So I am suffering from a serious backlog of blog posts - I get ideas that spring into my head during the day for things to write about and I rarely catch myself with a free evening in which to write about them. Nightmare.
So this week saw Mardi Gras. Yesterday in fact. I had previously discussed this with my French flatmates - for whom "Pancake Day" is different. It is celebrated on a different day, for one and therefore does not mark the start of Lent. I think it was February 2nd, but don't quote me on that.
I still celebrated pancake day - I love pancakes as Chaynaya Lozhka in St Petersburg soon came to appreciate. I thought I'd do it in the most French way possible (in my interpretation) and got ready made crepes (I'm too cheap to buy a frying pan) which I microwaved and doused in confiture du lait, which is probably the best invention since lait itself.
(For those not in the know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confiture_de_lait)
It's not quite as delicious as Сгущенка, Russian condensed milk, but it was pretty incredible all the same.
Instead, French people like to dress up. This became apparent when I was in a translation seminar surrounded by people in sombreros and Zorro costumes. All us English people were convinced we'd missed the party invite - but my sadness at not being invited was soon replaced by pancakey goodness.
This week also sees Valentine's Day. If you did not know, you would have to have lived in a cave for the last week or so, due to the prevalence of bright red signage and love hearts all over our highstreets. The French are known for their love of lingerie, so this would appear to be peak season for buying it. Indeed, the local Carrefour have a huge temporary section dedicated to all things lacey at the front of their store - presumably for blokes who are in a bit of a dash!
As for me? I'm going to Paris for the weekend - who ever thought of a better way to spend one's 21st birthday?