Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tickets and Teeth

I got another speeding ticket in France, it turns out. This one came in the mail, after we returned, unlike the one I received on the road, four years ago. Someone in Los Angeles with whom I share a first name received the same, from the same town in France, just one day before I received mine, although he recalled seeing a traffic camera go off.

I didn’t mention before, but on this trip my travel companion lost a tooth, a front tooth, while eating a croissant one morning in Alsace. A day or so later, someone here in Los Angeles with whom he shares a first name also lost a front tooth, while lunching in a deli. What’s up, with all that?

You’d think when something official is sent from one country to another, the sending entity would write it in the language of its destination, particularly when money’s demanded, with threats for late payment. But it was in French. A google search, however, indicated the person with whom I share a first name and I are not alone – a link in English is out there that says, in essence, if-you-received-one-of-these-here’s-where-to-pay-it.


- PJ

Friday, October 5, 2012

Final submissions

Today I made my final submissions, two to UK newspapers and three to Travelers' Tales. The latter were shorter versions of previous submissions.

I'll make no more; if nothing comes of these, I'm done. But I'll continue to blog until the end of this year, which allows enough time for follow-up and any responses.

- PJ

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Red bell peppers

I often return home from France and Italy with new food ideas. Trying an idea or making something learned from a prior trip, combined with jet lag, help extend the feeling of a trip.

Tonight, it’s a red bell pepper tart I learned on a 2006 visit to France. (Thank you, Sophie!) Place a rolled out puff pastry in a quiche dish, spread it with Dijon mustard, fill with sliced red bell peppers and bake about an hour at 350, or until the crust is done. Oh, how I love three-ingredient dishes. Here it is, ready for the oven. 

With a roast chicken (hot from the grocery store, picked up on my way home) and lettuce leaves tossed in olive oil and vinegar, this makes an easy and nice dinner. Red wine, anyone?

 - PJ

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Taxis - yikes

Arrived home, yesterday. Last Saturday, two miles in a Paris taxi cost twenty-five euros, about thirty-two US dollars for a half-hour drive.

Monday night, two speedy miles (about ten minutes) in a London taxi cost twenty-five pounds, over forty US dollars.

Yesterday, during a 2 ½ hour taxi home from Los Angeles International Airport (eighteen miles, normally a half-hour drive) I was thankful for jet lag, which kept me fading out. Our driver said two accidents on Interstate 405 were the cause. The damage: $116.85, even detouring on Sepulveda Blvd.

Home and broke, but still soaring from the joys of France.

- PJ