Lille 2021

I spent half of the summer of 2021 in Lille, France, where I was interning at a local company.

Office window overlooking courtyard Bedroom
The Nexedi office, looking out into the courtyard, and my bedroom in Lille. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

Interestingly, the legal drinking age in France is eighteen, which meant that I could go to bars. My roommates brought me to one.

Bar with red and blue lights
The bar, with lighting vaguely reminiscent of Les Misérables. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

The Lille city center very much has an “old European city” kind of vibe to it.

Weather permitting, there’s an open-air used book market in the courtyard of the old merchant’s hall. I didn’t buy any, because I don’t know French, so a French-language book would make for a rather silly purchase. On warm summer evenings, there’s also dancing in the town square.

Used books for sale in courtyard Couples dancing in town square
Used books and dancing in Lille. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

It would be a bit excessive to show every single pastry that I had in France, but waffles are the local speciality in Lille. Most people associate waffles with Belgium, but Lille is right across the border, in the historical region of French Flanders.

There is a notable Sunday market in Wazemmes, a part of Lille.

Crowded stalls in a market Crowded market with church in background
The Wazemmes market, where many vendors hawk their goods. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

I had dinner a couple of times at the local estaminets, or small cafés. Apparently a local favorite dish is called the Welsh, but it has little to do with Wales. It’s basically a bowl of molten cheese with bits of stuff in it. I elected not to try it.

Plate with beef stew, vegetables, and French fries Dish of raw beef and salad
A plate of carbonade flamande (Flemish stew) at a local café, and a plate of tartare de boeuf (raw beef) at a company lunch at a restaurant. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

I tried to send a postcard to Annabel before I left, but the US Postal Service managed to lose it (after sending a picture of it to my mom, who had signed up for some kind of mail certification service).