We’ve been back from Paris for two-and-a-half weeks, and I think that’s adequate time to recall the things I like better about the United States versus Paris. It’s a rather short list. But in the interest of balanced reporting, I felt obliged to represent the opposing view to this post.
- Toilet-seat covers. These handy, hygienic things are very helpful if you’re a woman who finds herself in need of a public toilet. When I went to Thailand and Ethiopia, I adjusted my expectations regarding public restrooms. But when I’m in France (or Canada, for that matter), I’d rather appreciate a little paper barrier between my bum and everyone who’s gone before me.
- Large bathrooms. This time, I’m actually referring to the bathrooms that people have in their apartments in Paris. Or, at least, the apartments we looked to rent while visiting Paris. We looked at a ton, on Airbnb, New York Habitat and Paris Perfect, and the bathrooms were bitty. Showers fit for hobbits. Counter space to fit a toothbrush, and possibly your toothpaste. (I did like the electric towel dryers, though.)
- Beds for tall people. I’m not sure how European couples manage to sleep an entire night together, but there’s no way in hell Steve and I could have managed a week in Paris in a double bed. We did that shit when we were dating, but when you’re 43 years old and an insomniac, you need at least a queen.
- English. I crammed for Paris with Pimsleur’s Conversational French CDs, and while I was there, I actually got into the French-speaking groove. It’s just that when you ask a question of a French person in reasonably convincing French, they will answer you in French. Rapid-fire French.
- My family lives in the U.S. My child was in Redmond with my parents while Steve and I were gallivanting in Paris, and though I am happy to have experienced the city without him, I did want to reunite with him eventually. And then there’s the rest of my family. They all reside here. Steve’s family too. We’d miss them. But, there are airplanes.