Past life: Living in France 2008

France: What I will miss

  • Picking up a phenomenal, still-warm baguette on my 6pm walk home.
  • Knowing that out of 100 people who take a cell phone call in public, 97 will leave the room/train car, 2 will speak so softly I cannot hear them, and the other person will be glared or stared at because everyone else knows the deal.
  • Knowing I can get 50 kinds of cheeses in even the crappiest corner grocery store.
  • Exchanging formal greetings with shopkeepers. (I never thought I’d say that: I hate being formal just to put on a show—how dumb—but here they’re doing it to show respect and build relationships, which I appreciate.)
  • Seeing women of all makes and models and ages walking arm-in-arm on the sidewalk—oddly, I find it charming.
  • Happy, well-behaved dogs. They’re *all* happy…I think it’s because they are welcome in 95% of establishments here and are thus with their owners all day long (either at work or while doing errands).
  • Having long lunches with dessert and coffee. (though my waistline will not miss the twice-daily desserts)
  • Appreciating the details they have put into every shirt, building, and window display. The French are all about the details. (Except for Christmas decorations: Other than street lights, their decorations are rather uninspiring.)

Disclaimer: List is not all-inclusive. All thoughts expressed are the opinion of the author, not authorized Blogger officials, who would add that they miss the stinky cheese most of all. Author reserves the right to miss things not specifically listed in this post. You, the reader, may miss other things if you visit France.