Monday, August 12, 2013

I miss things

{I miss you}
Monday morning, we meet again... BLECH.

I couldn't sleep. It was one of those nights when you toss and turn, stirring, your thoughts racing from one random thing to the next.

My thoughts were taking me on a strange journey; connecting the dots through a maze of homesickness (I'm not surprised, it has been two years since I stepped foot on American soil). At 4:30 I finally gave up the fight and got up.

I'm hoping that by venting out a list of top of my head things that I'm missing about 'home', I might be able to exorcise the homesick feeling for a little while and what better place than here, with you.

. . . . . . . . . . 

// I miss closets. They don't even have to be big walk in closets or anything, just give me a closet! (And yes, I realize other places in the world have closets besides the U.S. but that's the last place I lived that had a proper one so for me, U.S.A. = closets.)

// I miss Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions. GET IN MY BELLY. The LPV is only a three hour drive from Italy, so you think Italian sausage would be somewhat easy to find here like pizza, but nope, it's not.

// I miss the movie theater. Of course France has movie theaters but it's not the same. It's just not the same.

// I miss how much easier everything is. I want to be able to shop on Sunday if I feel like it, or at random hours of the day and night. I want to be able to buy Tylenol at the grocery store and not have to go to a pharmacy for it. And if I go to the pharmacy, I'd like to be able to drive-thru if I so desire. And since I mentioned drive-thru, let me go ahead and say banks... I want to be able to drive-thru a bank.

// I miss brunch. And more importantly, I miss brunch with friends.

// I miss my friends. Two of my best friends have had babies in the past two years that I haven't seen yet. Two little people, that are made up of bits of my closest friends have come into this world and I haven't been able to pick them up and look into their bitty, squishy, baby faces #thatblows.

// I miss Delis (that's my New York side talking) and saying delis, I'm going to have to say diners too. And because I don't want to make my Texas side jealous; I miss Tex-Mex. Oh how I miss Tex-Mex.

// I miss a big fat Sunday newspaper complete with coupons for cutting (it's not that I was ever an extreme couponer or anything, but man, I miss coupons).

// I miss horribly cheesy Lifetime television movies.

// I miss being able to eat in a restaurant at anytime other than 12:30PM - 2:00PM and 7:00PM - 9:30PM.

// I miss people 'getting me'. I have French friends, I converse with them, but I'm pretty sure that when it comes down to it, they don't really know me. I miss being able to completely express myself; my humor, my emotions... you know, me.

Yes, that helped a bit, I feel better.
Merci mes amies.

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  1. I used to miss lowfat dairy products too. The French are more "go fat or go home" when it comes to their yogurts and cheeses.
    Hope you're over your homesickness might need some good French rosé to get you on the mend x x

  2. Missing babies is horrible – Duncan is good, but I have to lean a bit towards Krispy Crème – Ohhhh, man, now I want a donut SOO bad! Great post, it made me smile!

  3. I miss coupon clipping, too! Isn't it weird how you miss things like that when they're not around anymore? And closets? I think I may miss those the most!

  4. I miss proper newspapers too, even though I never read the whole thing, it's nice to have the option! Oh, and magazines. Reading them at the checkout makes me happy.
    Hope it gets better soon.

  5. Totally missed Dunkin when we first moved here! none in SoCal although they plan on opening up some in the next year or so.

  6. Big hug to you! The expressing yourself is a hard one... I know and how nice would it be to have a closet?! xoxo

  7. I understand the language thing. This is why I was determined to find a new man (after my divorce) which whom I would speak in English extremely easily. I am another person in French and as I got fed up being that person with my ex-h, I'm happy to be me again in English. :)

  8. Hugs! I'm sorry you're having a down day. It always seems to come on hard & strong, doesn't it? That last one certainly is a tough one. I hope you are feeling better for sharing.

  9. The b/f and I just went ebay-hunting for a new wardrobe that will fit all of our stuff. It definitely had me waxing poetic about the glories of walk-in closets, pocket closets, hell, any closets! As efficient as the Germans are, you'd think they would have figured out how ridiculous it is to have to take up space with these enormous wardrobes and move them from place to place! But then again, these people move their kitchens with them. Boggles my mind.

    Hope you get over the homesickness soon... it definitely strikes at odd times, doesn't it? Get some Skypes in and see if someone can mail you some waffles from the next brunch. :) Babies in the mail wouldn't be such a hot idea though...

