There are good and hard things about a place. Today, I went through a list in my mind of the things I miss about the USA and things I love about France. Here’s an ad-hoc list:
- Libraries. Oh how I miss the Rowlett Public Library. It wasn’t a big library, but it was partially my home. I loved to walk the aisles, smelling books, reading magazines, checking out books on tape for my children. The library in Le Rouret charges people to use it. It occupies a tiny store front and is only open once or twice a week. And, of course, it’s full of non-English books. Someday, when my poor wee brain connects to French, I’ll peruse there. Even so, it’s so small–no chairs, no tables, only a few scattered shelves.
- Bookstores. For the same reason as stated above, I miss those pesky big box chains with comfy chairs, books aplenty, and pastries and tea very nearby.
- Clean air. There are no burning laws in France. Today, I felt like I’d smoked a pack of cigarettes while I was running because of all the smoke in the area. People here burn trash and it SMELLS. I’ll look out our window every morning to see (usually) a pristine day, but when I step outside, I often smell smoke.
- 24/7 Convenience. Oh to go to a store at 10 at night and be able to buy something–anything! Or at 1:30 in the afternoon, for that matter. France is not a convenient shopping experience.
- Laundry etiquette. I used to be considered a kook for hanging my laundry in Texas land, but no more. Everyone does it here, so now I’m finally NOT a laundry nerd–I’m in style!!! Hooray!
- Hills. I looked out my window today and a hill winked back at me as if to say, “You’re not in Dallas anymore!” I love these hills. My poor legs and lungs don’t like them when I’m running, but my eyes are soaking them in. I’ll never grow tired of treed hills. Spectacular.
- Pace. Though I miss the convenience of things opened when I want them to be opened, there is something lovely about stores being closed on Sunday. It helps slow down the week, helps me put my focus more on people than things or activity.
- Bread. I love the stuff. And it’s REALLY good here.
- Lavender. It’s everywhere, scenting even highway medians. We have a hairdo of them in the backyard, lining a rock path. Their purple heads tickle my knees as I walk by.
There’s more to my lists, but I’m ending for now. I wrote over 3,000 words today so my hands and eyes are tired. But, I’m happy to be here in France, and that’s a blessing. I do miss home, but home is slowly coming to me here.