Saturday, February 19, 2011

What I Miss About America

          To be completely fair, lots of things in France are awesome, and/or better than in America: wine, cheese, environmentalism, croque monsieurs, the slow, pleasure-oriented spirit of their culture, fashion.... but there are still some things I just can't help but miss. For example:

Me, reveling at the selection of American products at Best Bagels Co in Lyon. I left with Easy Mac, barbecue sauce, Tootsie Rolls and a healthy dose of light-hearted glee.  
  • Microwavable popcorn. They have popcorn at movie theaters, so why can't they sell it in bags that you can make at home, like a normal person? Instead, they sell small jars of pre-popped popcorn. This will not do.
  • Driving a car (despite the fact that the metros and buses in Lyon are actually very high quality).
  • Mexican food. Remember my sham of a burrito? Dear god, I miss Mexican food. 
  • The simplicity and ease of being able to speak in my first language when I'm tired, lazy, or lost at 3am and I just want to get home.
  • Bagels.
  • Barbecue-flavored things.
  • Wearing heels and not having your stiletto get stuck in the cobblestone street.
  • Having the right of way as a pedestrian.
  • Californian weather. I should be tanner than this by now.
  • Pumpkin-flavored things, including, but not limited to, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie.
  • Being on the thin, well-dressed end of the American spectrum (which translates as pudgy and of average wardrobe en France).
  • Knowing whether or not guys are gay.

          One of my favorite games that my friends and I play when we're in a club is called "Are those guys gay, or just French?" though a functioning gay-dar is not of the utmost importance to me, I sympathize for my single friends, and it's honestly a little frustrating to not have that knowledge just for the sake of knowing. It's like one of my senses have been stripped, and I can no longer hear tones in a certain range, or see the color purple. But think about it; all the guys are well-dressed, in expensive, tailored jeans, nice sweaters or jackets, and the most metrosexual of scarves. Personal space and homophobia both don't exist in France, so guys stand close to one another in clubs, speaking into each other’s ears to be heard over the music. It's even common for two guys to do the common informal greeting in France, a kiss on each cheek. Even more unbelievable, I have seen guys, who are in fact not that drunk, pole dancing on the poles in the clubs, just as often, if not more, than girls. No social taboo there. (But mon dieu, is it odd to watch.) It's actually refreshing that they don't care about looking gay, and that if two guys are friends, they have no shame in showing affection. However, it's also a little annoying. I want to know!


  1. Glad you stopped by my blog so that I could discover yous! Reminds me soooo much of when I first came over!

    As you know I'm partial to the odd bit of British food but like you, I agree that British food doesn't compare overall!

    I love the list you compiled above, made me smile. I drive in Lyon (in fact I passed my test here) and it's a nightmare!

  2. I will be even more confused when I return to the US between straight and gay men.

  3. I totally agree with you about missing mexican food, popcorn, and wearing heels without getting stuck in the cobblestone streets! Beautiful as they may be, it is obnoxious when you are trying to walk!!! I'd love to chat with you through email or facebook so please contact me at or find me on facebook with the same email! So cool I found another American my age here!!!