What I Don’t Miss

The Seine at night

The world is so Americanized it is difficult to miss things I always thought of as uniquely American. KFC, Burger King, McDonald’s are all walking distance from our apartment in the 10th arrondissement. Not a big selling point for the 10th.

There are Fords and Chevys everywhere. Ugg boots. I assume those are American because they are fucking hideous.

American “culture” is ubiquitous.

But let me tell you about the things I have not seen and most definitely not missed about the US.

Not a single Trump flag, not a single Let’s Go Brandon, not a single worship of any politician at all, frankly. It’s been nice. That’s enough to sell me on Paris.

I haven’t watched a ton of French TV, but they do love their Friends, Big Bang Theory, and NFL Playoffs; not once in all that watching have I seen a drug commercial, or a commercial about crotch deodorant. They do, however, have a French version of Safelite – same song and everything.

No fucking Jesus commercials. Praise the Lord!

We eat out at least once a day and this has been my absolute favorite thing left behind in America: no annoying wait staff interrupting every fucking bite asking if I’m enjoying my meal. Fucking hell, I can eat in peace because their rent is not dependent on whether or not they kiss my ass enough to garner a large tip.

Fun fact: I would tip a lot more than I already do if US wait staff would leave me the fuck alone whilst I ate. True story.

No mindless small talk.

I used to dread mowing my lawn in the South because I knew I would have to waste at least 20 minutes to an hour making small talk with neighbors. Earbuds and avoiding eye contact were of no use.

Here we get a polite bonjour or bon soir with the understanding that you do not follow that shit up with any mindless dribble.

Bonjour. Smile. Move the fuck on.

I fucking love this city.

Postscript, I forgot another uniquely American thing I do not miss. Regular occurrences of mass shootings.

Post-postscript, I cannot believe I forgot my absolute favorite thing I don’t see in Paris: nobody talks on their fucking phones on speaker in public. Also, nobody plays videos or music on their phones on speaker mode. It is so strange to see people using their fucking earbuds/airpods the way they were fucking intended!

The Seine at night
The Seine at night
©2024 Rudy Martinez