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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Culture Shock: Things I Miss... Top 11

It's been more than one year since I've lived in France, recalling that I came with weak conversation skills and an open mind, one can't help getting homesick.  I thought recently, what is it that I truly miss? You know everyone has their weaknesses, the French I've met over the years displaced in Portland talk non stop about great baguettes or cheese.

For me I decided to compile a list, mostly to remember what's back at home and also a sort of 'To Do' checklist of things I want to do next summer if I can get back.

Starts with the Top Ten (Plus One).

  1. My Family. I received news over the weekend that my Grandfather is dying of cancer.  I had to call him from my ligne fixe and say goodbye over the phone.. it made me truly miss my family, my dad, my mom... my sister and my brother.  There is never a day that doesn't go by that it's difficult to not pick up the phone and say, Hey let's meet for lunch!
  2. My girlfriends. I had a close group of 4 girls that I'd been friends with since high school, one of which is a friend of about 10 years.  I am missing all their drama, drunken nights, our adventures around Portland.
  3. Portland. My city, my hometown.  While Lyon is charming in it's classy city life, Portland was so clean and fresh... a city of artists and nature lovers.  I worry I will go back and everything will have changed, hopefully for the positive.
  4. Taco Bell. Judge me if you must, but there is something familiar in those greasy tacos I'd buy at 3am in the morning with my girlfriends...
  5. Good Indian food. Sorry but Lyon has not impressed me in her Indian food, everything cultural in regards to foreign foods is completely "Frenchized', bread added to the menu, fois gras tossed into the sushi, bagels smeared with roquefort (YUCK).
  6. Good Sushi. Again, there's is something seriously wrong when my sushi has Fois Gras in it.  Mayonnaise? Good lord.  I just want a freakin' maki that's not 4€ a plate of 6 sushis.  I miss that cheap sushi that I could buy that was great quality.
  7. Real Happy Hour.  Oh man, can't even say how much I miss a Portland brew and a plate of greasy corn dogs and fries for only 5€.  I has just discovered happy hour for a year before I left to live in France, and in France... you know what Happy Hour is?  Discounts on drinks, but no food.
  8. Food Carts.  Yes, we got pizza carts and kebab carts, but no, not that awesome phenomenon from Portland... where at any hour in the night or day there's a cart set up with your heart's content of food.  Vegan tacos? Yes.  Greasy putine? Yes.
  9. Food Network. Enough said.
  10. Take Out Bags.  Man I miss going to a restaurant and having too much, then having leftovers for breakfast.  I'd be laughed out of a restaurant if I ever asked for a 'doggy bag'.
  11. American People. Yes, I know, we are nationalistic, we are fake and sometimes way too much but I miss that sometimes.. that whole comfortable way of talking to eachother. I miss not having to decide when to say vous and when it's appropriate to not? C'est compliqué. Man I miss being able to be myself in my language.
Can you tell I was hungry when I wrote this?  Are there things you miss?



  1. wow, this is quite the list aha :)

  2. found your blog through a friend who is currently studying abroad in lyon.

    i studied there in 09-10 and remember missing a lot of the same things you just listed here (we figured out that the closest taco bell was in madrid, and some of my american friends had even contemplated taking the train there just to have their fix).

    so i wanted to take a minute to share what i remember from my experience and i hope that it helps/are things you don't already know!

    #5: there's actually a pretty great, moderately priced (i believe they were about 5E each) tandoori wrap restaurant on rue sainte-marie des terreaux (parallel to rue des capuchins).

    #7: there's an irish bar called flanigan's in hotel de ville on rue du griffon that does a "proper" happy hour with meat pies and a pint for 6E. they also have pub quizzes there that are completely free (unlike the smoking dog) on either mondays or tuesdays, i can't remember exactly.

    #11: if you're really missing americans, lyon 2 is the host university for most, if not all, of the california students studying in lyon. and sciences po is the guest uni for most of the east coast schools: uva, brown, georgetown, upenn, etc. you can get your fill there!

    bonne merde a lyon! - drea

  3. I'll tell you what I miss.... YOU!


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