From the never-posted archive, because we’ll be there again this year (and sleeping or in the sauna) when this post goes up:
I don’t recall what I was searching for, but I was flipping through the pictures on my phone and ran across those that we took on New Year’s Eve. Further to finding the pictures, I ran across the fairly substantial post that I had written, but never put up due to the weird and subsequently busy nature of the past couple of weeks (that’s terrorists-stole-my-birthday-week and Purrito-is-going-back-to-the-States week for anyone who gives much of a damn). It’s not complete, and for whatever reason, it doesn’t feel right to do so at the moment, but here it is for posterity and the internet and for no fucking reason whatsoever.
…because a gatsby party don’t stop until at least two people are dead and everyone is disillusioned with the jazz age as a whole. [credit]
The end of the first day back at work (it’s still surprising how short a perceived time span two weeks can be) seems like an appropriate time to wistfully (if not a touch melancholically) look back on New Year’s Eve, which was a startling amount of fun.
Like many of our tales, this one begins in Rouen; on our inital visit to Rouen, we ran across the Hotel Bourgtheroulde, which is a 15th century building that has been converted into a five star (per the French rating system) hotel. Next to the menu for the restaurant, we spotted a flyer for a NYE party (réveillon, per the local tongue). Without fail, on a yearly basis, we talk about going to a New Year’s Eve party (I’m not sure if this is a tautological or a form of epistemic closure, so let’s just say that it’s both), and this time, we were in France.
So hey, what the hell, you know?
Aside: I’m minimizing the economic argument here; to stay the night in a room was nearly 80€ less expensive than under normal circumstances, and the entire trip (tickets for the both of us, the adder for champagne and aperos before the main event, tickets to and from Rouen, room and board, the Purrito’s 3€ curry panini, and a box of paracémtaol for the day after) was still less costly than two entries to Musée du quai Branly’s (otherwise known as the museum of random pilfered artifacts from native cultures that I really can’t even pretend to give a shit about) soirée.
This, however, is not merely the tale of a party; this tale entails fish (and fish entail fish tails).
Sucker fish of a species unknown to me but which look remarkably like the non-plecostomus sucker fish that my mother unintentionally killed by over-cleaning the fish tank. (RIP Gollum; I’m raising a glass of Volvic to you right now)
It’s a strange thing for a soap shop to have (unlike Gollum, these fish aren’t exposed to dish soap or chlorine; UV lights are used to sterilize the tanks in between people), but a hell of a way to spend about a hundred Euros (to be fair, we bought donkey soap and some sort of hand lotion as well)
Occasional nip aside (they’re supposed to eat dead skin, but get a touch overzealous here and there), it’s a surprisingly entertaining experience, likely due in no small part to the Purrito’s periodic squirming and the abject weirdness of feeling a fish nibble the cuticle directly under the front of one’s toenail.
The actual party was great; champagne and apéros gave way to a four hour, five course meal that included what is likely the best foie gras that I have had thus far (and naturally, we have no clue as to what kind it was). It being a gatsby-themed fête de réveillon, the majority of the people in attendance were dressed in semi-period-appropriate attire, us included (we even nabbed a compliment from a guy we dubbed The Spaniard, who proclaimed that we were ‘’very roaring twenties”) True to the theme, the entertainment consisted of a trio of showgirls performing songs from Cabaret (I’m deferring to the purrito on this one; I have no clue), the traditional champagne toast at midnight, and finally, a number of what we had thought to be frail older men getting the hell down on the dance floor.
Three weeks later, I really don’t remember the hangover. I do remember the fun.