERE. Always wear them in first, and understand that it doesn’t matter how cute they may be, if you’re not going to be able to wear them again for a few weeks while your feet heal from the previous hours of torture, they’re not worth it.

Now, if I could only stress it enough… please learn from my experience. Don’t torture yourself, and while you’re working on that demand, get yourself some real French food! ;-) It’s to die for.


No comments: