I am happy to announce that today I reached a major milestone in my life in France. Sleepily ordering a pain au chocolat at the boulangerie this morning, the boulanger turned to me, looked me square in the eyes, and said, “Ca va?” She asked me how I was! And not in a “Damn, you look terrible! Are you still wearing your pyjama shirt?” kind of way either. France is not the kind of place where you hear “Hi, my name is Anne-Sophie. How may I serve thee today, chéri?”. It’s just not friendly. It’s just that no one cares about a stranger’s day. Only what they had for lunch. But 3 years, a lot of pocket change, and bi-daily trips later, we are now kabitzing! I need a friend like this. She answers all of my burning pastry questions. “What’s in the chocolate flan?” “It’s a flan, but with chocolate.” “How does the viennois au chocolat look when watercolored?” “I don’t know” “What’s the difference between brioche and pain au lait?” “Nothing.” It’s a shame we are moving away from my boulanger bff within the next few days. I should show my appreciation by baking her a cake. Hmmm, or maybe not.