22 October 2009

a walk up (and down) the hill

I love walking around in Croix Rousse.

It's a section of Lyon that's on the hill, with narrow streets loaded with curious façades and passageways. It's hip and artsy here, but there's never too much traffic -- at least not when I'm wandering around, which is usually earlier in the day. I just meander about this way and that way (thank you, whoever invented GPS), stopping here and there to take photos.

Speaking of artsy, I think Croix Rousse has the best selection of graffiti in Lyon.

When I first came to Lyon, I was very surprised at the amount of graffiti that littered the city. Here we were in a lovely French city with century-old buildings, and many of them were covered with graffiti! In fact, I think there's more graffiti here than anywhere else I've ever been to (and I've lived in the D.C. area as well as the L.A. area). What a shame, I thought.

But my take on that has since changed. I still do not appreciate graffiti on old wooden doors -- that would be difficult and costly to repair -- but I see many graffiti that are very intricate and very sophisticated; I can tell that someone spent a lot of effort creating them. It's a form of expression, a creative outlet.

So I've come to see them as pieces of art. They are part of Lyon's character.

Here's a link to a self-guided walking tour (in English!) in Croix Rousse. But Croix Rousse is a great area to get lost in, and just following whichever street appeals to you the most may be an excellent way to explore this fantastic section of Lyon.

Just remember to bring your GPS (or follow the dog down the hill).

19 October 2009

found at Monoprix Cordeliers

Classic Foods of America!
Original Pancake Mix: America's Finest!

The original recipe of America!

Ingredient list in French and German...

Also in Spanish and Luxemburgish (I'm assuming, because the flag is that of Luxemburg. I had to look it up)...

Preparation method explained in all these four languages as well. But not in English. After all, this pancake mix is produit de France.

I guess, if you're from the U.S., you should know what's in America's finest original pancake recipe, and you should also know how to make it, right?

15 October 2009

on a cold, cold day...

I am in the land of chocolate.

I realize this when I go to the supermarket -- chocolate products here are allocated almost as much shelf space as the cheeses, which is a lot. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the point of view) I don't have a sweet tooth, and I don't buy chocolate very often.

Today was an exception. It was very cold, and I was freezing by the time I got to the store. I walked past the chocolate isle and suddenly I had a vision of myself sipping a steamy cup of earl grey with a piece of chocolate! Mmmm.

Oh, but which one to buy? So many choices!

I usually get frustrated and overwhelmed when presented with a vast array of choices in products, e.g., when I'm trying to pick a tube of toothpaste or a box of laundry detergent. Sometimes we're given too many choices. But being lost in the the forest of chocolate bars -- that wasn't really too bad.

And the reason why I picked what I picked today? I noticed the Braille codes on the boxes of Auchan's chocolate bars. And I thought it was a nice touch.

I also noticed that the dark chocoalte was a fair-trade product, which I try to buy whenver I have an option. So I put these two boxes in the basket and brought them home.

I haven't tried the mousse one yet, but I'm happy to report that the dark chocolate is good. No, I didn't make a pot of earl grey. I was, however, thinking that this chocolate might be actutally very good with a glass of pinot noir....

13 October 2009

my little pumpkin patch

I found these pumpkins at Les Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse.

Five beauties for only 4€ and some change.

I put them in a little basket I bought at the Sunday market, and brought it as a hostess gift when we got invited to dinner at a friend's apartment.

Now that I know where to find pumpkins to decorate our home with, the only thing we're missing is the hayrides... and hot apple cider made with apples fresh off the tree... and corn maze...


On a side note: I was perplexed as to why the "post photo" icon disappeared from Blogger's post editor. I googled around a bit but evidently wasn't using the right key words, and couldn't figure out what the problem was. It took me three days, but it turns out, the post editor has been updated (how did I miss that????) and I now have to be in the "Compose" mode, not in the "Edit HTML"mode to see the icon.

Life can be so complicated sometimes.

06 October 2009

three-months review

It's been three months since we gathered up our household in Southern California and moved to Lyon. What happened in these three months? A lot. Here are some of the things worth (perhaps) writing home about:


We now have a place to call our own. Well, it's a rental, but it's an apartment, not a hotel room. It's our own space, our HOME. And it's good to be home.

I am now driving. Turns out, driving is not the issue; parking is.

We've made lots of friends, mostly from the international community. Everyone has been kind, helpful, and so graciously good to us. I'm sure we looked lost, bewildered and utterly helpless -- in fact, we probably still do. I only hope to help someday someone who is just as lost, bewildered and utterly helpless.

I now make my coffee with Bialetti Moka Express, and occasionally even put a bit of sugar in it.


Some people have told us that it'd take six months, some said a year. But we're already feeling comfortable in this town, things only get better and life easier.

It' true. Home is where you make it.