Friday, July 28, 2017

The Hornet Adventures

It never rains. EVER!
What is France like? Not the tourist-y parts, but real France. In Southern France, because of the nice weather, a lot of people eat outdoors. This is very apparent in the small properties that restaurants own, where there are often tables set outside rather than inside the building.

In all of France, the food is better than in America. For around six euros, I can get a dessert, entree, and appetizer at a cafeteria near the school. More effort is made in the presentation of the dish, and the desserts aren't too sweet. It's also a well-balanced meal, including carbs, protein, and vegetables.

Boulangeries are amazing.
I think it's the combination of the great food and the great weather that my coworkers and I were placed in a critical situation today. Because of the great weather, we decide to eat outside for lunch. And because of the great food, various insects are attracted. Like hornets.

For context, most of my coworkers are masters students. In France, internships are only granted to masters students since at this step in the education ladder students understand what they are researching. Like I've mentioned before, my coworkers are at least four years older than me. And besides J. ('20), they are all guys.

Yesterday, the first hornet attacked. Our lunch was cut short as the large, menacing hornet hovered over someone's plate. Thus, a masters student in the navy (imagine a rather athletic, tall guy) proceeded to smash his chair on the table. As he puffed out his chest, assuming dominance over the meager insect, he then scrambled back in terror when the angry hornet zoomed out from under the chair.

Today, the hornet returned, probably thirsting for vengeance. Somehow, it knew to aim for the plate of the guy who was allergic to hornets. I didn't know this at the time, but apparently he had quite the traumatic experience recently when a hornet stung him on the lips after he sipped some Coca Cola.

While four out of the eight at our table jumped out of their chairs and backed away, I remained seated, grabbed a glass, and waited patiently for the hornet to settle on the tray. Then, I calmly lowered the upside down cup onto the table, encasing the hornet in a transparent prison.

Navy guy looked at me. "Vivian, you're a badass."

This beats MIT dining any day.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the end. The hornet's brother arrived at the opposite end of the table, but now my coworkers were equipped with the knowledge of how to defeat this insect. Two people reached for empty glasses and eyed the enemy, who flew in random, spontaneous patterns to save itself. Suddenly, when the hornet was floating low on the platter, MC striked. And promptly shattered the glass the was holding to pieces.

I'll admit, I was laughing pretty hard. But at least I had the decency to ask if he was okay (he was). The hornet was probably frightened by this fierce show of strength because it flew away, and we returned to lunch as normal.

Back to work (my research).

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