Thursday, August 4, 2011

France day 5: Sugar is sweet and so is this cereal

First, a couple pictures from last night's outdoor movies. When I signed up to do an exchange in Tours and to take classes, I thought that French classes were all my school would be offering. But to my pleasant surprise, my school employs an animatrice whose job is too organize activities for us. Everyday there's things to do in the afternoon and evening. Last night, Lucie arranged a trip for us to go watch short films outside right by La Loire.  Six short films from several different countries were played, the longest one being half an hour, and the shortest, 6. This city really does a good job of organizing outdoor festivals and attractions in the summer, there was even free popcorn. My favourite short movie was "RIEN DE GRAVE", which is about a flight instructor that fails to help an airplane that's about to crash. Check it out!

Behind the movie screen in the picture you can see Le Guingettes, which is like an outdoor bar/cafe/dance floor. It's open everyday, but sadly, last call is at midnight. A good post-dinner place to pre. The story of the Guingettes is that long ago, merchants that travelled along the river would stop at Tours and sell their goods right at the edge of the river. Because they weren't technically entering the town, they weren't taxed for importing their products. Somehow, this eventually turned into a river bar/cafe/dance floor.

Now, onto breakfast. America may be infamous for producing the junkiest, most obesity-inducing packaged foods but Froot Loops have nothing on Carées Vanille. Froot Loops have 25g of sugar per serving (and yes, I am totally a freak for knowing that by heart), but these vanilla icing filled wheat squares offer 40g, or 10 teaspoons per serving.

A bowl of Carées vanille with whole milk (and here, it's always whole milk), now that's a breakfast for champions. To sweeten the deal (pun so intended), this cereal is also available in a chocolate-hazelnut noisettes flavour. YUM! I like to alternate it with Master Crumble, a granola-like cereal with chocolate chips.

What surprises me most is that all the cereal sold is sugary. I was always under the impression that the French ate wholesome healthful foods for breakfast but I have yet to see boxes of Kashi or puffed wheat in grocery stores here. I suppose that in a country where cheese is itself a course during a meal and white bread is a staple food, dessert-like breakfasts can be expected. Check out this CRUNCH chocolate bar cereal. I'm so bringing back a box. Or two.

There's a hip-hop dance, thing, tonight, or as they say here: eep-op. I think I'm gonna abstain. . . I don't, uh, eep-op.

Leaving for Paris as soon as class finishes tomorrow, I'll try to write something up if I can my wifi to work (pronounced: wee-fee). Oh, the French.

PS. I don't want to bore you all with more reading, so here's a couple more pictures of my day.

I like to keep a 1:1 ratio of coffee to cereal consumption

mmmm, whole milk

Un croque, crispy cheesy goodness

A grocery store that only sells frozen foods
Ugh, homework time
A 'small' coffee, even the 'large' is smaller than an sbux 'tall'

Up the stairs to divination, jk
Une chouquette, mmmm

Rue de Bordeaux

Found the H&M!

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