Last week, probably due to a month of non-stop working, I lost my voice. It was extremely frustrating, since I had to spend most of the week working with a new client and they were horribly un-understanding. I was finally able to get to a doctor on Friday though, and thankfully the meds have been helping. My voice is probably back to about 75% now.
It's been ages since I last had laryngitis, and I forgot how much of a handicap not having a voice is. It felt like such a throw-back to my early days in France, when I couldn't speak French. Or answer the phone. Buy a train ticket. Talk to the hotel receptionist. Order my meal at night. I was reduced to pointing and hand gestures. I'd forgotten how demeaning it could be.
With the early years still on my mind, C & I went grocery shopping out in the burbs this weekend. As I walked around the supermarket, I had to marvel at all the changes that have come about since I first moved to France 8 years ago. All the products that were not available then but yet are so readily available now. We picked up a small BBQ for our balcony and in the meat section, I found Johnsonville Beer Brats. There was a 2-for-1 offer on Philly cream cheese in the cheese aisle. I picked up a box of Bisquick for our Sunday morning pancakes, and some more Hershey's chocolate syrup for sundaes.
And then there's the whole frozen food phenomenon. When I first came to France back in 2001 to meet Fab's family, one of the things that surprised me the most was the lack of frozen foods. At least in Bretagne, most supermarkets had only a few stand-alone freezers back then. And now 10 years later, frozen food is everywhere. Picard's are popping up like weeds, and are the savior of the working Parisian woman (and single men everywhere).
I suppose it's sad in a way. The long-standing French cuisine and traditions are changing at a fast-moving pace. Makes one wonder what things will be like ten years from now....