As you read this, we are on our way back to the States by way of Copenhagen (“I love being in transit for 17 hours”, said no one ever). I know that I was homesick, but there are quite a few things I’ll miss about France and Europe.
1// Leisurely 2-hour lunches.
This is especially true during the school year. I am a PRO at inhaling my lunch in 15 minutes, but here everyone has a two-hour lunch, even students! It’s a great way to unwind and relax so your afternoons can be just as productive as your mornings.
1.5// Drinking a glass of wine with lunch.
This would make teaching a bit easier (haha, kind of kidding), but the act of drinking is an art here. It’s not meant to get you sloshed, it’s supposed to compliment a meal.
2// The idea behind the Metro system
Public transport is a great idea (think of all the work I could get done while commuting!). But it is rather hot, expensive, and crowded.
3// Picnics (or eating outside) are much more common here
It’s so much fun to people watch while you enjoy your 2-hour lunch. I especially love all the people with their dogs. So cute!
4// Daily menu changes in most restaurants
The French do not mess around with seasonality. At Helmut Newcake, the menu changes daily and the menus here have less options because the food is fresh! My cousin, who has a degree in culinary arts, once told our family, “Do not trust places with huge menus – things are guaranteed to be frozen.”
5// Dessert is celebrated here
Portion sizes may be much smaller here than in the States, but there is always dessert after lunch. Always. YUM.
6// Walking (almost) everywhere
When you get off at a Metro stop, the best way of getting to your destination is to walk (or do the rent-a-bike system). Either way, you’e unintentionally exercising while still taking in the sites. It’s been great for us! Especially in Scotland when we walked & hiked along Arthur’s seat – truly the best views in Edinburgh!