  10. Two years is a long time Sara! It's only been 6 months for me and boy I feel very homesick already... and very happy to see "coupons" on the list, totally got the Sunday paper and clipped away last time I was home, even though I only used about 2 coupons, it felt so good :)

    Besides Mexican food, my top one would be "getting me" - I love the French but for sure they don't get me like my American girlfriends. Great list and hope you get home soon to see those chubby babies :)

  11. I just recently found your blog, it is awesome by the way :) This post was like reading my own thoughts!!! I will be in Texas for three weeks during Thanksgiving and I am planning to gain at least 15lbs, ahahhaha, and I hope that will all come from pecan pie, pumpkin pie, texas brisket, cranberry sauce, tex-mex, amy's ice-cream, and those giant lattés from jp’s java!!!!

  12. Sausage is a big thing for me, but the fake brakfast patty kind. Close to Germany, so lots of sausage options, but I miss my Jimmy Dean!

    Two years is a long time! I think the longest for me has been 18 months, and now when I go back it's like "Man, x, y, and z are sooo much better in France" lol. Oh the complicated emotions of expat life! But glad blogging it out helped you feel better!

  13. Ok my faraway friend, some things I can do for you: Drink an iced DD french vanilla (cream and extra sugar...sorry), shop at Target really late tonight, revel about our fabulous tiny closets, go see Despicable me 2 (oops already did)...

    I cant replace your sweet friends, or the ease of drive through banking or a brunch. Can I send you anything to make you miss the stuff a little less? I cant replace the people....that is their job!

  14. Ah you hit the nails on the head with the people getting you and things being easier. I always talk about how damn convenient the US is - it's just so service oriented. And I can't tell you how many times I make sarcastic commetns and not a single person get its, so painful. I can't believe it's been two full years, I'd be homesick, too!

  15. I am sorry to hear you are having a bout of homesickness. I hope writing this post was cathartic for you. I am lucky and go back and forth frequently. But your post got me thinking about what I would miss most if I were not able to do that, and friends/family would be at the top of the list. Dining hours and drive through banks would be big for me too.

  16. Would you and your husband ever consider moving to the US?

  17. Two years is a very long time. Maybe you can go soonish? I hope so. I miss things, too. The photo at the top nearly killed me, because, honest to God, just yesterday I was talking about how much I miss DD iced coffee. I make my own here, but it's not the same! Just three days ago my husband and I were talking about Italian sausages, I swear. Well, it's more fair to say I was complaining about not being able to get them while living practically next door to Italy and the British husband was listening patiently:-). Never found them in Ireland, either, but then we were in the west. The worst is family...all of mine are back there, and I think a lot of us are in that position. It's good to have a cathartic moan and I do hope you are feeling a little better now. Hugs from Charente.

  18. I hate to tell you this, but "Italian sausage" is actually an American concoction, an attempt to make Neapolitan salsiccie. I once had a friendly restaurant-owner in Berlin order some for me with her usual order trucked up directly from Naples and...good, but not right. I should have mentioned this in today's post, with the aside about Italian-Americans.

  19. I'm feeling guilty because I'm drinking an iced coffee from Dunks as I type. Come see me I'll make you sausage and peppers. Mi Casa is Your Casa. xo

  20. I needed this REMINDER because guess what... I am SO SO homesick FOR FRANCE!!! I think I have French amnesia or something because I was so READY to be BACK IN TEXAS that I never thought I'd miss what I was leaving behind...but its there... a little piece of me. I miss the long, lingering lunches. I miss PATIOS (because you know you could never sit outside in Texas in the summer... its 108 degrees). I miss drinking wine at lunch AND dinner. I miss the BEAUTY of my daily walks. I miss the simplicity and pace of life.... the "rat race" is overrated. I miss doing, living, and experiencing something that NO ONE else of my group of friends was getting to do. Bisous! I hope you feel better... Just know that now that France is a part of you, you will always be torn between 2 countries and be homesick for the other one. C'est la vie!

  21. When I lived in Paris I desperately missed the ubiquitous Greek diners that you find on many blocks in New York City.

  22. Aw, lovely, I’m so sorry you’re feeling homesick. It comes in waves for me, too. In my experience, it seems that convenience is quintessentially American--that’s why there are stores and restaurants open 24 /7, meals served at in-between hours (brunch), and countless options to take-away (delis). And the French way tends to not only be different than that, but the opposite. Wishing you the perfect girls’ night, even if it has to be a virtual one for now :) bis

  23. Oh god French Sundays drive me bonkers! And Mondays. What's with the Mondays? Also I totally get the 'getting me' thing. It is so hard to have your real personality in a foreign language I find. Seems many people share your feelings though x

  24. I've been lurking around here for some time but don't think I've ever commented, so today, I'm outing myself.

    Luckily, I was just back in the US, so I don't miss too much at the moment... just some big things!

