In honor of Halloween, I set out in my car on Friday determined to find a pumpkin to carve. They really don’t celebrate Halloween here the same way we do in the States, so after driving around for over an hour, I realized carving a pumpkin might be a tougher task than I’d originally thought. I remembered from my trip to Oradour sur Glane that there was a sign along the main road advertising a shop for vegetables and flowers (a perfect place to buy a pumpkin around Halloween in the U.S.) a little ways down a side road. So I drove Ethel (the name I’ve assigned the beaten-up old car I drive over here) down the dirt path with every hope that I’d leave there with a great big pumpkin. (Side note: I’m glad I watched Children of the Corn AFTER my quest for a pumpkin.) After butchering the French word for pumpkin (citrouille) to the gardener and getting a blank stare and shake of the head in response, I was just about ready to give up my hopes of finding a pumpkin. I hopped back into Ethel and was headed back towards my apartment when just outside of Limoges, I passed a little vegetable shop that looked like it had a pumpkin-esque vegetable on a stand out front.
After investigating the small shop, I knew I wouldn’t be saying, “It’s the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” anytime soon, but it didn’t matter, because I was 25% certain that I actually found a little citrouille to take home and try to carve. My skepticism fully disappeared after I got the top off my vegetable and found none other than pumpkin seeds inside! So after popping some seeds in the oven with a little olive oil and salt, I turned on a scary movie and got to work on my design…
I guess I should mention that living alone can be… well… lonely. After my first couple weeks here I noticed that I wasn’t entirely alone however. In my bathroom there is a spider that lives in a hole above the pipes and comes out to say hi every once in a while. I have tried to capture her and put her out the window, but I think she might be related to the same spider that bit Spiderman, because she has super-spider speeds. Anyways, I gave up trying to catch her, named her Charlotte (I admit, originally with the hope that she might suffer the same fate as the spider from the classic story), shortly after became attached, and now consider her a pet.
So, in honor of my pet Charlotte, and in honor of Halloween, I present my great pumpkin!