As I write this I’m eating a Chipotle burrito bowl with a glass of free water after using a free public bathroom that included both toilet paper and soap. Oh yes, I missed America.
However, there are things about France that I already miss. Things like warm baguettes for fifty cents, delicious cheese for two Euros, sidewalk cafés, the wonderful coffee, and pain-au-chocolat…. okay, apparently everything I miss about France has something to do with food. But really, the food in France was everything I dreamed about and more. If this is any proof, the concept of food poisoning doesn’t even exist in France. The French really do care what goes into their food, and like any Frenchman will tell you, be sure to never buy any product grown in Spain.
If there are two things I didn’t like about France, it would be the lack of free water, and lack of free bathrooms. Both are required to survive, but yet, neither should be taken for granted. Trust me, toilet paper is definitely a privilege, not a right. A little advice: always go to the bathroom on the train before you get off. You never know when the next free bathroom will come along.
Huh. I just spoke with a perfect stranger in English. Quoi? What is this language? Human nature is a funny thing. When in France, assume French. When in America, assume English. It’s funny how a change of territory also means a change of language. Poor Europeans, walk too far and the people might start speaking to you in another language. Sigh. As much as I miss the challenge of speaking French, it is rather nice to be able to speak fluently without thinking too much about avoiding grammar mistakes.
When studying abroad every experience is something to remember. Just doing some shopping at a little boutique or buying a baguette from a boulangerie is a novel experience. Daily life becomes interesting, and good stories are made from the ordinary. But really, ordinary is relative. For the French, saying Bonjour to your neighbor across the way as you both open your shutters at the same time in the morning is ordinary. For me, that was an encounter I will never forget. That’s the thing about studying abroad, life becomes an adventure.