|The eerie Carnivale head above the tourism office in Nice. I have taken the word of other French people that Carnivale is not always that creepy.|
Real French Fact #13: Mardi Gras, while a French expression, is actually called Carnivale in France. We kept the right language but still somehow got it wrong. Equally wrong, the French don't flash each other for beads; instead, it's a lot like our Halloween, with everyone dressing up in full costume and having a parade.
Related Personal Fact: I had no idea about any of that. I learned about the traditions of French Carnivale by walking onto my high school campus and seeing a girl dressed up like a giant wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese.
She had a gigantic triangular tin foil body, with realistic label, and two empty circular cheese containers dangling from each ear as earrings. The ensemble was completed with a tin foil hat and some leggings that were patterned full of pizazz.
A little dazed and confused, it took me until I saw the flying pig and the slutty Little Red Riding Hood before I realized there was some holiday going on. Turns out there was a huge costume contest going on and I was walking through the back stage of it to get to my classroom. My class, flush with the excitement of the festival, was unruly, loud, and totally unwilling to work, which was not so fun. What was a lot more fun was finally giving up during the last 5 mins of class and taking pictures of them because they were so cute:
While leaving campus, I saw another girl dressed as what she perceived to be an American gang member, complete with American flag bandanna, fake guns (which would get her straight-up expelled in an American high school), and the word "Blood" on one arm, and "Fuck" on the other. I think these were the most intimidating words she knew in English. A for effort!