Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Homesick? Not.

Every now and then, folks ask if I'm homesick. The truth is there's nowhere I'd rather be right now than here. Still there are some things that I'm missing and like most expats, they tend to cluster around friends, family, and food. Since we live in an apartment building that's probably 100 years old, we're also lacking a few modern niceties at home. So, leaving off the names of those near and dear, here's the short list:
  • a garbage disposal
  • tasty salsa. You can buy salsa here (in the foreign food aisle) but it's dreadful! The French like flavorful but they don't do spicy hot. You can get good Moroccan or Thai here but no Mexican.
  • the Washington Post with my morning coffee. Reading it online just isn't the same.
  • bagels
  • our programmable thermostat
  • gallon jugs of milk

I don't miss:

  • television. We do have a television with a gazillion channels, all in French except for CNN and the BBC News. Theoretically, one can learn from French from watching the news or even dubbed American sitcoms but I can't bear to watch enough to test this theory.
  • having a car. Okay, every now and then, I see a Toyota Prius (usually a taxicab) and I get that wistful, we used to own that feeling. But then I consider whether I could handle the French approach to driving (it's always priority to those on the right, even if it means stopping when you're in a traffic circle) or whether I would ever find a parking space, and it's pretty clear that we made the right choice by selling our cars.
  • living my life by the clock. Since I'm not working and the kids are only doing the bare minimum of afterschool activities, I'm no longer running from the office to pickup to practice and so on. For the moment at least, life is blissfully uncomplicated.

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