    I miss Thanksgiving. I have hosted some in France, but I haven't been home for one since 2005, and I miss it! It's the holiday with my favorite food!

    I miss having a dog. My boyfriend insists that having one in an apartment is just cruel even if I swear that I'll walk it all the time. I even say we can get one like one of my mom's. She can't stand to be 5 feet away (hell, 5 inches is too far away for her) from you at any given moment and running is just an exertion she can't be bothered with.

    I miss being able to do things on Sundays (or even Mondays).

    And banks need drive-thrus! Even my boyfriend agrees on that. And also, not having to go to your specific agent at your specific bank to get something done or taken care of!

    And good and spicy Mexican food!

  25. Hi Sara!

    I've read your blog for a while but have never commented, until now. Just wanted to say that I've been there (although never been out of the US for two years straight!) and I empathize. Sundays, delis, Italian sausage, but especially that last one--as awesome as meeting new people and living in a different language is, there always seems to be a little part missing. Here's hoping you at least get some quality skype time with those people that do really know you and that this all passes soon and you're back to being blown away by life in France!

  26. Gosh I was really homesick too, but luckily my parents offered to fly me home this summer so I just got a quick USA fix. I totally understand not feeling like your French friends "get" you. I feel the same. Two years is a long time, I've never gone longer than 1.5 personally. Maybe ask somebody to send you a care package of tex-mex rice or something? My parents do that sort of thing every now and then and it helps for when I'm feeling homesick.

  27. Tex-Mex. I am going to miss this so bad. I expect to cry over it.

  28. Homesickness is hard! When I studied abroad, I convinced myself that there was no way I could ever in my life get homesick. And then it hit me HARD right when I was about to go home, so I feel like I wasted time! Yikes. Silly thing: I missed eating while I was walking to class. Romans don't seem to think that it's normal to be running late to class. ;)

  29. I'm enjoying all of my "I miss..." things in America now, but I actually miss Russia even more!!

    I'm sure you know by now that the homesickness will soon pass - but it's still hard. Chin up!

  30. I remember the year I lived in Canada I missed some odd things, but fresh vegetables was definitely up there (and I don't think as a teenager I'd ever imagined I would say that!)

    Alas Italian sausage, rather like Swiss cheese, doesn't actually exist outside of North America, it was just what the immigrants could make that was close to what they knew from home, with the ingredients to hand. Plus, of course, Brussels won't let us name things like that anyway ;o) It did give me an interesting moment in Sainsbury's trying to best work out which holey cheese would suffice as 'Swiss' cheese in a recipe though...

  31. Sounds to me like you need a trip back to the States asap.

  32. Oh man this sounds like me a year ago. I was missing a lot of things about home, mainly my friends/family, shopping on Sundays (I would always forget to go shopping until..well, Sunday) and people being able to understand me!

    But now that I am back on US soil indulging in the 24 hour lifestyle, with drive throughs, movie theaters that drain your bank account and all those goodies, I find myself deeply missing things in France! It always what we can't have right??

    I miss the bread, holy moly I miss the bread..and the cheese
    I miss the slow, low pressure lifestyle
    I miss the cheap wine and wonderful French food and pastries
    I miss the architecture, the people, the beauty and the language

    So don't fret, the feelings pass but the experience of living your life in France is something most people never experience! If I could, I would totally send some Tex Mex your way! Bisous!

  33. Sarah,

    Do you mean like the ground Italian sausage that you put on pizza? Because I found some at Simply Market last week! Do you have one near you?

    I'll have to look up the name for you the next time I go if that's what your missing. It was in a container similar to the ground beef containers (i.e. white plastic, with a plastic film covering). I think it was called Farci du porc or something like that... It's ground sausage with delicious spices. But anyways, it tasted AMAZING on pizza!

    If that's not what you're looking for you can ignore my other enthusiastic little rant there ;).

    And the baby thing! I have tons of friends/relatives that are having babies and it sucks not being there. I've also been thinking a lot about what's going to happen when we have babies one day. They won't meet my family for a long time, they won't know what an American Christmas is like, etc.

    Being away can be tough. Sending you hugs!

