Nov 14th 2007... Caroline gives her first lecture at UBC. In a jam-packed 45 minute class, my little sister deftly circumnavigates the major landmarks of 20th Century Chinese History, tossing out acronyms as casually as some people spit. Her students write down everything she says. We sit in the back row, silently cheering her on.
My sister Caroline happened to be in the West End this evening and dropped by my place to see if I'd like to go for dinner with her friend Josh and his boyfriend Zhou Tong. We went for sushi at Kadoya's on Davie (so good). Of the four of us, I was the only one who didn't speak fluent Mandarin!
Last night, everyone came over to my cousin Nathalie's apartment to celebrate Christmas. We exchanged presents, sang traditional French carols, and had a delicious meal with smoked salmon, salads, champagne, wine, and a fantastic assortment of deserts (chocolate truffles, christmas logs, cakes, pastries, fruits de la passion!!!). The tree was decorated with real burning candles.
Yesterday evening I had dinner with my cousin Ninon and her husband Georges at their house across town. Ninon took me there on the back of her scooter. Ninon drives like a true Parisian; weaving her way through rush hour traffic, she confided that riding her scooter is "tres therapeutic." Dinner was great. Bettina and Valentine charmed me with their usual skill.
I woke up at 6:15am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Instead of fighting the jetlag I took my camera and walked down to Le Pont Des Arts where I waited for the sun to rise (click on the photo to see a larger version).
I had my first croissant for breakfast yesterday. I dream of fresh croissants and real baguette with tea and jam all year long.
The only thing that's better than a real french breakfast is a real french breakfast with my grandmother. Grand Maman is 94. I used to see her every summer when I was a kid. She would come with us to her summer house in the little village of St Genies in the Dordogne and drive me and my sister around the countryside to visit castles and caves in a beat up old Renault 4L which she manoeuvered like a Formula 1. If we fought, she would threaten to kick us out and make us run behind the car. Grand Maman is the glue that keeps the family together. I love her very much.