Thursday, June 27, 2013

What we miss

Add to Google Reader or HomepageI just saw a friend’s post in which she referenced “35 Things You Appreciate About America After Living in Europe.” It was written by Lucy Hebb and first posted at I found the list interesting and more than exhaustive (exhausting?) I wondered if the author had to limit herself to 35 things or if she had to stretch to reach 35. I am sure that the author found all of the items to be legitimate but several times I had to ask myself why she included X or Y but, hey, it is her list.

As counterpoint to that list, I offer an update to my 2009 list of what I miss when not in Europe (France). My list contains only 25 items. Feel free to add to my list if there are other things you see that I missed.

  1. The friendliness of shop owners “Bonjour, monsieur” greeting as I walk into almost any store (followed by: “Au revoir, monsieur. Bonne journée” as I leave a store – even if I didn’t buy anything.)
  2. Very good wine for under $10.
  3. Specialty stores – butcher shops, fish shops, vegetable shops, bakeries.
  4. Open air markets/market days
  5. Sitting in cafés nursing an espresso (for hours, if you want) and none of the wait staff push you to leave
  6. Cheese selection – more than 200 varieties
  7. Fresh rabbit – and other selections of protein such as pheasant, quail, guinea hen
  8. Walking (everyday) to purchase food items for dinner
  9. Bread (baguette) for $1.00
  10. A fresh baguette everyday
  11. Minimalist (environmentally friendly) approach to packaging
  12. Diesel fuel which costs less than gasoline
  13. Inexpensive espresso
  14. Cars with clean-operating diesel engines
  15. Cars with manual transmissions
  16. Fast, on-time trains
  17. Roman ruins
  18. Fields of poppies
  19. Slow food
  20. Small portions (of food entrées in restaurants)
  21. Dry rosé
  22. One dollar (euro) coins
  23. Well-maintained roads and streets
  24. Families walking together on Sunday afternoons
  25. Mussels from Brittany (moules de Bouchot)