What I miss about the States:
1) Canned chicken broth. Do French home chefs really content themselves with freeze-dried cubes, or do they have way more time on their hands to boil down chicken parts than I do?
2) The in-sink garbage disposal. Or mange-merde, as much husband prefers to call it.
3) National Public Radio. Even if my visit home just happens to fall during a pledge drive.
4) Neighborhood restaurants that serve brunch. Eggs Benedict, hash browned potatoes, and yes, I would like a warm up on my coffee, thank you.
5) Banana Republic. I am a victim of my fashion demographic, perhaps, but at least in Paris I'm the only thirty-something wearing the merino top of the season.
6) Ice cream. For some reason, the French cannot produce decent supermarket ice cream. Just why this is is a mystery, since there is an entire aisle of delicious yogurt with every flavor under the sun.
7) Brightly-colored wooden houses. They would never look right in a neighborhood of Versailles and most French I've met are skeptical of their solidity, but you just can't build a front porch with stuccoed cinder blocks.
8) Good microbrewed beer. If it exists in Paris, do let me know.
9) Room to grow. I love my six-hundred square-foot apartment and it is big by Parisian standards, but oh! to have another bedroom. And a bigger kitchen. And an office. And...
10) American comfort food. If exceptional resourcefulness is required to scrounge up corn on the cob, bake a pumpkin pie, or put together a truly tasty burger, it just isn't the same.
What I would miss most if I ever left France:
1) Cheap, wholesome bread. One Euro, four ingredients, and nothing I can't pronounce on the label.
2) Fancy washing machines. Where's the precision in hot/warm, warm/cold, and cold/cold?
3) A separate room for the toilet. Not only is it more attractive, it helps limit household traffic jams.
4) Practical public transportation. Seattle specializes in useless mass transit: the monorail, the bus tunnel, and a tramway to nowhere. They're trying harder than most American cities, at least.
5) Shutters that aren't just decorative. Sometimes, cocooned away in his pitch-dark bedroom, le Petit sleeps until eight-thirty or nine. Try getting that with Levalors.
6) Appetizing jarred baby food. Le Petit is just not a Gerber Baby, and he would miss his Bledichef couscous dinners terribly.
7) Market Day. The Pike Place Market is fun for tourists, but how many folks here are lucky enough to have a street market within walking distance of their home? Which brings me to:
8) Walking everywhere. I don't drive in France and most of the time I don't miss it. Everything I need is a walk or a Metro ride away.
9) Really fast trains. I don't take the TGV often, but it is darn cool to know that I can cross the country in mere hours.
10) Having Europe at my doorstep. Shall we go to Germany or Spain this year? Or maybe Italy? And thanks to those really fast trains, we can spend a weekend in Amsterdam on in London on a whim.
Now, dear readers, what would you most miss if you left home?