La Nostalgie

It is truly spring, and sandal weather, and as I walk by the guest room with its French balcony doors open, the breeze sends me a whiff of the honeysuckle scent from the flowering lemon tree. I’ve always wanted a lemon tree, and now that I live in the south of France, I have one.

Lemon tree blossoms

Sometimes, I am asked what I miss from the US. After all, we’ve been here just about three years (is that all???) without a return, so we’ve had plenty of time to register what’s lacking in our lives in France.

The answer? Not that much. There are big differences, of course, and frankly some of those are less than pleasant on the daily.

Nevertheless, overall, I am grateful to be here because I am never bored, have lots to photograph and stay very active because of the walkability of the city and the good weather. Nice is starting to feel like home, albeit one with all the frictions of being a foreigner.

So, if I were to return to the US, actually, Oregon, what would I enjoy reliving? Here’s a list:

A good naturopath. There are a few here, but I don’t know that their training is as rigorous as it is at the school that certifies naturopaths in Oregon.

Micro-breweries. France cannot compete, nor does any brewer here seem to want to, with the great beers of the Pacific Northwest. We found a few micro-breweries in Brittany, and there are a few in this region, but there isn’t the cult of beer here that is necessary for the great stuff to proliferate.

US-style dental hygiene visits. It’s pretty basic here, essentially plaque removal with a sharp instrument and that’s it.

SIDEWALKS CLEAN OF DOG POOP! Everyone who moves to France complains about the filthy sidewalks. Few dog owners pick up. And everyone has a dog.

Really great food. Yes, you read that right. Nice is not known for culinary sophistication. As in the US, my favorite eateries here are “ethnic.” I’ve got a favorite Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, North African and Italian. But in August, I miss the sweet corn tamales and soft tacos I used to get on Powell Blvd. Sometimes I lovingly recall the Korean dumplings in Beaverton; the Middle Eastern grocery store and its butternut hummus and fresh baked pita; the sour cherry ravioli at the Russian restaurant; the steamed clams and Dungeness crab dinners on the Oregon coast. Inventiveness and the diligent use of exceptional ingredients in cooking has moved to spots like Portland in the US. French menus are often tired, and that’s because restauranteurs know their clientele and their devotion to traditional french dishes. I’m not taking about Paris, here, which is a different story.

If you are planning to visit us from the US post-Covid, I’ll have a list of things for you to bring!

About kmazz

I spend as much time as possible pursuing my interests in global culture, photography, arts and politics.
This entry was posted in expat, expat in France, expat life, France, Nice, France and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to La Nostalgie

  1. Kathleen, I couldn’t comment on your page, but thank you for keeping me in your splendid loop in France. I have only one question: How come your list is so short?

    Love your portraits and so glad you’re giving that more space in your life.

    Cheers to you and David, Jim

  2. kmazz says:

    Here you are, Jim. Thanks for the comment, and compliment.

  3. Lynn Blasberg says:

    Hi Kathleen, always wonderful to hear your stories and see your photos. Would love to set up a date for a zoom call with you and Dave. Lots of love, Lynn

  4. Maridel says:

    I look forward to your posts and the arresting armchair travel they provide. Your latest also makes me more appreciative of the ultrasonic scaler my dental hygienist uses : )

  5. Ian says:

    It seems that you and David are not missing too much from your years in Oregon. If I were in your shoes I would be thinking back fondly about Powell’s Books, cycling in Portland, and the spectacular Oregon beaches. Nonetheless, in France your are surrounded by history and you will never run out of fascinating places to visit! Thanks for another excellent post. Why not compile them all and publish a best-selling book?

    • kmazz says:

      Ian, we miss our friends and of course still love Oregon. As far as your suggestion of a book, thank you but it would certainly not be best-selling.

  6. Francesca says:

    I agree with the list of things you miss about the US. I love the lemon tree 🌞

    Sent from my iPhone so please excuse the brevity


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