I was pretty negative about France in my last post, so to turn things around, I wanted to do a post about things I love about (my part of) France. I say (my part of) France, because some things are going to depend on where you’re at in France.
I love French cheese! All of it! The stinkier, the better. I will probably try just about any cheese you put in front of me (well, unless there are insects in it). From Comte to Maroilles to Camembert to Roquefort, I love it. I would be so so sad if I ever had to stop eating it. Or moved back to the US.
2. Public Transportation
Okay, this can also be an annoyance when there’s a strike, or a problem technic, or when I miss the last metro of the night, but in general, I love not being dependent on a car… especially since I don’t have access to a car I can drive. Yes, I only know how to drive an automatic.
3. Affordable Healthcare
It’s nice not having to think twice about going to the doctor. I still only go when necessary, but I don’t have to worry about a visit to the doctor (or dentist or ophthalmologist) breaking the bank. Even if I didn’t have health insurance here, seeing a doctor wouldn’t be the end of the world. And if you knew how much I pay for a 3-month supply of birth control, you’d probably freak. Though it’s supposed to be covered now in the US, right?
4. Open Air Markets
I know many cities in the US are starting to have them now, but where I come from, unless you went to Westside Market in Cleveland (which is indoors), there’s nothing resembling a market. I used to go to the market all the time when I was a student in Aix-en-Provence. I don’t go nearly enough here – more out of sheer laziness on Sunday mornings than anything else. I love the fresh fruits and vegetables. And of course, the cheese!
5. French cuisine
I’ll be the first to admit that I miss many things I eat back home, but how can you not love Boeuf Bourguignon, crepes, Tartiflette, Raclette, etc.?
I’m not really a dessert person, but I love salty things! And what better than to pair them with a glass of rosé, a cocktail, or a beer?
7. Café/Bar Terraces
It’s summertime which means the terraces are open and filled with people (when the rain stays away, that is). I love sitting outside people watching while sipping a coffee or a drink. It also means that Elliot can come with us and enjoy the time as well.
8. Good Bread
Unfortunately, where we live, there are no good boulangeries… even if there are two artisan ones right on the square. Their bread basically resembles the mass produced stuff and just isn’t delicious. But when we go down to J’s parents’, there is the best boulangerie I have ever tried in the tiny town next door. They bake their bread in a wood stove. Oh my god, it’s amazing.
9. Cheap Cell Phone Plans
With many operators, for just 20 euros a month (currently about $27), you can have unlimited calls, texts, nternational calls to many destinations including the US, and internet. I can call my mom from anywhere in France and not worry about it costing a fortune! Many internet boxes also offer free calls to foreign destinations.
While I get super annoyed when things are closed, I do enjoy the massive amount of public holidays.
Of course, there are many more things I love (or hate). These are just the ones that popped immediately into mind.
What about you? What are your favorite things about France?