Xmas in France 2013

Er wow, i have so much work to dive right into (yay!) that i’m just gonna post up some pix of Christmas first and add the words later XD TA! Busy fairy signing out.

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Me scaring Emma

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Oh i wish i had a cellar! A place to keep all our wines in stellar condition! The best we could do in KL is get a cooler i guess.

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In the middle is Delphine, Clem’s cousin who resides in San Fran. Her children Romeo and Lella are next to her.

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Clem’s cousin Manu is a hardcore ACDC fan. I didn’t even take pictures of everything in that room… especially since there are books, mags and probably clothes in the cupboards too!

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We broke open his ACDC beer and wine, wasn’t too bad actually.

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Christmas in Le Mée-sur-Seine

I’ve been here for almost a week (or has it been a week? No matter, i’m on holiday, don’t have to use my brain) and it’s been a continuous run of eating, drinking and opening presents. Spent the first week just outside Paris and just came to Bordeaux a couple of days ago.

We were supposed to come a day earlier but Clem’s grandfather unfortunately passed away on Christmas Day. He’s been unwell for a couple of years and was 88 years old… and we’re glad he managed to see Clem before he passed on. We were staying in their house for the first few days, and he was holding on with the aid of an oxygen machine. He let go a mere hour or two after we left the house for Bordeaux, and we turned back to stay another night with Clem’s grannie and aunty.

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RIP Papi Jacques

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Some pix of when we first arrived in Paris. We took MAS cos they were having a promo, and flew on the airbus a380. I watched Elysium and Definitely, Maybe on the plane, and let me tell you — i was SO excited just to be able to sit down and watch movies and not do anything. (Think i was just too tired from the whole end-of-the-year work rush.)

The seats were big enough for me to curl up and lie down on my side to rest my head on Clem’s lap next to me to sleep, tho i think i got a bit spoilt flying Business Class for blog trips that when i asked the stewardess for what type of red wine they have, i expected her to say something else after “Merlot”. I thought i could get a malbec or pinot noir if i was lucky :p

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Dom and Serge picked us up from the airport at 7am and we went to Christian and Emma’s place for breakfast.

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Christian is Dom’s brother. Here he is showing off his new jacket.

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After breakfast, we went to get some baguette and wine before heading to Clem’s grandparents’ house. Mmmm the wine shop sold so many interesting wine paraphernalia i was tempted to buy! But i was only allowing myself to shop from Bordeaux onwards cos of having to lug luggage around. While they were looking at wines…

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… i went to stare at the shelves of whisky.

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Day 8: Leaving Cap Ferret

I think I’m not going to drink for at least a week. Well, definitely five days at LEAST. I even had a dream last night where people were offering me red wine and I refused. If I were to put in a pile all the food and drink I’ve consumed in the past week, it would form a shockingly large and extravagant heap.

After spending more time with Clem’s parents and their friend, I realise how completely insane they are. So much more than me… I think.
They throw bread at each other.
They draw on each other when they’ve passed out from drinking too much.
There’s a joke that Didier and Nico are gay and to entertain everyone they started kissing each other and took pictures of their shirtless bodies pressed against each other. In my camera, no less.

My camera is full of random people’s body parts, some which I have no idea belongs to whom. Too many pictures from dinner and walking along a street to a club in Cap Ferret. Will add these at a later date for my own ref!

Day 6: Cap Ferret

Clem and I took an hour’s drive from Bordeaux to Cap Ferret yesterday, to stay in his family’s beach house for three nights.

We got to be alone for the first night, his parents and Nico joined us today, and Clem’s friends will join us tomorrow. It’s a lot bigger than I imagined – with seven bedrooms and bathrooms, including one big bedroom with five beds for children. There’s a French pool table downstairs, inflatable boats hanging from a wall to take to the beach, and lots of games to play. Such a cool family house! Clem said he used to come here when he was a kid, where all his cousins and their parents would stay to go to the beach, cook dinners and the kids would give performances on the wide lawn (which he said the adults didn’t watch cos they were too busy drinking).

The interior is contemporary yet typical of a French beach house you’d see in pictures. White wood, cream sofas, large lounge pillows, cute painted wooden seagulls, and other sea-themed deco. The kitchen is the MOST well-equipped kitchen I’ve seen in my life! Pots and pans of EVERY size (I think there are seven different sized pots alone), countless dishes and utensils, some of which I don’t even know the use of.

 

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Day 4: Bordeaux – L’Entrecôte, Modern Art and Pub

Bordeaux’s beautiful Water Mirror aka miroir d’eau (more info below)

Bordeaux’s Stock Exchange Building

[you can listen to the song above while reading this haha. Clem and i love it.]

I faltered today and had my first packet of Maggi mee. Despite all the amazing food i’ve been having, i just really needed my chili fix you know? It’s so comforting to have spicy salty soup especially when i wake up – which is when i usually have curry laksa, or chicken rice and soup. I’m carrying around the packet of chili powder Chelle gave me like a typical Asian. (It’s something that would appear on a YouTube vid: Shit Asians do overseas.) The maggi soup is even better during the chilly mornings. Weather here is not what i expected. I asked Clem whether a typical summer is like this and he said, “NO. This is weird. This is not summer!” Mornings are a chilly and rainy 16°C, before the sun comes out intermittently from lunch time to 8pm. When the sun’s out, it’s practically hot, but the moment it goes behind a cloud and the wind starts blowing… i’m grappling for my jacket.

Clem and i had a really nice day out together. For lunch we went to L’Entrecôte and i was SO EXCITED. It’s one of my favourite restaurants IN THE WORLD. I wrote about it before *HERE*. We didn’t have to queue as long as last time, but still waited about 20 minutes. I was so excited, holding my stomach, and telling Clem, “This is gonna be one of the HAPPIEST DAYS of my life!”

L’Entrecôte serves steak frites and nothing else for mains. We ordered ours blue and rare. All the pieces are finely hand cut by a man who does that all day, and they come drenched in the most sinful butter sauce. It was so good… i’m salivating looking at this picture again and may ask Clem to take me back there again the day before i leave Bordeaux.

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Day 3: Paris-Bordeaux

Didier and his buddy Nico drove six hours from Paris to Bordeaux, with Clem and i in the backseat of the car. We only stopped once – to grab a quick sandwich and use the bathroom. We might have reached half an hour earlier if a white van hadn’t blown up on the highway and caused a jam, but it was quite a drama with two fire engines edging their way through towards it. By the fifth hour into the journey, i was playfully hitting Clem for fun cos i was SO fidgety and bored (had already napped and read all i could) and he was hitting me back. Soon we were in a wrestling match with each of us warning the other, “YOU stop!” “Don’t continue and cry!” “You hit too hard!” “You started it!” We both finally stopped and i observed, “Hmm. Now we know why kids always start fighting at the back after being in the car for so long…”

Before the dreary car journey, I had the most EXCITING time EXPLORING Jean Paul and Mimi’s house earlier that morning. When i first arrived in their house the night before, we sat ourselves down for food and wine in the living room next to the warm fireplace. During the course of our meal, i observed the most interesting bits and bobs of decorations, pictures, paintings, furnishings and what-have-you in every corner and angle. What a lamp! What a painting! Who’s in that picture? I couldn’t wait to explore!

 

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