I must say I'm glad to be home. The trip was wonderful but although I speak a bit of German, my French is sadly lacking and the stress of not speaking the language, the scarcity of good coffee and very few vegetables has taken its toll! Today I marveled at being able to have a conversation with the check-out clerk at the grocery store. And why don't the French or Germans have vegetables on the menu? It seemed that french fries or other types of potatoes and salad were about it--and yet going to the farmer's markets I saw tons of delicious looking vegetables. Maybe we were eating in the wrong restaurants.
Every cheese in the world is available at the markets--three different types of blue--mild, medium and strong...every kind of sheep and goat cheese you can think of--delicious--and all sorts of other foods, meats and sausages, baked goods including flan and apfelkuchen as well as every kind of fish and shellfish imaginable! I found myself singing, 'food glorious food, hot sausage and mustard, while I'm in the mood, cold porridge and custard..." I am now on a cheese fast after completely overdoing it and baguette is on the no list as well.(not to mention kasekuchen and apfelkuchen) No desserts, and I'm sticking to the whole wheat, seeded, health breads until the extra roll around my middle is gone.
I bet you are shaking your head at my comment about the coffee--the French? bad coffee? you've got to be kidding! Part of the problem was the area we were in--no cows so no fresh milk or cream to add to the espresso--they use condensed milk or milk that comes in a package and sits on the shelf like soy milk or almond milk. And believe me it makes a difference in the taste! Why no cows you ask? The Languedoc is very dry with meagre rainfall and rocky soil. Wonderfully sunny and warm but not conducive for pasture land...Yes, I know I'm an incredible coffee snob but here in the PacificNorthwest where there's a Starbucks on every corner one gets spoiled--of course don't get me started about Starbucks taking over the world because that's also an issue, but I do appreciate them a bit more now.
So I'm back to editing and getting ready for the big push for The Moonstone. My website will be up and running around the middle of the month. I'll post a link here. I've changed the back and front cover format on Createspace several times already, adding excerpts from a review and adding to the title. I'm not sure how many times I can do this before I have to pay extra but hopefully I haven't gone over the limit yet.
It's nice to be back to work, sleeping in my own bed, cooking meals and taking my doggy out for his daily walks. And I'm not feeling quite as negative about everything here as I was before I left. (politics and so on) Traveling is a great way to gain a little perspective.