Before this semester, the most time I had spent outside the country were a few days in Montreal, Canada, part of an insane road trip that my best friends and I pulled off last year. But those of you who know me well know that trip is a whole other story entirely. Before leaving this semester I had all these dreams and preconceived notions about what I thought Europe would be like. But I also came with an open mind. One thing was for sure in my mind—Europe would be better than America. A little over four months later, I’m still thinking that the European lifestyle is better (for your health definitely)…but now I’ve got more of an appreciation for my life in the ol’ US of A. A sort of understanding of the things that I really love about America that make it a great place to live despite not being Europe. There are plenty of obvious things that people miss when they travel, but when you’re away for longer than a few weeks some things you miss are just strange. This list will have both types.
· I miss my friends-you don’t really realize how close you are to some people until you’re NOT spending every day with them.
· I miss my apartment-and all the things in it- like the bar, the awesome sound system, my grandmother’s orange couch that I intentionally sleep on at night sometimes, the kitchen fridge stocked with more condiments and sauces than actual food, the beer fridge behind the bar, the fights over cleaning (or not cleaning) the condo, the struggle to safeguard your gallon of milk, people randomly showing up at any time of the day or night, arguing over who will take Joe to work/pick him up, wearing my bathrobe to go get the mail at the clubhouse, trying to sleep despite the screaming that occurs when Mitch scores a goal on Fifa (seriously dude?), the one day a month when Anthony does his laundry and meticulously folds every single piece of clothing, trying to get Joe to put more than 5 dollars worth of gas in my car once in a while—things like that
· I miss weird cheap snack foods-I seriously dream about food at least once a week
· I miss my school-the language program this semester has been fun but I like the things I learn about for my degree like development in the third world and policy issues in Europe much more. Ready to feel like a college student again and not like fourth grader learning grammar.
· I miss drinking the rest of the last pot of coffee in the Croft kitchen when I have to work in the building that night. I miss drinking too much coffee at Croft in general. I miss passing afternoons and nights studying or attempting to write papers or eating lunch on the porch with my friends.
· I miss the walk through The Circle to Bondurant-my favorite walk on campus
· I miss working at the Portuguese bakery and running my mouth with all the regulars. I miss getting there at 8 AM on Sunday mornings and Carla making me an epic breakfast of eggs, bacon, sourdough toast, hashbrown casserole, orange juice and coffee to cure my hangover. I miss her sending me home with tons of pastries in the afternoon so we can have “Lusa feasts” at the condo.
· I miss my weekly walk from campus to the Square to have lunch at the bar at Ajax-same thing every time-country fried steak with a double side of mashed potatoes and gravy and a Bud-heavy.
· I miss my favorite bar-Proud Larry’s and going to see live music nearly every week.
· I miss Mexican food…and Taco Bell
· I miss driving my car, but not putting gas in it
· I don’t miss working at Chick-fil-A but I miss the money I make there
· I don’t miss sorority girls or frat stars
· I don’t miss fat people- I mean there are fat people here in France but its like an epidemic in Mississippi
It seems there should be more things that I don’t miss. Maybe I’ll think of some more later. Writing this, I’ve realized how much I love my college life and that now I’ve only got one more year of it left…time to get back and enjoy it.