Posts Tagged ‘pet peeves’

I miss

I could go on and on about how much I miss my wonderful family, my friends back in the home country, the bestest cat ever that I only get to see over skype now.  But instead I’m gonna focus on the more mundane things I miss.  Here goes, in no particular order:

[un] My hand blender.  Though I can’t seem to locate tahini anywhere in Fontaineblows, which would rather diminish the joy of having a hand blender in the first place.  (Note to self: look into importing from London)

[deux] Anthropologie sales.  I must say that I’m quite unimpressed with the Soldes.  The boots I’ve had my eye on are still at 178EUR (down from 300 EUR) and that’s not exactly a bargain.  In countries where governments don’t dictate everything (I believe they use a French phrase for that:  laissez faire), stores are free to have sales whenever.

[trois] Being able to overcommunicate while buying a cup of coffee at D-Nuts.  I remember coming back from a 2 week trip to Korea where I had my friend’s family do all of the communicating for me, and finding that I was using extra words and exceptionally florid language at the JFK D-Nuts upon arrival.  The transaction could have been just as effective had I said, “medium regular, two splenda” but instead it went something like this: “Hi, how are you doing?  Good?  Yep, I’m well, thank you.  I’d like a medium coffee with cream – no, make that whole milk – and two splenda.  Splendas?  Do you say “Splendas”?  You know how when it’s some new made-up word, you never know how to make it plural?  Anyways, two of them please.”

[quatre] Splenda.  Yeah, it’s evil.  Their marketing claim of being made from sugar is total crap, though the story of its discovery is fascinating.   In another 5 years they’ll find it gives rectal cancer to laboratory animals.  But I miss those little yellow packets.

[cinq] I miss that Jamaican place that was a 10 minute walk from my place, run by the kindest, friendliest family.  I should write them a postcard – they were really excited that I was moving to France.  I probably won’t ’cause they’d probably scratch their heads trying to remember me when they got it… but I’m gonna think about it.  Maybe if I mentioned that I always came with that really tall Indian dude who was totally unfazed by their hot sauce?

[six] Speaking of…I miss hot sauce.  Old El Paso at the Champion is just not doing it for me.  Those little packets of “hot oil” they put with the pizza are a joke.  I do like the egg on the pizza though.  That’s good stuff.

[sept] Social responsibility.  I know… I just can’t let this go.  It’s gonna keep coming up in every post, so go read Vanessa Tan’s cheerier happier version of things if you don’t wanna hear this.  I’m talking about dog shit again.  In Singapore, they cane your ass for not picking up after your dog.  In the UK they fine you 80 pounds.  In the States they go for enabling positive reinforcement approach.  And they actually make leashes that have little plastic bag dispenser pouches so that you can pick up after your dog.  Fontainebleau has two (TWO!) shops that sew custom doggie outfits, but not one store that sells a leash with a baggie dispenser attached.  Actually, this evening I saw an old guy pick up his dog’s poo. i saw this happen once in Paris, on the Champs Elysee too.  The guy picked up the dog poo using a napkin, and then proceeded to throw it under a tree two feet away.  The man yesterday actually picked up the poo and took it with him in a plastic bag.  I wanted to go hug him.

[uhh… eight.  I forget how you say eight.  I could look it up I suppose] I miss being around people who don’t smoke.  In my company, we had exactly 3 people who smoked.  There were fewer smokers than presumed Republicans (that one was harder to pin down because the Republicans were all closeted).  None of my friends smoke, so I’m having some trouble relating to or understanding the INSEAD crew of these supposedly intelligent people who are not even sheepish about their addiction.  And then there’s all of France where reportedly 40% of adults smoke.  When I see a smoking woman toting a child or a pregnant woman smoking, I have to resist the urge to punch her in the face.  INSEAD does everything to facilitate smoking, with a smoking area outside of every door (one even has a heat lamp!).  While smoking is no longer allowed in cafes, bars and restaurants, they all still reek of smoke because there’s usually smokers 4-deep standing by the door.  Yes, I’m a delicate flower and the smell of smoke makes me nauseous.

[neuf] Coffee shops.  You know, the kind where you can sit for hours on a plushy couch reading a book or tapping away on your keyboard.  Where they give you latte in a giant bowl that you can cuddle.

[dix] I didn’t think I’d say this, but I miss Whole Foods.  Yeah yeah, there’s a wonderful market in Fontainebleau.  And one day I might even find time to go.  But as grocery stores go, I miss my Whole Foods.  Although a quick word must be said about Picard.  Picard, the frozen everything store, is GENIUS.  I’m really not a fan of all things packaged, pre-prepared, processed, but Picard manages to do it right.  So far I’ve only bought peas, spinach and a bag of mixed mushrooms, but the beautifully done catalogue that made for dinnertime reading last night (yes, I’m an introvert) promises sashimi grade tuna and little bite size mushroom tarts and foie gras poêlé aux fruits épicés.  Since everything in the picard is frozen, and the colorful graphics on the packages are the only means of discerning what’s inside and justifying the slightly ridiculous prices.  Whereas most frozen food, just shows a picture of the Hungry Man Microwaveable dinner in its dinner tray (I mean, why would you even waste time plating a microwave dinner?), Picard photos are professionally styled, garnished, mouthwatering.

[onze] NPR.  I miss NPR terribly.  I can podcast it, but then I think it would just make me more homesick.  And listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! via podcast is just not as good when you catch it live while driving somewhere on Saturday at 11 (or when they re-broadcast it on Saturday evening at 7).  It’s like when you know the outcome of a ball game – it’s not as fun watching it on TiVO.  Or so I’ve heard since I don’t watch sports.  Or TV for that matter. I miss those occasions when I would get to wherever I was going before the show is over, and just sit in the car, with the radio on.

[douze]  TV.  I just lied about how I don’t watch TV.  I used to not watch TV.  And now I’m back to not watching TV – namely because I haven’t figured out how to work the remote and because I don’t have enough plugs in my room to simultaneously plug in the TV and the satellite receiver AND be able to plug in the lamp and the computer.  So light and internet won.  Yeah, I could buy an extension cord, but I don’t actually want to watch TV.  So this complaint is really not earnest.  In the three months leading up to the move to INSEAD, I rediscovered how good TV is.  I caught up on Lost, watched numerous back to back episodes of House (not a good thing when you dabble in hypochondria) and waited impatiently for each new episode of 30 Rock, which is the bestest show ever.  Dad and I even got in some an episode of the Highlander which I haven’t watched since 1998.  Hulu.com knows when you try to access it from France and they’re not interested in wasting their advertising dollars since the ads for MetLife or Tropicana are no longer geared towards me.  I am now a target for racy Orangina ads.

[to be continued…]

Since I love hearing from you guys, tell me what you miss about home!  Or tell me where they sell tahini in this damn town.


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