This is my third, consecutive 4th of July that I am not spending back home in the states (!!!), and it’s a pretty weird thought. My last 4th I remember spending with friends and even sending my what would become French host family photos from the night.
Three years later and it didn’t even cross my mind that today was Independence Day until my Spanish cousin sent me a text. Whoops… I would have eventually remembered the second I would have logged onto Facebook. The thing is, instead of planning for the 4th every year now, I plan for the 14th – France’s Bastille Day. I still don’t know what we will be doing, but I suppose I will get back to you on that one.
Living abroad, you definitely can get home sick sometimes, or miss certain things. I do miss celebrating the 4th in the states. Last year, I missed it so much, the Frenchman and I hosted a barbecue (à la français) with American flags everywhere and French hot dogs (because the sausages here are not the same, and hot dog buns don’t exist here, so we end up using baguettes). We didn’t celebrate it on the 4th though, we celebrated it a few days later. Thanksgiving is another holiday that I miss. This year, for the first time ever, I cooked a turkey and tried my best to make a Thanksgiving-like meal. I even made the sweet potatoes with marshmallows so the Frenchman would try and believe that this was a recipe from the states (I am not even that big of a fan).
So, since it is Independence Day, a day to celebrate the United States, I decided to list a few things I miss specifically being “American”.
- I miss American barbecues. And if I went back to the states, I probably would miss French barbecues. Each one is very different, and I like them both. I just miss having hot dogs and hamburgers (which the French think is very complicated to make for a barbecue – excuse me, say what?) and potato salads and corn on the cob, and, and, and…
- I miss American sports. It’s not so much the sports but the ambiance of the games. I miss going to football games and tailgating. I haven’t been to many baseball games but since I can’t go to any here, now I have the itch to go to one (we always want what we can’t have). Also, having college sports to cheer on is fun.
- I miss Target and Costco. Because these were places where we could get the essentials for any holiday. P.S. They just opened the first Costco here in France and I can’t wait to go see the French version (this will be interesting).
- I miss peanut/almond/sunflower butter. The French don’t use that kind of spread. They use Nutella. And as much as Nutella is delicious… I miss having sweet and salty, which the French think is weird.
- I miss American junk food. Give me all the goldfish. And cheez-it’s. And peanut butter m and m’s.
- I miss bonfires and roasting marshmallows. S’mores is another concept the French think is weird.
- I miss speaking English. This one isn’t specifically American. I can’t even remember the last time I actually spoke English out loud. At this point, my friends think I have an accent now (and makes me question which language I can actually speak correctly).
- I miss my family and friends. Because in the end, these kinds of holidays are meant to be spent with them.
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