"Empty Niche Syndrome." Photo taken in Caromb. What To Do in Aix-En-Provence? I received the following letter from a reader and hope you can help by submitting tips on what to do and see in Aix! Kristin, If you have a moment, please... I am thinking about planning a trip to France in late August of this... Read more →


emporter

Original Text: They don't do Doggy Bags in la France. Since my husband first learned about "take home," he practices it when and where he can, delighted by the economics of it all. In 1990, in Aix-en-Provence, a plate of egg rolls separated me from my future mari.* Egg rolls in France are different from those in the States; here, Asian restaurants serve them with sprigs of mint and leaves of lettuce in which to roll them. "Les Nems," as they are called, are our favorite entrée,* so we usually order so many that by the time the main course arrives we are full. At the end of our meal we had leftovers. Jean-Marc asked the waitress if she might wrap them up. The waitress returned moments later with an empty plastic tub which, judging from the label, had formerly held pistachio ice cream. She opened the container and slid the contents of the plates inside. I was sure she was shaking her head as if a bit irritated by the request. Walking down Aix's narrow and winding cobblestone streets after the meal, I asked Jean-Marc to please quit asking waiters to wrap up food. They just don't do that in France, I argued, and I feel awkward when the servers have to go scavenging for odd containers in order to accommodate us. "They are not Doggy Bag equipped here!" I gasped. As I drew in a second breath to elaborate my point, I walked right into a street beggar. Three sets of eyes bounced off each other; nobody said a word. Jean-Marc reached down and gave the homeless man the makeshift Doggy Bag, adding, "Bonsoir, monsieur." The strange pause ended and we walked on, one of us with her tail between her legs. ................................................................................................................ *References: le mari (m) = husband; entrée (f) = starter; Bonsoir, monsieur = Good evening, sir. Read more →