Thursday, May 6, 2010

le Banquet

JoeLast night was the "banquet" for this little shindig. Once again, I have no pictures, but I know some exist, so I'll try to get copies if possible. Anyway, the banquet was held in the same room as all the other meals, at the same time as every dinner every other night, and no one dressed up, so you would have been hard pressed to realize it was the special meal if you hadn't been warned going in. What set it apart was that we had to work more for our food: instead of prepared plates, each table had a plate of raw meat (chicken, pork, duck and beef) and a… well, a marble slab mounted to a gas burner. So you sautéed little strips of meat, then seasoned them with mustard or tartar sauce. Odd, but effective. Even the sole French person at our table thought it was weird and Asterix-y; then again, he was from Brittany, so he probably feels that way about most of France.

(They also replaced for the evening the pitchers of the quite respectable house red with smaller bottles of a mediocre local gamay…)

The pool table, despite costing 2 EUR per game, has been in pretty constant use every night, but after the banquet I finally managed to get on the queue, so I wound up playing eight ball for a few hours with Jean-Charles Régin (I suspect a significant proportion of the people in the world who would be impressed by that announcement are attending this conference, but I thought it was pretty cool).

It's the last afternoon now, and while I'm still hopeful that I'll get out into the mountains a bit before I depart, it isn't looking too promising. Maybe if I can get them to pack me a sack lunch tomorrow…

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