Tag Archives: crepes

Breton Pride

2 Dec

Soooo.  When I chose to study abroad in Bretagne (Brittany to you non-French speaking people) I had a vague understanding that the region was different from the rest of France, but for the most part I really had no idea

about it’s long history (here’s the Wikipedia entry if you need to brush up) and how that its impact is still very much present today.

The people here are fiercely proud of their heritage and its very common to see the Breton flag on bumper stickers, in shops, and even in murals/graffiti on the sides of buildings.

Which is why I find it particularly interesting that it seems to me that many of the “French stereotypes” come from Bretagne.

For example, that whole stripes thing.  First of all, this is one stereotype that is very much alive and well- I see people wearing stripes all the time- but the history of the stripes comes from Bretagne’s fishermen.  So the whole striped nautical thing is actually a Breton thing….and check out the Breton flag itself: stripe-y.

Another thing that France is famous for is its crepes.  I don’t know the whole history of it, but for some reason, they are native to Bretagne.  There are creperies- restaurants that serve only crepes and galettes- all over Rennes but they aren’t as prolific in other areas of the country.

There are other stereotypes of Bretagne that I’m glad have not permeated France, however.  This would be the Andouillette (which is technically Alsatian, but since I ordered it in Rennes, I’m blaming Bretagne. Ha. ), and the whole Bretagne Hippie style which is really really unfashionable…I wish I had a photo that encompassed this trend, but google image search has failed me in this department.

Other stereotypes of France that I’ve noticed are so incredibly true, but are so not limited to Bretagne:

1. Smoking.  I would say the majority of French people smoke and a large percentage of those people seem to roll their cigarettes.  They have these cute little pouches they keep their tobacco in.  Its a whole other side of accessories that I had never thought of.  Anyway, you’ll see students leaving classes with their tobacco pouch and a bag of filters in one hand and they’ll start to roll as soon as they get out the door.  Also you’ll often see people with cigarettes in their mouths on the metro, waiting for the doors to open,  so they are prepared to light up the second they hit fresh air.

2. Strikes aka Grèves.  Yes.  In my short time here, I have witnesses countless protests, railworkers strikes, marches etc etc.  Basically the French are very vocal about their right to strike and voice complaints about their country or their situation. I’m pretty sure there is a grève des sans-papiers going on right now- which is a undocumented workers strike.  Needless to say, undocumented workers striking is sort of an oxymoron, but people living in France who don’t even have the right to strike are going on strike.

3. Baguettes.  Enough said. This one is true beyond belief.  In the “Restos” or the university cafeterias, you get a free baguette roll with whatever you order…even if you dont really want it.  Haha.

More stereotype debunking to come (nudity, hotness, eyesight, fashion sense, etc)!!

xxo

Discovering La Marché Des Lices

5 Sep

The Marché des Lices was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.

If you like markets, scratch that- if you like food at all, you would love the Marché des Lices.  I can’t wait to take my mom and sister there when they visit.  There is no way to explain how massive and amazing it is, other than to actually experience it.

I didn’t want to look like an utter tool, taking millions of photos, so I only snapped a few.  Here are the results:

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There were even vendors making fresh crepes, to-order, while we waited.  It was my first truly French crepe and it was delicious!  I could hardly believe that it only cost €1!

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We even caught some tap dancers performing.  That was priceless.  It was probably one of those “you had to be there” things, so I wont bore you with the pictures.

One more amusing thing that happened today:

As Barbara and I were leaving the Carrefour, we discovered some sort of festival going on (practically in our backyard).  The best part: French country western linedancers.

No, you did not hear read me incorrectly.  FRENCH COUNTRY WESTERN LINE DANCERS.  There apparently is a group in Rennes and that is their thing!  They were performing and I had to get a couple pictures and a video, it was so priceless.  The funny thing was that they were so French the way they danced.  They were all dressed up (they even had God Bless America-type denim chambray shirts on!), but they showed very little enthusiasm, although I suppose the stoic look is one the French do best.  Here is the evidence (gotta love the guy in the back left):

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I’ll add the video once I get it uploaded to Youtube.

There is more to say (like always), but I just don’t have the time right now.  I need to clean up (myself and my room) before going out tonight.  Luckily, I’ll be able to sleep in and relax tomorrow, which means I’ll probably be able to write a bunch…but don’t hold me to that!

Have a fantabulous Saturday evening.

xxo

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