22 August 2015

On Time Changes And Food

Landed at JFK on one side of midnight. Got back to my place on the other.  A day change, on top of a time change.  My body is in a kind of temporal spasmosis, drifting off and waking up between Eastern Daylight Time and Greenwich +1, which is six hours later.  So, even though there's been nary a cloud in the sky, I haven't ridden today. 

In the past, it's taken a day for my body to acclimate to time shifts.  I'm hoping the same holds true this time.  The trip that just ended was the first I took across multiple time zones in four years.  Does age diminish one's ability to acclimate to time changes?

I'm sipping an iced tea and thinking about some of the food I ate in Paris.  As I was there for only ten days, I decided to stick to more or less traditional French food and not to try, for example, the Korean barbecue  near the hotel or any of the other "exotic" restaurants one can find in the City of Light. 

On previous trips, when I spent more time in Paris and in France, I tried and enjoyed local versions of Chinese, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern and other cuisines.  I also have eaten French regional specialties on their home turf:  bouillabaisse on the Cote d'Azur, cassoulet in the Toulouse region and quenelles in Lyon, for example. 

I have eaten enough meals in France (I once lived there and have returned several times before the trip I just took) that I can say that not every single one of them was wonderful. However, some were and I can say that, on average, one has as good a chance of enjoying a savory meal in France as in any other country.  

Of course, good food is always a result of good ingredients and preparation. But part of the sensual pleasure of eating has to do with its presentation:  something the French seem to understand better than just about anyone else.  Nearly all foods have at least some inherent appeal; it seems that the only people in this world who rival the French in their ability to enhance that appeal are the Italians.

One sees such skills on display equally in four-star restaurants as in local cafes, in the homes of French people (the ones into which I've been invited, anyway) and in hotel kitchens.  It can even be seen in a local fruit shop, like this one just up the block from the hotel in which I stayed:


There are definitely worse things to see on one's way out of a country.

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