eat, pray, eat again: notes from Lyon
Bridge Over the Saône
Snippets ripped directly from my diary. Some more stray thoughts from France:
16.7.17 Lyon, France
-Restaurants and waiters must know how susceptible tourists are. I just spent way too much money at a burger joint because the language barrier led me to order a burger, fries, drink, and dessert. For lunch. I don't need all that food, but the Canada Dry was really refreshing so maybe the good Lord works in mischievous ways.
-Jean Louis, my AirBnb host in Beaune, came to my window (with a shirt ON this time) at 7:55, saying "it's 8 o'clock, GUY". Well it wasn't yet 8 o'clock, and he also must have forgotten we moved our departure time to 8:15 (which was still much too early for a 8:56 train- I ended up waiting for a while after a trip to the boulangerie). I was going to get up early and head back to Beyer to get another life-changing almond croissant but the bed felt so nice. I'm glad I was under the covers when Jean Louis barged in because I was completely nude underneath.
-Lyon is a very hip town, or so it seems. The vibe here feels like Chicago, in a way. A lot of young people and the Starbucks was nice (lol) but they also have actual coffee shops like NY (which were absent in Paris and Beaune) and a changing food landscape- much more fusion food and a large Asian population. Per Ann Mah's book Mastering the Art of French Eating, Lyon is famous for salade Lyonnaise, which Julien (my Batman-loving, French dreamboat AirBnb host) confirmed and recommended I try while I'm here. I also want to make sure I brave it and try andouillette, but I am still a little scared 😳. Not the first time I've been scared of a sausage.
-I wonder if it's okay with god to snap selfies in ancient prayer sites.
-Think I might hit up some gay bars after dinner and see what the scene is like. Remember George: Confidence! Order! Cleanliness! Elusiveness. Design. Versatility. Harmony.
-Rewatching Fellowship of the Ring, which my AirBnb had on DVD. Aragorn is totally completely hot. Like, I'm awakening all over again. Also how come the wraith leaders take zero time to get to the shire but Frodo takes three movies?
-What's going to happen when my white shoes get dirty? Kill myself, I suppose.
-I think the one thing on everyone's mind here is Marine Le Pen needs a better haircut.
-"You're in great shape!" he said to a baguette.
-I need to host more dinner parties where my hidden agenda is to get people in my apartment and thrust them into an Albee play.
-Self-reminder when I get home to look up a song called "Symphony". It's on at XS, and I fucking love it.
17.7.17 Lyon, France
-I'm terrified I'm going to meet the man of my dreams but not get his references.
18.7.17 Lyon, France
-I think Diane Lane is at the cafe across the street, because she would. Or maybe its Faye Dunaway. Or maybe it's my queer subconscious.
-I'm slowly embracing onions in my life. I always hated them and they still aren't my favorite but I've been brave enough to not scrape them off my sandwich. I deserve a medal, god damnit!
My memory instantly jumps to the coffee shop in Eugene where I went every single day and I ordered their french onion soup once because it was chilly out and sounded tasty. Well this thing was LOADED with onions. I would scoop them out and Coby pointed at one near me and I jumped like it was a serpent.
-I bought some wine at a wine shop on the other side of the island- a white (for tomorrow) and a red (for ce soir). The clerk said I had good taste and asked if I was in the wine business, which is either a joke or he’s absolutely deluded because i look like the boss baby and have no business being in the wine industry. Alas, it made me feel good.
-Sitting at Imouto, a sort of French-Japanese fusion place that's Michelin recommended. I feel like an idiot because I think I ordered the canard a shade too done. He seemed surprised I wanted it medium, after suggesting medium rare. What kind of mistake have I made? Am I going to look back in 29 years and say what an idiot- MEDIUM! CANARD!!
-Wowwwww this woman just walked in wearing a verrrry audacious outfit and kind of looks like Mrs. Roper meets Wilma Flinstone. What a genius concept for a show, The Flintstones.
-The food was just immaculate. One of my favorite meals so far on the trip! And a woman at the table across the way just wheezed for about 6 seconds before giving into utter laughter. One of my friends does that when she's drunk, and it's just one of my favorite things.
19.7.17 Lyon, France
-Sitting at LEON. Disappointed because I schlepped all the way from Reu Pasteur to go to La Hugonniere. Well restaurants in France open for lunch then close again before dinner, not a free-for-all like in America. It's a little frustrating, but I appreciate the commitment. Chez Hugon was closed (though technically open for another hour). I was right near it but decided I should go home and change out of my running clothes and put my raspberries in the fridge. I ended up popping open the bottle of white I bought last night (a really flavorful Spanish wine that I just love) because in France it’s not only okay to drink a bottle of wine at 1pm, it’s encouraged.
-I have a little game I like to play with myself to see how quickly I can erode my enamel.
-French people seem to be obsessed with Saint Jean-Baptiste. I wonder what that's all about.
-Was Europe really at one time all the Roman Empire?? What happened?? Why don't I already know all about this? Is this why I didn't get into Carnegie Mellon?
-The Musée des Beaux-Arts has a great Egyptian section. I would like to go to Egypt. Take a boat on the Nile and see who dies.
-I just creeped and took a photo of a cute museum employee. He's probably 20, has on dark very skinny grey jeans with Grey socks and black sneakers and a forest green long sleeve shirt and his hair looks like Sora from Kingdom Hearts and he has my heart (for the next 15 minutes).
-What are people going to say in 200 years? There will be SO MUCH content. I am lucky to live today when I can cipher through almost everything worthwhile in my lifetime and find the best of the best and feel accomplished. Whats going to happen in 200 years? The 3000 movies you must watch before you die? What will happen to literature?? The future is exciting but exasperating. Maybe you can watch/enjoy books and films by inserting a chip or file into your brain so it takes no time at all. But what about all the time it takes to understand things? To feel them? To ponder and pose? To absorb them and let them sink into you, only to circle back decades later and have them hit you from completely different (and surprising) angle?
-Been listening to a lot of Dolly Parton. I really don't know what it is about Europe that brings out the American country/folk lover in me, but here we are. There's a song called "Better Get to Livin'" that I keep listening to and thinking about my life.
-I made it to Le Poêlon d'Or for dinner, despite my misgivings that I should order pizza to go and spend the night drinking in the flat watching Batman. I ordered une verre de vin rouge et Foie grad du canard (!!) and the Quenelle (which has a sort of crayfish inside- it was either that or the dreaded andouillette that I keep postponing- the waiter gave me recommendations so I followed that suit).
-Two quick things:
- i keep watching newsies regional video promos and crying and wanting to smooch everyone in the cast. I'm in college again.
- I forgot what else I wanted to say.
-This place is really bistro-esque. Square, wooden (but polished) tables, red aviator ceilings with a big bar. I'm right by the kitchen so it's fun to see all that drama. Kitchen drama is probably my favorite. Why can't we have a Grey's Anatomy set in a restaurant?
-I want to throw a proper, proper dinner party. With well-chosen cloth napkins. And the food made ahead of time.
-It's astonishing how much life there is when you let yourself look up.
-One of the sacred things in this life for me is dipping bread into sauces.