Monday was my first day of French class at the Alliance Francaise . Two of us are new to the on-going class. Students open their books to correct the previous week's adjective homework. Examples include: "Japanese are small and intelligent. Swedes are blonde and athletic. Americans are laid-back." After each sentence is corrected for gender and plural, the teacher asks this class of Chinese, Bulgarian, Swiss, Iranian, Israeli, American, Russian: do you agree? (5 minutes in I was asked if I agreed with the American one. I said no, or rather, I shook my hand in a motion that sent a message of 'maybe yes, maybe no.' Actually speaking in my French class is not really something happening yet).
The next part of the lesson involved writing down traits of your gender that you'd like to portray to the opposite sex (soooo French). One woman asked, 'what about homosexuals?" which prompted a reply that I barely understood but seemed to mean: being attractive to 'le sexe oppose' does not have to do with sex, just your gender. If only I had feminist vocabulary a la Francais.
My type? Well, in this world of moving abroad just a few weeks ago and promptly moving into a 25 square meter apartment and near-daily visits to the market, it's embarrassing to admit, but my type is certainly readily available. Primary ingredients? Pasteurized milk and cream, 1.5% pepper, and potassium preservative. Yes my friends, I'll admit it: my type is Boursin.
I have a long history of embracing trashy cheese during times of stress. It may have started when my treat as a child at the public pool in the summer was a well-earned (as in begging my parents repeatedly) snack of these orange cheez-it like crackers (they were round) with squeeze cheese on top. This treat was so lacking nutrients, I believe my sister and I had to eat it as a dessert.
On a bit of a higher plane, was my other childhood favorite: Wispride Port Wine Cheddar. This spreadable beauty of fiery hues was always good on Stoneground Wheat Crackers.
And then, there was my quite unhealthy obsession with Kraft Parmesan - throughout college I would toss it onto 'hot air popped' popcorn (with this contraption to make 'hot air' popped popcorn in my microwave) and lick every last crumble of the stuff out of my bowl.
And so, my dirty history with my type. Today or tomorrow we will be on our way to the fromager to find a soft sheep's milk like the brebirousse that Jasmine brought to our last meeting of cheese club or a chevre that is beautifully chalky and creamy in that dry way in the middle - and yes, you will find Boursin on our kitchen table as well - maybe hidden in the nook of an endive or in a bowl to dip the gorgeous French radis in, or maybe just slathered on yesterday's baguette as my lunch for French class. Let the stereotypes begin.