  34. Hey Sara, glad you found me and I clicked over here! I cannot imagine being away from my family and everyone I know for two years- do you know when you'll be able to visit again? The longest I've been out of the country is just three months- which is a lot to my family members :)
    Delis and diners are awesome! Those are two things I appreciate about New York. Maybe a family member can send you a care package with some American things you've been missing!

  35. Hi Sara,
    It's good to just lay it all out there from time to time. Obviously you don't need me telling you that your life is incredible, unique, and courageous-- but that every once in a while it's okay to miss home. Living abroad is addicting but for me as well, living without the face-to-face contact of friends and family is challenging. Sending the good vibes your way and hoping that sausage and Tex-Mex pops up in a care package soon.


  36. Wow how delightful people are with such lovely supportive comments.. isn't it good to know you aren't alone in your 'missing thoughts'
    As a Scottish lass living in Australia with family mainly in San Diego and a business which takes me to France - I very much get what you are saying. Keep on keeping on Sara, great blogs, great sense of humour - and amazing how many strangers out here get you. x

  37. Missing home is hard! Missing the babes, even harder...Lord how I miss my nieces, and how I hate that they are growing up without me!

    Its ok to be homesick :) I hope you feel better!

  38. I feel you! There are German things I miss too. German bread and Brötchen for example. I miss my German breakfast! You just can't get anything like that in America!
    And I totally feel like people don't really get me either. I can't describe it but I am not really myself most of the time.

  39. I think every expat can relate -- for me right now, missing DD iced coffee is a big one and as always, not being able to do anything on Sunday. In my case, aside from small talk with neighbors and talking to my husband and his parents, I don't really talk to anyone. So I think I'd love to get a new personality in French! Hoping I can find some friends. Funny because it's not like I moved yesterday. Oh well. Atleast I have my dog ;-)

  40. Yes these things are natural and very normal and now is not the time to hear that you live in a beautiful country etc etc.

    Living away from one's homeland can be fun but these are the downsides...

    Get yourself the best croissant and best wine around and download some bravo and lifetime shows!

  41. My dear ...
    I can send you italian sausages ... when I'll go back to Umbria you can be sure I send to you.
    Happy August 15th.
    Bisou, Babi

  42. I definitely agree with all of this! Especially the drive-thru bank. I worked as a teller in a bank in the States before moving to France, and I worked the drive-thru. I tried explaining this to my husband, he didn't get it until I showed him in person.
    It's sometimes the little things in life huh?

  43. Being an expat isn't always easy - that's for sure! It's funny in Istanbul I missed many things, but now oddly, we seem to have everything we could want (except our old friends and roast beef) in Warsaw. Maybe you could plan a small road trip to so you could get those Italian sausages. Stock up your freezer! :-)

    We don't have Tex-Mex or real Mexican either so if we want it, I have to make it.

  44. being far from home is definitely tough! when i was abroad i missed a lot of "american" things too, but it was missing people that made it the toughest. but also not having tex-mex was hard too. i also missed reese's cups since peanut butter seems to be reviled by a lot of europeans haha.
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

  45. i remember feeling so many of these things when i lived in france! love your honesty and this clever list...just try to remember all the things you LOVE about france and that you will miss when you're back in the USA someday! (and i agree most on brunch!!) xo

  46. Oh homesickness - a feeling I am all to familiar with too.

    Hope you are planning a trip home soon? Otherwise I might just send you some Dunkin and a pastrami sandwich your way

  47. oh no, when you get stuck in that place in your head it's the worst! but I can't imagine being away for two years - I'd miss the gum on the sidewalks if it had been that long. I'm glad writing it out helped though :)

  48. Ha, I totally feel you on this! Many of these things have been missing in my life as well. Florence does have an amazing movie theatre. They play movies in English (new releases too, imagine!) and it is 100 times more beautiful than the ones in Miami.

    p.s. I miss Mexican and Cuban food! grrrrr

  49. A really, really spot on list. The last one...sigh. I have only one person in France that gets me and that would be my honey. And my dogs tolerate me nicely too.

  50. i know exactly how you feel!! i also miss those things.. do you have plans to visit the States anytime soon? i think you should plan a trip!

  51. I also miss being able to go shopping on a Sunday if I feel like it.

    And junk food. Oh how I miss junk food... even if it's stuff I wouldn't actually eat if I still lived in the UK!

  52. Loved reading this blog entry. I can relate to many of the things you mentioned as well as many of the comments here. I'm one of those people who will go to Paris and eat at Chipotle as many times as possible. Sad but true. It tastes like home! :)


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