Salon de l’agriculture
Who needs the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Champs Elysess, when you have sheep, pigs and goats! On a rainy day this last week in February, my classmates and I from my French language school. Decided to change things up a bit and check out the Salon International de l’agriculture on a wimb.
Moving from Denver, which hosts the world’s largest stock show, The National Western Stock Show every January, there was nothing that could possibly compare. Watching monkey riding sheep dog rodeos while eating 40 pound turkey legs after seeing a 12 year old girl blow dry her prize cattle “Betsy”, was the ultimate culture shock. It was the one show that made me feel like I lived in the “wild west” and I was truly going to miss this first year away from home. So, when my classmate asked us, “do you wanna check it out”, I was more than willing to jump at the opportunity, on the assumption I was trading turkey legs for fresh chevre.
As we took the long metro ride over to the Paris Expo at Porte de Versailles, I was curious to what “agriculture” meant to the Parisians. Cheese, wine , sheep with snippy attitudes and cows smoking cigarettes? Close, though the animals seemed to be the only ones without the tude, it was as you would expect, glamorous farm fresh on steroids.
After we paid our entrance fee, we entered into the main building which looked like any other agricultural expedition in the world. Vendors selling clothes, customized dog collars, food samples, booths with the newest technologies and of course, cat and dog shows.
We passed through this area like it was on fire, scrambling to the food and wine building as quickly as possible. After walking across the enormous lot to building 7, we were greeted by cows and sheep, which I have to admit put a smile on my face. It felt a bit like home. However, I was reminded soon after that, “I am in Paris”! I could not believe I was in Paris looking at SHEEP while I was only a few minutes away from a palace that Louis XIV built. What the hell was I doing here? I should be looking at the magnificent architecture and museums, there is still so much to see. However, this question was quickly answered when we pushed through the crowds to a God like light that shown down on the aisles of fresh cheeses, glace, meats, oysters and aisles of cognac and wine. Now, I’m in France.
We spent the next few hours indulging on all delicacies that represented France and the French Caribbean Islands. Though there was at least two more days worth of exhibits we could have explored, I was happy with what we fit in. I had my “stock show” fill and could say I started feeling a bit more like a “local”.
The Salon international de l’agriculture is located of the Ports de Versailles Metro stop and is open until March 2nd, 2014. Here is the site for more information, http://www.salon-agriculture.com/