Thursday, June 3, 2010

We made it through one week! It has become somewhat of a habit being here in Montpellier. Every morning I know exactly what bus to take and what tram to catch and where I need to get off. I do not exaggerate when I say that the trams reflect a war zone. Getting off of the tram, when it is at maximum capacity, is dreadful. In America you would be appalled if someone pushed you out the way, but here it is the custom. So I too, push.
This past week we have been to some new and exciting places in and outside of Montpellier. Feeling a little cooped up, or rather like I continue to see the same things in Place de la Comédie, a small group and I went to the Notre Dame Des Tables museum. At this juncture we explored the ruins of a church left in ruins beneath the Place Jean Juarés and learned about the unique growth of Montpellier as it became a city of modernism.
This is a picture taken of me in the Notre Dame Des Tables. While we were down in the rubble of the 10th century church, we got to see some genuine human bones resting in a dug out grave quarter. It was quite interesting and explained the rustic smell that was surrounding us down there.
Later that night, the group met up at 6:00 p.m. for our dinner date. We played ‘follow the leader’ through the city of Montpellier until we arrived at La Quita Penas, Bar á Vin-Tapas. This was essentially an outdoor/indoor bar which had a menu based solely on appetizer cuisine. I tried the calamari, octopus and tortilla con patatas. I painstakingly enjoyed all three of my spontaneous choices. The octopus was plainly a whole baby octopus, tentacles and all, battered with oil based garlic sauce, and well, at least I think it was garlic.

This photo was taken at the Tapas Bar as we were waiting for the food, and tending to a beer called Leffe. It is very different at restaurants here, because the French view the dinner as a time for conversation and enjoyment of company. As Americans, many of the students have difficulty waiting for the food because it takes so long, since we are accustomed to “get in and get out” American attitude. I in truth get pleasure from going to restaurants where I get to discover new tastes and cuisine where I may have thought in the past was actually unpalatable.


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