Windy Days

Have you ever seen the movie Chocolat? It’s the one that takes place in a small French town and stars Juliette Binoche as a chocolate maker and Johnny Depp as her guitar-playing Gypsy lover. As someone who enjoys chocolate, anything even vaguely French, rocking┬ámanouche jazz, and Johnny Depp, this movie has always spoken to me.

Plus, I’ve always been sympathetic towards the main character, Vianne – she is a bit of a vagabond, moving from place to place with the north wind, helping heal people through chocolate. In the movie, the north wind is portrayed as a powerful physical and spiritual force that continually presses Vianne onward, never letting her settle down.

I can identify. At times some weird sort of supernatural energy overtakes me, and I have the deep, profound urge to GO. (I also like chocolate.) In the past I’ve been able to cope with this feeling through drastic changes in scenery. Thanks to my mortgage, this isn’t quite an option anymore.

Don’t get me wrong – I truly adore my one bedroom co-op. It’s my little haven, my home base. Plus, I enjoy living in DC. The city fits me well, and I still feel like I have so many opportunities here that I don’t want to leave anytime soon.

But I can feel a disquiet beginning to haunt me again. My soul is restless. I am yearning for an adventure. Hmm, what shall I plot next…

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It was my patriotic duty to eat a chocolate bar for dinner

From the Musee de Cacao et du Chocolat in Belgium….

I found this interesting tidbit:

I am only being a good American citizen, when I say, Countrymen! Eat more chocolate! Shall we be thus outdone by the Swiss, Germans, Belgians, English, and French?! NO! WE MUST EAT MORE CHOCOLATE.

Really, I’m sure they didn’t make these statistics up. The chocolate aisles in the Belgian grocery stores were totally decimated, and literally people lined up in front of them to contemplate: hazelnut, dark chocolate, citron? Dark or milk? Mouse filled or solid? Every person I saw in the check-out line purchased at least one bar.

I forgot to take a photo of the chocolate aisle. I think because I, too, was paralyzed by the decision facing me. You’ll have to make due with these photos, only some of the many chocolate pictures I took while in Belgium: