As my time in France is quickly coming to a close, there are a few things here I know I will miss once I return stateside:
1. The fact that eating excessive amounts of cheese and bread and drinking excessive amounts of coffee and wine is not only acceptable, but frankly it’s encouraged. And going along with that idea, I will also miss walking by the bread truck bringing fresh bread to the bakery by school. That smell is heaven and I wouldn’t be surprised if I jumped in the back to take it all in before I left. Just once.
2. The fact that on any given day, when it’s nice out and Megan and I decide to go for a stroll or I decide to get ambitious and go for a run, that it’s possible to end up in the middle of a random village that I have never seen before. I mean really, who can normally say “today I woke up, ate breakfast, stumbled across a village…” That right there is special.
3. My character flaw that I like to refer to as my “listening problem” is not as much of a problem here. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have a tendency to zone out mid-conversation. In fact, maybe even more often here than at home. However, my spaciness is looked upon merely as incomprehension (silly American does not understand) instead of disinterest (this rude American is paying me no attention).
4. I get paid to talk to people. Sometimes it’s light chit chat about weekend plans or plans for our 100 school vacations. Other times things get silly – jokes or stories from a crazy soiree. And other times serious – politics or life problems. But really, anything and everything. And we all know how much I like to talk. So as I’m sure you can assume, I am very pleased with that aspect of this job.
5. Here in France my existence is intriguing without any effort on my part. I don’t have to crank up the charm or be super outgoing/friendly/awesome. People find me interesting simply because I am American and I live in Mulhouse and (shocker) that apparently does not occur very often. I can’t tell you how many times this scenario has played out:
“Wait, you’re AMERICAN? So, why are you in Mulhouse???” and include with the quote a look of utter confusion and incomprehension.
I can’t lie and say that I am not happy (really happy) to be going home in a few short weeks. But at the same time, I know there are certain things about Mulhouser life that I will not be able to find outside this quirky little town.