I want to share one of my favorite stories from my time abroad in Nice. It encapsulates a lot of my favorite things about Niçois/French culture: crêpes, the North African influence in the south of France, and a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Ok, the last one wasn't specific to French culture, but that's not important.
Here is my story.
During my last week in Nice, my friend Meredith came to visit! We had a wonderful week catching up on each other’s study abroad experiences, and I had the pleasure of being able to show her firsthand what the highlights of my life in France have been.
She also arrived with a short list of things of French things she wanted to do. One of the biggest items on this list was to have a proper French crêpe. Being in a homestay, I’ve had crêpes a few times this semester, but only at home and never at a crêperie. In short, I didn’t really know where the best places were for crêpes. There was one restaurant near my apartment that advertised 1 savory crêpe + 1 dessert crêpe + 1 cup of cider as a package deal.
But no, because why would it be easy to find crêpes in France?
Day 1 of the crêst:
We were coming back from Antibes by train in the evening, and by the time we got back it was getting late. On top of that, I got turned around because I am me and knowing where I am is a challenge, ok? We got to the restaurant at about 10pm, by which time it was closed. However, the North African restaurant across the street was open, bless their hearts. Hungry stomachs are the real rulers so we gave up the crêst for the night and gave in to…Algerian pizza. Don’t ask. I still don’t know. But it was good so who cares!
Day 2 of the crêst:
An important part of French culture is their burning need to close everything on Sundays. So, after coming back from the honey festival in a neighboring town, we tried one more time to get crêpes at the same restaurant. But, you guessed it! It’s closed on Sundays. Do you know which places to eat are open on Sundays? Kebab places. Do you know which kebab places have crêpes? None of them. But who decided to advertise that they have crêpes? A kebab place.
Well, just to make sure, I asked the proprietor if they served savory crêpes and he seemed very sincere when he said, “Yes, with egg and cheese.” Perfect, sounds like a crêpe to me!
After much anticipation, we were served…tortillas. I kid you not, our Sunday dinner was closer to a breakfast burrito than a crêpe. Granted, it wasn’t bad, but when I ask directly for a crêpe, I mean I would like to eat a crêpe.
Day 3 of the crêst:
After 2 failed attempts, I didn’t want to take my chances. I asked my friend Austin who I know has eaten out more often than I have as he lives in his own apartment in Nice. He gave me a great recommendation for a crêperie on the port. Meredith and I both ordered delicious crêpes. (She got a ham and cheese savory crêpe and a Grand Marnier dessert crêpe; I got a ham and cheese savory crêpe and a blueberry jam dessert crêpe.)
The struggles like this are some of the most memorable experiences from a semester abroad and our crêst is one of my favorite memories from the semester. I mean, when we’re eating good food either way, can we really complain?
- See more at: http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/blogs/micha562umnedu/…