Bonjour tout le monde! My name is Scott and I’d like to welcome you to my first On Location blog post, coming to you from the sunny climes of Toulouse in the south of France.
I arrived here around two weeks ago and although I would say that I am still very much finding my feet, I am really enjoying my new life. While I don’t feel homesick, I have admittedly been suffering from a little dépaysement, or “disorientation”, due to the sudden change of culture and scenery. But the weather is warm, the food is great, the city has a great buzz and I have made friends with a lot of fellow Erasmus students, so I’m sure I’ll have a good time!
In my first few days here, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a rooftop soirée for the opening of a trendy new sushi restaurant in town. France, and particularly southern France, is known for its love of la gastronomie– the culture of good food – and while it’s very true that the French produce some wonderful local dishes, their love of all things food allows them to accept and embrace all sorts of regional specialities from around the world. One of my French friends told me it was going to be a very chic affair and that at these types of parties, il faut se mettre sur son 31 – “you must wear your best clothes” or “you must be dressed to the nines”. Indeed, for les Toulousains (the residents of Toulouse), this idiomatic expression also serves as quite an amusing pun, since the city is located in the 31st département, or region, of France. On my friend’s advice, I attended the event en smoking (in my tuxedo) and joined in la dégustation (the sampling) of the various dishes offered. The opening proved to be a great success and everyone had a great evening!
Even in my first couple of weeks here, I have seen that Toulouse has a lot to offer and I am excited about the prospect of discovering it all and sharing my discoveries with you. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog and I’ll be back soon with more On Location French. À très bientôt!