La semaine dernière, I went to Offenburg; c’était ma deuxième fois in Germany. Une de mes collègues had said it was une jolie ville to visit, and who am I to ignore les conseils of a local? Il faisait froid in Offenburg, and il y avait un peu de neige which turned to rainy slush rapidement. It was une assez petite ville; this was un avantage pour moi since it eliminated my chances of getting complètement lost.
Il est evident that I am not très cultured, since the highlight of the trip for me was finding the elusive Haribo lemon cola bottles which mon oncle mentioned to me six years ago and I have been trying to find ever since!
On my way back to Strasbourg, j’ai vu une autre ville: Kehl. Besides wandering around an attempted imitation of Woolworths, il n’y avait pas beaucoup à faire. La gare de Kehl was totalement bizarre: there was no indication of when le prochain train would arrive, or from what platform it would depart. Ça n’a aucun sens…
J’ai passé the afternoon à Strasbourg. I saw all ten marchés de Noël (oui, TEN!), the enormous sapin de Noël in Place Kléber and resolved my pretzel-deprived state; by that, I mean I hadn’t had one in une semaine, or maybe deux.
Selon a recent survey, Strasbourg is Europe’s “best Christmas market”. Si vous avez besoin de vérifier this for yourself, here’s the proof: http://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-markets/
Au lycée, I have been playing endless games of Christmas bingo/charades/pictionary (supprimer as appropriate) with almost all the classes cette semaine, alongside being an invigilator encore une fois. Still not convaincue that I would want to be a full-time teacher, but the whole twelve-hours-a-week assistant is proving to be très enjoyable, pour la plupart.
Last Friday, je suis allée au marché de Noël de Kaysersberg with Simone. It was très authentique and not too busy, ce qui était bien. We tried the boisson d’iris; a sort of non-alcoholic, juice-based hot drink which was délicieuse. Honest, we don’t just passer le temps at Christmas markets by drinking the various boissons on offer…
Last samedi, I went to Laurence’s* house to make bredelas, un biscuit traditionnel d’Alsace. On the way to her maison, we could see snow on the Vosges! After a délicieux lunch – including homemade sorbet and jus de mirabelle – Pierre (a teacher of histoire-géographie in my lycée) brought over two of his enfants to help make bredelas. We made étoiles à la cannelle (cinnamon stars) – and the two youngest enfants tried the mixture at every stage of production! We made beaucoup de bredelas; there’s no such thing as trop de bredelas.
Next, nous sommes allés à Breitenbach, a village further up la vallée de Munster, with Pierre’s family. We saw une pièce de théâtre in a barn, with children narrating the true meaning of Noël; très mignon, and absolutely hilarious when one of the wise men said to ‘vient d’Afrique’ had painted his face brown for the occasion…! We then looked round the marché de Noël, which took place in une ancienne brasserie: take note Dad, I went to a Christmas market in an old brewery and il faisait (trop) froid! There were quelques animaux, including une vache which mooed very loudly at Gabriel…who then did his best cow imitation right back at it! The marché de Noël itself was très original; le meilleur stande was the one with the knitted hedgehogs! We then went back to Laurence’s house for some vin chaud (fait à la main by Martin, le mari de Laurence) and to try the bredelas, which were très tasty.
On Sunday soir, I finally got round to watching ‘Les Choristes’; je ne pouvais pas trouver a suitable Christmassy film français, but this sufficed. Pendant the night, je suis tombée malade…not fun in the slightest, especially since je n’ai pas encore la carte vitale; on the plus side I’m now feeling mieux…just in time for la fin de la semaine! Yesterday, Simone and I started watching ‘Les 8 Femmes’…which turned out to be un film totalement fou, so we switched to ‘La Soupe aux Choux’, which was très amusant!
*obviously this is referring to Laurence, ma responsable, and not Laurence, mon copain, since he’s still 6,419km away in Canada – but this will all change bientôt since he is coming to visit on Friday!