Saturday, January 15, 2005

Top 5 Things I Miss While Living In France

1. Money: I hate to start of with such a materialistic beginning to this list, but I can't help it. I hate being poor. Amy and I are doing ok here, we've got a good budget and manage to have a nice place to stay and eat good meals everyday. But man, I miss being able to buy movies, music, books and being able to go out to dinner more than once a month. We were far from rich in Indiana, but we were able to splurge a little without having worry about paying the bills.

2. Hamburgers: Once in awhile we buy some red meat and I make my own burgers. Other than that and the occasional overpriced McDonalds/Quick pit stop that's the only time I get a burger. There is nothing like stopping by your favorite greasy joint and tasting a big, fat, juicy burger.

3. My car: I drive a little 1996 Saturn. It's nothing fancy, or fast, but it's a solid car and rides well. I love to drive. If it is not overseas or our honeymoon Amy and I drive to where we're going. I love to have control of a vehicle maneuvering in and out of traffic or taking it fast down a deserted highway. Strasbourg is a nice city to walk around in, and the tram/bus system is top notch. But I miss the whir of sliding my car through traffic.

4. TV: I hate to put this on this list. As a card carrying member of the "blow up your TV" club I'll be dismembered for missing television, but darned if I don't. Most of what's on TV stinks. We had a satellite in Indiana and I generally just watched the news, the History Channel and old movies on TCM>. Even with all the crap I still miss being able to sit mindlessly for a little while and flip. I really like the unexpectedness of it. I never subscribe to any kind of TV guide so it's generally a mystery to me what is on at any given moment. That was a certain joy in flipping channels to find an old favorite movie on, or a great episode of Cheers.

5. Convenience: A car might help this out by making trips to anywhere quicker, but even with faster transportation Strasbourg would still be very inconvenient. There isn't a store with everything in it. If you want aspirin or ant-acid you go to a pharmacie. If you want good bread you go to a boulangerie. Good desserts you go to a patisserie. You need to buy the groceries for the week you have to go to three different supermarches, and that's if you don't want really fresh fruit, otherwise it is another trip to a street market. You want lights? Go to one store. A shade for the light, that's another store altogether. Heaven forbid you should need any of this on a Sunday or Monday or after 8 pm on any day. Nothing is open 24/7 here. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we've gone crazy in the US where everything is open all the time and you can get everything you need in one store. But it is extremely annoying to be used to that kind of convenience your whole life only to have it lost in France.


Queenie said...


You're blogger of the day on Blog Critics. I was interested in your views on living abroad for a year as I am considering it myself (Ireland - Canada). Not as difficult as you, as no language problems. Strasbourg is a lovely city and I love to visit it, but it is a little quiet. Much of France is apart from Paris. They all seem to go to bed really early. Ireland is more American in that respect (24/7 I mean). Have you been to the Aviator bar yet, it is my favourite pub in Strasbourg.

midnitcafe said...

Welcome Queenie! I highly recommend living abroad to anyone that can manage it. We're planning a trip to Ireland, probably in April. That is, if we can afford it.

Strasbourg is lovely. Quiet? You should visit my neighborhood. People screaming in the streets until 3 in the morning! Haven't been to the Aviator, where is it located?