ANGERS: À bientôt

I can’t think of anything that has made me as happy as hearing the flight captain say “enjoy your stay in the great state of Texas.”

The second I exited Customs & Immigration and saw my sisters and mom waiting for me, I dropped my bags and cried my eyes out. When I got home, I stuffed my face with all things Tex-Mex.

Yet I’m already missing the perks of my wonderful Angers home.

This morning I woke up and realized I couldn’t walk down the street and buy a brioche Suisse for breakfast. In fact, I realized I wasn’t in walking distance of anything anymore.

Not only that, but it’s also too humid outside even if I wanted to walk. Not to mention there’s no tram to whisk me to the other side of town in minutes.

I miss the wine tasting trips and chateaux excursions. Really, I miss living down the street from a chateau. I miss the plethora of pastry shops and my quest to use bread in every single meal.

Some people might not agree with me on this one, but I miss the fact that everything is closed on Sundays. It’s like a government-mandated day of rest, almost. I can only imagine how that work/family balance makes French family life so different from American family life. It’s also a good time management tool, since you can’t do anything on Sunday but homework.

The only thing I won’t miss is French people’s two-hour (minimum) lunch breaks. Sometimes a girl just wants to get a slice of pizza at 3 in the afternoon.

Aside from that, picking the Angers program and getting on that plane in January have been my two best life decisions.

Small class sizes and enthusiastic professors allowed me to actually stay engaged with my coursework, no easy task when you’re surrounded by European wonders. It also meant that all my classes were interconnected and I could easily incorporate lessons from one into another.

The French students I befriended gave me a gateway into French culture and language (and helped me out when my minimal French failed me). The best part is that the majority of them are coming to St. Edward’s in the fall and staying for the next three years, so I don’t have to say goodbye for good!

I still haven’t acknowledged that my time in Angers is up, but I know that this won’t be my last time in France. I’ve caught the travel bug and there is no known cure.

Europe has been so good to me (for the most part) and assimilating back into American culture is going to take some time and energy. For now, though, I’ll revel in the queso, casual dress, and Southern twangs that I’ve missed so much.

À bientôt for now!