Dylan, Grace, and I were welcomed to France by Maud, Camille, and Gabrielle at the airport, after the brutal almost ten-hour flight. The correspondents and their parents put our luggage in the car and gave us a tour of France from the car. We got to see the Eiffel tower right off the bat.
In our tour we saw shattered glass and burned down buildings in Paris from the “gilet-jaunes.” If you do not know, the “gilet-jaunes” or “yellow vests” movement, starting in November 2018, formed in protest over rising fuel taxes, high cost of living, and believes that a unfair portion of the government’s tax reforms were falling on the working and middle class.
In an exclusive interview, I asked Maud, my correspondent about these “gilet-jaunes”, she says, “I am for yellow vests because the people manifest for less expensive gasoline. However, after the yellow vests break the markets, I don’t like it. In Paris, they burned cars.”
It was really cool to see in person. Especially since, in French class we learned about them and the riots in Paris, but it’s so different to see them in person.
Yesterday, I was taken to Laval, a city 30 minutes by bus from Chateau-Gontier, with two of Maud’s friends, Chloe and Annaelle. We went to a Laval Virtual and tried some of the virtual reality games. It was really fun.
I was so surprised with how different their meals are. For breakfast, they don’t have eggs or bacon but everything chocolate. In my host family it’s usually warm milk with chocolate powder and chocolate cereal. Of course, also baguettes. They are eaten with butter, rillettes, a preparation of meat usually made of pork that is commonly spread on bread, or nothing. I really enjoy rillettes, it’s really good.
It’s just crazy how many baguettes they eat. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Lunch and dinner, pasta, potatos, baguettes, cheese are the main components.
A few days ago, I ate dinner at Maud’s grandparents’ home and we had Raclette, a cheese and a French dish. We used a table-top grill to melt the cheese in the small pans called coupelles. Then, with the melted cheese we ate cooked potatoes and meats like salami.