Warm Couscous and Spooky Wind

Since today is J’s birthday, she, Ml, N, and I celebrated by eating out during the lunch break. (Only in France do teachers have enough time to ditch the campus for a restaurant lunch.) N drove us to La Rose des Sables, or “The Rose of the Sands,” which provided absolutely no hint as to what we’d be eating.

Luckily, N explained to a bewildered me that, due to the influx of immigrants after the Algerian war, North African food is the most popular ethnic cuisine in France. I got to have real couscous for the first time, and it was delicious and absolutely nothing like the fake Estes dish. N also suggested I try merguez, a spicy sausage…which wasn’t spicy at all. (This is coming from someone who feels betrayed when she asks her family, “Is that spicy?” and they reply no, and then I eat the food in question and have to shovel something else into my mouth.) The French may have incredible bread and cheese, but they have absolutely no idea how to handle spices.

Ml paid for everything (except dessert, which was on the house), because as she claimed, “It’s not a lot.” I don’t know how she thinks 12 euros per person isn’t expensive, but I’m not about to complain. Not when I could write an article titled, “What Not to Say to a Grieving Person,” and every single quote would be something that’s left her mouth.

After work, R drove me home, and when I remarked her son’s the same age as me, she said, “He’s not as mature as you,” prompting me to go, “I have to get out of this car right now immediately” because you shouldn’t ever compliment me. And then when I did, the wind promptly turned my umbrella inside out. Thanks, wind. At least you played a part in cancelling school tomorrow because we’re supposed to get copious amounts of snow?

And…as I’m typing this, there are 35mph winds terrifying me through my earphones. If I never update this blog again, it’s because I accidentally walked outside and got blown away. Or because the electricity went out, taking down my heater and leaving me to freeze in a room with a radiator that hasn’t worked all year. Or because I can’t use my hot plates and microwave to cook, and all the food in the fridge spoiled. Whichever one gets me first. This is fine.

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