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Here’s how you can tell:


Look, Ma, no socks!

Anyway. This morning I was planning a trip to the Bibliothèque Nationale to read some operetta libretti for what I’m hoping will eventually be a recital of operetta arias, when I realized with a jolt that I am, in fact, still on vacation. I don’t have to be productive until Wednesday. “Yupee!” I cried, jubilantly throwing my notebook to the ground. (Well, actually, I didn’t throw it to the ground because the ground–or rather, the carpet–got tidied up at 2:30 this morning when I couldn’t sleep. That was what I was originally planning on doing today.)

So I decided to practice (which is equal parts fun and work, really), then take a walk to Alésia. The weather was spectacular, dry and cool, with sunshine and big fluffy clouds in the sky. I stopped into the boucherie on boulevard Jourdan to see if they had caviar d’aubergines (negative), then continued on my merry way to that cute bakery/café I’d seen at the corner of Boulevard Leclerc and Rue Alésia (this is for all of you following my adventures with your Paris maps at home). I read a little bit, drank a café crème with quite a bit of sugar in, and then treated myself to a trip to the organic–BIO–supermarket.



You can’t actually go grocery shopping at the bio supermarket. Well, maybe you can, but you’d have to be quite wealthy–sort of like going grocery shopping at the Grand Épicerie. But it is so much fun, and sometimes can be incredibly comforting. Take brown rice, for instance. Brown rice is not really the done thing in Paris. The big Carrefour in my area stocks brown rice, but only the generic brand, and only in a rather small box. But behold:



Long grain! Short grain! Basmati! Jasmine! Sushi! Tremendously exciting.

I took my camera around the store taking sneak-attack pictures of things that amused me (I’m never sure whether I’m going to get in trouble for taking pictures of merchandise).


It’s the Russian nesting dolls of cheese!


I am not actually sure if these jars of eggplant caviar could get any smaller. Anyway, containers that small are kind of pointless for me, since I can go through an immense amount of the stuff in just a couple of days. It’s the new hummus!

I also discovered applesauce that was flavored with crème de marrons (chestnut cream), which is utter heaven. (Well, no, I mean, a Mont Blanc pastry with chestnut cream all over it would be heaven. Actually, even chestnut cream by itself would be heaven. This is slightly-less-caloric heaven that doesn’t involve me eating chestnut cream out of the can with a spoon.) I bought a little panier with two cups of the stuff, and I ate one before writing this entry so that I could give the blogosphere a reliable report. Obviously. (I also took pictures of the containers while I was in the store, but my camera seems to have eaten them–not that I blame it!).

And then I walked home, watching the dark clouds slowly descending over Porte d’Orléans. A few minutes after I got back to my room, it started to rain. What timing!