Ah! Yes! I love the adventure of France. It is very enlightening living abroad as a student. I do not have much to worry about but my classes and my trips to Paris. But, sometimes I long for home- homesickness. My home is different then the city I live. I am a Southerner from the rural hillsides of Tennessee. I do not live in a village, a fact impossible for the French to believe; I live in a house surrounded by farm land. I see deer in the back of my land, foxes on the road, wheat in the spring, and corn or soybeans in the summer. I find wild blackberries in the heat of the summer, and I crunch the frozen grass in the winter. Although, I love Paris, France, art, and shopping, I was born in the country. I am most comortable there. My soul feels freer there.
Here is a list of things I miss about the USA. Somethings are impossible, too expensive, or too different to find in France; and, somethings are personal about where/how I live.
Natural Peanut Butter:
Yes, the true American will miss Peanut Butter. I miss it. Sometimes I am walking around, and I think I peanut butter. I just want to stop and sob! I have picked a few at Lidl when they are available but the taste was not right. I cannot place what was wrong, but it was not right. Also, I have tried normal boiled peanuts in the shell. I tried these a few times, but again the nuts lacked a taste. It could be that the peanuts are not from Alabama or Georgia. Who knows? I am looking forward to “real” (natural) peanut butter.
White Seedless Grapes:
The French and the whole of Europe never figured out how to grow seedless crops or pitting machines. I have yet to find seedless grapes. It ruins the heavenly experience for me. I love, love grapes in the summer. I practically live off of them in the heat. I eat them raw, or frozen. Yet, the few grapes I had… just had bitter pits. I hate it. Also, I always have to go out of the way to find any pitted dried fruit. Cannot wait for seedless grapes and pitted everything!
I usually have a few bags of edamame in the freezer, in the shell, out of the shell. It is perfect of a snack or part of a meal. It is perfect dorm food too. But I have not seen any edamame in France. If I did, I have a feeling it is not the same great price as in the USA. The last dinner I have with my family, we went to Pei Wai, and I ordered Edamame for my meal. My dad thought I was crazy to just have this, but I knew deep inside that it would be a rare find in France.
I like trying out the French holidays! I think I might celebrate them when I return home. However, I remember the sad feeling around October. I would be so excited if I saw a hint of Halloween in the shop’s display windows. I was just lost without the fun crafts of Halloween: Pumpkin craving, paper cut outs, masks, costumes, candy, “Trick or Treat”, and creep but cute things. I felt like the world was celebrating but not me. Halloween is truly a funny American holiday I hope to never miss again!
Have no fear! If I missed an episode on the TV, I knew I could find it on Hulu the next day of the channel’s website. However, to use Hulu you must be on USA soil due to copyrights. I hate miss my favorite shows. It really helps with stress that I feel from time to time. I need a good laugh with Modern Family or The Middle. They are like old friends! So now, I hunt for them online. It is possible to find them online… not my favorite action, but I am American just on different soil! I want some TV!
In the same category, Netflix will not work either. I love Netflix. I love movies and TV shows. I have a large list to watch when I return! Oh my!
I miss a lot of big store in the US: Walmart (yes, even Walmart), Target, Dollar General, Jo-anns, Michel’s, BAM, Walgreens, CVS, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and more. However, I miss everything about this store. I miss the painting section, the drawing section, the kid craft section, the scrapbook section, the bead section, and wood section, the yarn section, the stamp section, the paper section, the fake flower section, the fabric section, book section, and the coupon section on the website every week. Oh, yes! I have yet to find a large craft store. There are a few in Paris with nice things, but not in one huge store with great prices or sales, or coupons. I cannot wait to get back into my DIY projects, artwork, and knitting again!
I have a bad shower. It is just like Katy Perry’s song, “your hot and your cold!” I could use a long hot bath about now… and a larger bathroom ( with a toilet)… and a mirror! I might find one in a modern fancy hotel but not in my dorm.
The French say there hellos and good byes as a formallity, but in the south it is our hospitality. I am use to holding doors open, making room for others, helping others, and saying all of the above in the picture. But, I have found myself in strange situations when I held the door for people. The French will tell me to go on, or just look at me strange with a “merci”. I get better response from the foreigners – like me. Also, I will move over for people on the sidewalk a lot, but often I fin the French hogging the sidewalk. Often I have to go around in the grass or street to pass them. I understand why people say the French are rude, but I think it is not the French. It is in my sight the people raised in the city. People use to a ton of people are not as polite or aware of others because they are use to fighting for a seat, the sidewalk or the supermarket lines. In the south, most are coming to the city to shop and are more often polite. I am also use to not so many people! I can go a week with seeing less then 10 people if I choose ( summer on the farm). Yet, in Amiens I am a bit stressed by all the people. I have to walk by the people, I have to look at the people, I have to stand with them in line, I have to move around them to shop, they push me over to the other side, I sit and the people look at me, and I end up in my dorm. I might have a people problem. (On another note, I have found out what good costumer service is in France. When I am treated well, even in my broken French, I love that store from now and forever.)
Heating and Air:
All said in the above.
I will leave with a picture of my home of valleys of green forest, fields, and farmers, but no Paris.
Check out my ever growing list on Pinterest!
Thanks for reading!