I bought all the ingredients at an American food store called Thanksgiving, appropriately enough. This was the first time, and I hope it's the last, that I spent 6€ on pumpkin pie mix, but it was worth it. I did not manage to find a turkey (it wouldn't have fit in the oven anyway) but I had all the other musts (the French actually say un must!): mashed potatoes, cornbread, green beans, and two kinds of cranberry sauce, i.e. the good kind and the kind I like. New cultural experience of the evening #1: they all initially thought the jelled cranberry sauce was sliced beets. Fun fact: there is a word for cranberry in French, but no one knows what it is except me and the dictionary because they just don't talk about them here (it's canneberge). New cultural experience of the evening #2: no one at the dinner had ever had pumpkin pie before, and they loved it. By the way, "they" are Marie-Claire, her son Jean-Louis, his copine Valérie, and my American-French friend, Marie-Catherine. (Hypens!) Jean-Louis and Valérie got to take the leftover pie home.
Next on the agenda was Disneyland, Paris, although I like to call it Euro Disney for the sake of being retro and funny. It's such an unappealing name. Anyway, Main Street USA and Frontierland (mysteriously combined with a Mark Twain-esque Mississippi River scene) was a little slice of home until they started singing "Hakuna Matata" in French. Disneyland, Paris really isn't much like the Disneys at home; it's really just a theme park with Mické running around. I remember Disney World being a paragon of technologically advanced fun and paradise faked to perfection...of course, I was only 8, but still. However, we had a lot of fun and it wasn't bad to have a break from the floods of culture, culture, culture! that are my life. I really haven't been to an amusement park since I was 13 (the Cyclone at Coney Island does not count), and I am proud to say I went on every single one of the roller coasters and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. You know, the plummeting elevator. While waiting an hour and a half for that one, my French companions told me that the word "twilight" sounds like "toilet" to them. So next time you turn on Nick at Night, try not to laugh when The Toilet Zone comes on.
Last week I gave a presentation on Broadway in my theater management/economics class. It was the first work I've done in class, since there is no homework, but of course I didn't really have to do any research and no one knew enough about it to contradict me anyway! I recorded some showtunes on my little dictaphone and played selections from Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game, Hair, and Spring Awakening for them - it was pretty ghetto, but they enjoyed it. Broadway is so expensive. But it's still got good stuff. Bernstein's On the Town is playing here right now to great reviews.
I will probably see just one more show before I go, and oh how French it will be: Cyrano de Bergerac at the Comédie Française! I hope we can get in. I've managed to see a great variety of things here, my favorite being the very classical (but comic) interpretations of Shakespeare and Molière, with the performers in white-face and doing an almost commedia dell'arte clowning act. It's very charming and theatrical, not really part of the American repertoire. And it's especially nice when seen in a cute little theater that serves hot mulled wine.
Well, I hope to see you for noël - stop by and have some French chocolate, because I will have a lot of it! Bisous!