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Bon Soir Mes Amies,

It is very late and yesterday my camera broke, yes, really broke, so I did my best with the iphone which really does take very good photos but not so good at close up and a bit more difficult in bright lights. This morning I found a Monde (world) camera shop in the bastide and a very nice gentleman fiddled with mon camera for 10 minutes before declaring it broken. The nearest repair? Toulouse or Montpellier. This was just not going to work. Not with four women trying to coordinate our voiture (car) and me having 2 more weeks here sans camera. So I went next door to prendre un café while pondering my dilemma. While paying my bill, I noticed an approachable French man and did not miss the opportunity to ask him in my weak French where I could purchase a new camera. He flashed a smile with twinkling eyes and said “Geant” near the airport. Of course, I knew the road for we had recently become lost and ended up at the airport and I noticed this giant warehouse, Costo/Target-type store across the street. Geant, as I now know it, carries everything from apples to diapers, and bikinis to cameras. There is even a wine bar and beer brassière. Take a hint Target. So, today, my friend Bonnie and I traveled the two miles out of Carcassonne to find Geant and of course missed the exit – but – we did see the sign for Trebes, a small ville on the Canal du Midi we were looking for yesterday and could not find. Deciding this was fate, we took the road to Trebes and were there within ten minutes. Trebes is a lovely ville. Small, quaint, not touristy and a hub for the folks who rent boats on the Canal du Midi.

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It was a very warm day. We walked along the Canal, found lots of historic buildings and visited a sweet church, built in the 1600’s. While enjoying a refreshing Citron Presse at a café on the water, I noticed two large otter-like creatures swimming upstream. “Bonnie,” I cried, “Look at the river otters!” Much to my surprise, the server approached me with a giggle and said, “Those are not otters, they are rats.” I had never , ever seen a rat this large – really- about 20 pounds with a very long tail I noticed the next time they swam past us. The things you learn everyday!

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Our day finished off with a late dinner at Le Delices de Tetouan, the Moroccan restaurant I talked about in an earlier blog. The owner was delighted to see us again and brought us jugs of local wine to start our dining experience. Three of us ordered the Tagine and one ordered the Couscous. As our meal was being prepared by Fatima, Nabil’s wife, I asked permission to venture into the kitchen to see how the tagine was made.

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As I entered her tiny space, I gasped out loud as I viewed her inserting a plate of food into a microwave. She had not one, but two microwaves she was working with for our dinners. Disappointed, I still showed enthusiasm for her cooking, knowing she was doing the best she could to make a living and raise three young children.

Our food was unexpectedly good and pleasingly presented. The vegetable couscous was tasty but not extraordinary.Image

I loved the colorful tagine “hats” the food is cooked in.

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Bonnie’s Tagine was delicious featuring apricots, cinnamon and honey. My tagine had my favorite flavors of confit of lemon and olives. I do love the mediterranean food.

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Yes, I did get a new camera at Geant. The selection was limited but they did have quality cameras to choose from. My new Samsung is small and compact with a touch screen on the view finder, like an iphone. Pretty cool. So no more excuse for lack of photos. I am now a crazed camera waving woman shooting here and there and everywhere.

Tomorrow I’ll share market photos. Also, I am invited back to Le Sixieme Sens in the afternoon to view the technique for making Bourride. For now, Merci and Bon Nuit!