No, sadly, France is not really passing out free wine nor have I succumbed to Lockdown Lunacy. It’s APRIL FOOLS DAY! Happy AFD!
The French have a slightly different take on the day than the U.S. does. On April 1st, people here use paper fish to play an April Fools trick. This involves sticking a paper fish onto the back of as many adults as possible, and then running away yelling Poisson d’Avril (April Fish!). Sounds like something from Monty Python, doesn’t it?
This is a tradition that dates back to 1564, when the French King switched the country from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, moving the New Year from April 1st to January 1st. No, that’s not more AFD tomfoolery from me. But, if I was you, I’d check my back…
As long as we’re discussing strange phrases, today’s local expression of the day is Couilles dans le vin rouge. Its literal translation is “testicles in the red wine” but it really means that “things are going pretty well”. It’s not the only testicle-related French phrase available, of course, but most of them signify something bad.
Although it sounds uncomfortable and is certainly a waste of fine red wine, it’s used to signify that everything’s good, the equivalent of “rolling in clover” or “being as happy as a hog in shit”. Like most good French phrases, this one can be traced back to Napoleon.*
Last Sunday, we had pancakes on the breakfast menu, but neither one of us wanted to actually mix the batter and cook pancakes. Instead, we took the easy, Monoprix way out with a few packages of ready-made, toaster pancakes. Unlike the ones you see in the U.S., these were fresh, not frozen, and they were very tasty.
Marti had a nice jug of real Massachusetts Maple Syrup on hand that she brought back from the U.S. and it was just the thing for our breakfast. Are “pancake breakfasts” still a fund-raising thing? I remember when fire houses, high schools, and churches used to have them all the time for that purpose. Apparently the Kiwanis Club is still holding them.
The U.S. Embassy in Paris notified me today that I can apply through the local police for an extension to my 90-day Schengen visa, and directed me to the police prefecture website, which has a page of information about doing so. It said to apply I have to provide various documents, including proof that the situation back in the U.S. is “too awful to return to”. I thought perhaps a photo of Donald Trump might suffice for that document.
The Paris Lockdown Lunch for the last few days has included one of my favorites, steamed Artichokes with garlic mayo and butter, and a Spanish Tempranillo wine and, today, steamed veges with sausage, butter, and parmesan, brown bread, and a lovely Cotes du Bourg Bordeaux.
Stay safe, practice strong social distancing, and keep your body parts out of the wine,
* Yes, Couilles dans le vin rouge is just another April Fools joke.