Expatlife

10 things I miss the most about my home

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After a few years away, I just came back and took some time to be in my home country for the first time in 4 years (I came back a week-end in 4 years, but just up and back).
13 years of expatriation made me evolve and adapt a lot, so much that I passed from the need of always having a camembert or two in my fridge (hey I’m french(, up to almost not eating cheese at all.

But there’s still things I just miss, even if I can live on a daily base without it.

So here it comes, the list of the 10 things I miss the most about the place I grew up :

1 – Family

Of course the first thing I miss is family.
I decided to go away from the, I also think I needed this space between us and it’s clear our relation are much better since I moved to Barcelona.
But still, they are family, will always be, and I wish I could see them a little more.
The hardest thing was not being here with the little ones, my nephew.
When I lived in France, I was a part of my nephew life, seing them every week at least once.
Being away, I couldn’t see them grow and be there for them.
The first christmas, my sister send me a package and there was a recent picture of the 3 little monsters, it was really a sweet gesture, but suddenly I realise all I was missing with them, I cried during days.
So yes, even is distance can be life-saving, I do miss them.

2 – Friends

Obviously, I’ve got friends I knew most of my life, friends who knows so much about me, who can understand me with no words, who see always my bullshit and can send it back to my face, friends who knows all my story and I know them, friends with whom I shared so much.
Ok, there’s skype and whatsap etc etc … will you believe me If I told you my two best friends in France don’t use those things.
I still love them and miss them so much, but the good things is, even if we don’t see each other in years, every time we meet, it’s like we had a drink yesterday.
Love you girls ♥

3 – Second hand market

Oh my god, I love those so much.
I used to find my clothes there when I was a teenager, but not only clothes, jewelry and accessories, but also so many vintage goodies, glasses, furnitures, art, books, bikes …
I bought my first armchair in a « brocante », a bunch a vintage necklace so cheap in all kinds of « vide grenier ».
I was kind of a sport for the sunny week-end,also something we could do with all the family.
I never found anything at this level in Barcelona.
Flea market has evolved a lot in Barcelona since 2006 (time I moved here), but not yet there.

4 – Theater

We all have our passion, mine was thearter.
I played during 10 years, use to go see a lot of show. With my bad Spanish and my non existent Catalan, was hard to see some Theater.
There was an option in French, but I didn’t feel I had my place in that group.
Now there is much more possibilities with Amalia, Les Turbulences, the festival Oui! and Impro
For the english speaking, you have a lot of possibilities, ask me if you don’t find, or come meet me at the story telling 😉
My nest trip in France, there will be a night of theater 😀

5 – Paris life

Whatever I will do, I will never pass for a catalan, I do feel I belong now in Barcelona but not always.
In Paris, it’s different, I can be there a lot, don’t come for years, whatever I do, once I put put a foot in Paris I know the code, how things are working, I make friends everywhere, it comes naturally.
It’s a strange feeling, like when you run into someone you really know well.
Finding my place in Barcelona was not easy, but I think even if it’s my home now, I will never understand it as well as Paris, futur will say …

6 – Shopping

Shopping is great in Barcelona, but have you been to Paris
Glamour, moderne, with this little « je ne sais quoi ».
I don’t think about it usually, but when I come back in Paris it just slap me in the face everytime !

7 – Service

A world of service is at your foot in France.
Ok, it’s not always paradise, especially with customer service when you want to return something.
But most of the things are clear, with contract, and they never going to make you wait 3 months or more to come see what’s happening with the water coming down from your ceiling, the hot water who’s just not working for months, the internet who is not yet installed… we all have stories
For me a paper sign used to have more value than a word. So it took me time to adapt to a culture when you don’t always sign contracts, and not just that.
Catalan and Spanish didn’t have the same expectation from a shop or a restaurant … French expect maybe always too much, love the decoration to be on point … especially in the capital.
With years, difference is not so big, or may I learn to love some simple with it’s little imperfection that make it so unique and nice.

8 – Oyster

1 oyster in Barcelona = 3/4€
1kg of oysters in France = 5€
Of you like this delicatecies, you understand.
Nothing else to had.

9 – Pastries

Croissant with « manteca », covered in sugar in an heresy !
Éclair au chocolat, croissant aux amandes … 😛
Sugar is my weakness, sorry 😀

10 – Cheese and charcuterie

Ok, I want it all, the incredible « jamon de jabugo » and goof old « jambon à l’os », a little bit of « queso de Mahon » and a « chèvre à la cendre ».

The list of food I like to have when I come back to France is in fact bigger, I miss wine, the Monaco at the bar, duck … but I don’t really miss them anymore.

With my expatriation, I made a choice conscious choice, won’t change it for the world, even if I could.
But we are human, we have heart, feelings, and yes we can miss what use to be our home, it’s natural.

What do you miss about your home ?

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