les choses américaines qui me manquent

The American things I miss:

  • Q-tips.  I’m sure they exist in France… I just never found them
  • Free public restrooms.  Some exist in France, but oftentimes they make you pay.
  • Beans.  As a vegetarian beans make up a large part of my diet.  Unfortunately beans aren’t a popular part of the French Gastronomy and apart from a few below average mexican restaurants… I haven’t really had any beans.  Garbonzo beans are easy to find.  Red beans are posisble to find, but a bit more difficult.  Black beans…. forget about it.  Guess which ones are my favorite…?
  • Wifi… free public Wifi is a joke in France.  Even if networks say it’s “free” it usually isn’t.
  • Pancakes– Don’t get me wrong I love crêpes…. but nothing can replace pancakes and fresh maple syrup.
  • Nonfat pasturised Milk simply does not exist here… something similar does, but it just doesn’t taste as good.  Soy milk in France is much better than in America!
  • Grocery Carts – In central Paris, grocery stores are typically only a few aisles.  They expect you to get your cheese at a cremerie, your fresh vegetables at a market, your bread at a boulangerie, etc.  Thus, the grocery stores don’t have much.  I miss wegmans with it’s never-ending aisles of cheap good-ness.
  • University Events- the sense of community at Cornell is so very unique.
  • Pharmacies that don’t cost a fortune.
  • No more power converters!
  • Currency that doesn’t rely heavily on coins.  The Euro uses coins for 1 and 2 euros so I’m always fumbling around with coins.
  • Normal Lined Paper!!!! I’d like to brag that I successfully avoided using a copy double my entire semester!!!
  • Websites for local information. Generally in the parts of America where I’ve lived, each restaurant and each store has a website where you can get general information about them…this isn’t the case in France.
  • American pants… I purchased a pair of pants here (why do we call it a pair if it’s only one item) anyway they sit higher on the hips than I’m used to.  The idea is to avoid “muffin tops.”  I just find them unfortunately less comfortable in that style. However, all the pants I tried on from French stores fit that way.
  • Not having to explain what I’m studying.  Whenever someone found out I was studying a semester abroad they would ask what I’m studying… unfortunately that is not an easy question to answer.  The concept of pre-medicine does not exist in France.  Students do a prep program after high school then go directly into medical school.  Furthermore, I wasn’t even taking science classes during my time abroad so that didn’t make sense.  Then I’d try to explain that I was studying French, but they didn’t quite understand that either because the courses I was taking were so diverse (and French students don’t take courses outside of their major).  All-in-all this was the most dreaded question.
  • String Cheese – sometimes I just want to string some processed cheese…. don’t get me wrong I love love love the French cheeses (okay maybe not all of them) but sometimes I just want a string cheese
  • White toilet paper – sure, about half the time toilet paper in France is white, but you go into the restroom never knowing what you’re going to get.  Colored toilet paper just creeps me out…
  • Peanut butter!! Again, as a vegetarian this is a prime source of protein for me… Unfortunately it is not a prime player in the French diet.

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