Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


A pun I’m proud of

A friend texted me to meet in Place Bellecour in Lyon near the statue of Louis XIV. I was on my bike and didn’t respond right away since I was heading there. She texted back to see if I’d received the message. I responded, “L’oui!

It’s a little concerning how I crack myself up, but I’m not hurting anyone so I don’t really care what anyone else thinks.


I chou-chou-choose you!

I gave up on French pastries a while back. Part of me didn’t want to suffer the insult of hidden cream-filledness. Another part didn’t want to ask what precisely was in every baked good. Another just didn’t crave potentially sweet things and a final part woke up some days wanting Chips Ahoy cookies (which actually happened even though I don’t really like Chips Ahoy cookies).

So, color me surprised when I was at my bakery and saw this thing and it looked at me all helplessly through the glass case and I told the girl to wrap it up ’cause I was taking it home.

Hohn-hohn, c'est bonne!

Hohn-hohn, c’est bonne!

It’s called a religieuse and is a small cream puff on top of a bigger cream puff. This one was chocolate flavored and instead of having gross cream in it, it had the same icing on the top as in the center of both puffs. It was damnably good which is a pun since a religieuse is a nun. (More on that tomorrow.)

Learn something

Cream puffs are made of choux pastry, a special batter that puffs easily and grows up and out in a rounded way, like its namesake, cabbage. Cabbage is a weird word, one which my dictionary says comes from Old French caboche [head], which is doubly weird since “head” is tête but in Spanish it’s cabeza which is much closer to caboche. I’m calling this whole thing off while I’m still ahead.