I've been busy writing my research paper and haven't gotten a chance to tell about my trip to France. I flew into Carcassone last Friday and my friend, John, picked me up there. I got to go to the castle in Carcassone. We ate lunch at a cafe inside the castle, but had rather American food...pizza. There are pictures of the castle if you click on my pictures link. The castle was amazing. I can't believe the detail in the architecture. Really...I think our architecture is losing something. We've gone from artistic tile floors, beautiful woodwork and brickwork to vinyl siding and plaster. Something's wrong with that! Friday night, I experienced a traditional French dinner. A good three hours of eating. I had froi gras. It's some kind of duck liver patee. When in France, eat what the French eat, right? Well, since I'm sick now, I think I'll skip the weird stuff next time.
Saturday was the best. We went to the street market and bought everything we needed for an awesome breakfast. After that we drove out in the country and visited a few vineyards. At the first vineyard, an older guy came out to our care. John speaks 100% more French than I do (I don't speak any!), so he asked the guy if we could try the wine. The wife came out and treated us to a wonderful wine tasting experience. She, speaking precious little English and John speaking precious little French made it all the more interesting!
Ben Harper happened to be in Toulouse on Saturday night, so of course we went to the concert. It was awesome. Quite possibly the best concert of my life. I was surprised that there were so many fans in France. There were 7 or 8,000 people there I'd guess. It was a huge sports arena type of place. It was general admission, so I was pretty close to the front. Nearly all my favorite songs were played, so I was ecstatic! John's never really listened to the band before, but he enjoyed the concert too.
My big paper is due on Friday. I have a test on Friday too. I guess life is back to normal. Not that being a grad student in Ireland is normal!
Keep in touch!