Thursday, August 23, 2007

Top Eleven Things I Miss in the States

11. Our Hot Tub-About the only good thing about winter is that it makes it more fun to sit in the hot tub on a freezing cold morning.

10. Garbage Disposal - Yep. One of the greatest inventions of all time. No more smelly and rotting food in the trash under the sink. It goes into the solid waste stream where it belongs rather than in the trash where it attract flies and pests, and then to the landfill where it rots and smells and attracts vermin. If you don't compost, and we don't here in France, or in Moab (got no garden) and can't (skunks in Moab) then the next best thing is a garbage disposal.

9. The Dishwasher - No need for any commentary here.

8. Stores open at lunch between 12:00 and 2:00 - This is a tough one. I do appreciate the pace of life here. When everything is open 24/7, as in the US, it's great when you want something at an odd hour. But it also contributes to the fast-paced life we try to avoid. A double edged sword, indeed. Waiting for the hardware store to open at 2:15 in the afternoon is frustrating when you just need a drill bit or a couple of screws to complete a project. They shut down for two hours after a grueling three hour morning. But the lunch shut down is pretty sacrosanct here, and whenever we go out to lunch we always see some plombiers, city workers in the blue boiler suits, construction guys, etc. I would imagine that standard black lunchboxes don't sell too well here.

7. Blue Cheese Dressing - I know I could make it here with all the great bleu fromage, but has anyone got a tried and true recipe that they could send?

6. Everyone Speaking American English - It has been three months and I have had conversations with only two Americans, and I've spoken to the Canadians who have a house across the street (they have gone back home). Other than speaking to Nancy, and hearing some American or Canadian kids in Carrcassone, that's it. The rest of the English I've heard has been spoken by French, (some good, some bad) and of course British English (an amazing range of dialects, by the way).

5. DVD's via Netflix - A great collaboration between the US Mail and the internet tubes.

4. An Outdoor Place to Sit - Don't have it here. Got it in Moab.

3. Wide Open Spaces - Don't have it here. Got it in Moab. This landscape here in the foothills of the Pyrenees is absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful villages and castles, bucolic landscapes are always pleasant on the eye. But unless you are high up in the Pyrenees, there is no place where you can look out and see the horizon without lots of evidence of mankind. I never fail to enjoy the scenery here , but at times I miss the miles of open space.

2. An American Breakfast - They don't do it here. You can get coffee, croissants and cornflakes, which is fine. I did see an English breakfast offered in Paris just opposite the Eiffel Tower, which is similar, but you can keep them old nasty bangers. So it will be nice to have a plate of fried eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast and coffee.

1. NPR - This is what I miss the most. National Public Radio. I can get it on the internet, Morning Edition, at noon French time, out of Salt Lake City, where it is 4:00 am. I manage to listen to it once a week or so. The evening version comes on around 2:00 am so I have never listened to it.

1. Dry Air - Wait! This is what I miss the most. Two number one's, it's a tie. Dry air, 10% relative humidity. Yeah, this is what I miss absolutely the most. If you've got nice dry air you know what I'm talking about. If you've never lived without humidity then you don't know what you are missing.


Anonymous said...

You know what they say..."absence makes the heart grow fonder"...I'm sensing a little "home sickness"! I know how you feel...I still miss Dallas and I haven't lived there for years! Your mention of "dry air" sure hits home with in Charleston during the summer is comprised of a temperature reading with "matching humidity"...whew it's been HOT here lately!

Oddly, I'd be willing to bet that after you're back in Moab for a few months you will begin to miss a few things about Leran. That's just the nature of things...we always miss what we don't have at the moment.

Nancy, I just got an announcement in the mail about a 40 year BNI class doesn't seem possible it's been that many years (except when I look in a mirror!). You are on the list of "missing people"...shall I give them your Moab address? The reunion is going to be on 9/20/08.

Anonymous said...

Going to be 105 here today...31% humidity.
We have friends in the neighborhood who are from France and they come here every summer! (Though they just took off for Costa Rica for a month.)
I suspect the above poster is're be missing Leran by Christmas.
Doug, you must have your 40th CA reunion coming up as well.

Montana Barb said...

I can't believe you can't get a dishwasher, unless Leran prohibits them or the sewage system can't handle them. Or is it a matter of space? Germany makes all kinds of diswashers that are electrically correct for Europe. Or try this link:

I can understand a disposal might be too much for a rural sewage system. But I think they exist.

Also, I would think you could "stream" NPR from anywhere? Hmmmmmm...

Some rain here has dampened the fires. I think we will be OK but it ain't over 'til it's over!


Doug said...

Lukas, if you think the air in Dallas is dry, it must REALLY be humid in Charleston.

Bill, don't expect to see me at a Colorado Academy renunion unless I just happened to be in Denver. And I know I'll be missing Leran, probably four days after I get back to Moab. And your frends from France must REALLY LIKE HOT WEATHER.And how come the relative humidity is so high in Arizona? All the pools contributing to the moisture?

Barb, we can have a dishwasher here if we wanted. We just have to go out and buy it. Money is a little tight. Gotta buy windows and doors first and pay for drywall levitation. As for garbage disposals, no such thing in France, as far as I know, nobody sells 'em.

Judy said...

Gees, Doug; The term "drywall levitation" lets one's imagination go wild. I remember when our daughters were in elementary school and trying out magic tricks to entertain the rest of the kids in the neighborhood. They had one act where Maren levitated Crissy and they got it down pretty good....fooled a lot of the younger kids. Lisa's best trick was to eat a live goldfish swimming in a small glass bowl. In reality it was a carved carrot to look like a goldfish and she just wiggled the bowl to make it "swim". Too bad real life isn't that easy. Judy

nancy said...

Lukas, I have been on the missing list for the BNI reunions for quite awhile now, and hope I stay that way. Just personal preference. But that doesn't mean I won't be anxious to hear all the gossip about who's with whom (correct grammar???), and who's not, etc.

Anonymous said...

Doug- I can sure tell you are my brother..I think dry air and NPR are two of my most favorite things. And, the whole time I have ever lived away from Colorado I feel claustrophobic without a vista, it drives me nuts when I can't see over the tree tops. I think the great thing about having two places to live is the contrast. Just about the time you are sick of one place you can head on to the next- that sounds like perfection to me!
Love, Amy

Anonymous said...

Doug, with an iPod you can get free downloads ("podcasts") of almost any NPR show and listen to it any time you want. I actually think you could do it without the iPod if you download iTunes onto your computer. I can give you more details if you are interested. -Anna

Lee-anne and John Furness in france said...

Hi Doug Worried that you couldn't find a recipe for blue cheese dressing when there are over 2 million on the google list. More easily I found this in a great recipe book I have and it is also on line. Does it come close to your dream cheese fantasy?,1386,RC.html