Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Longing For Home

I left the house this morning for the first time in four days.
I came down with a sharp sore throat on Friday that evolved into a head cold with coughing, sneezing and chills.
By this morning, I decided I would be finished being sick so I went for a run, just a short one.
A cloud had settled beneath the mountains as the sun came up this morning
In addition to being sick, I've managed to teach 31 English classes to Chinese kids in the days I sequestered myself.
On Friday, after teaching classes until 3, my throat was hurting and I really wanted a milk shake. Milk shakes are not something easily accessible in France. I had also missed lunch and we had no bread in the house.
At 3 in the afternoon in a small town, the odds of finding a restaurant to make food are very slim, okay they're non-existent. The restaurants stop serving around 2 and don't begin serving again until about 7:30.
I decided to travel to McDonalds in search of a late lunch and a milk shake. Normally, in the States, I would not eat at McDonalds but with my throat searing, I needed something comfortably familiar. Plus, McDonalds does serve food in the middle of the afternoon.
The only problem was that the closest McDonalds is 30 minutes away. Luckily, we now have a borrowed car, so I hopped behind the wheel and drove a few towns over.
I parked the car and went inside to order my meal on the computerized menu. Quelle horreur! No milk shakes in French McDonalds either. I settled for a coke and a fish sandwich. Instead of fries, I could choose little moon-shaped potatoes. I sat in the nearly desserted restaurant where a few teenage boys hung out after school and a few mothers of young children watched their kids climb on the playground.
On the drive home, I stopped at the grocery, looking for popsicles, which also would soothe my throat, but found none. I settled for ice cream before heading home.
On Sunday, after teaching 13 classes and eating mostly crackers, I decided that soup would really make me feel better - chicken noodle soup. Where could find chicken noodle soup in town?
Since it was Sunday after 12:30, all the grocery stores were closed, not just in our town but in most of Southwestern France.
I could get some from a restaurant, but most places aren't serving soup yet. They're very serious about summer menus, fall menus, winter menus. Soup is not offered on a summer menu.
But I thought of the Vietnamese restaurant in our town. If they were similar to Chinese restaurants in the States, they might offer some wonton soup. I started wheedling with Earl to go get me some.
At about the same time, the heavens opened with torrents of rain and rumblings of thunder.
I knew I wanted soup, but I wondered if I'd be able to eat it, my head was so stopped up.
I told my valiant husband to never mind the soup. Again, if we'd been home, it wouldn't have been a big deal to go to Noodles & Co to get a bowl of soup, or even the grocery store for a can of Campbells.
But trying to ask for "food to go" in another language, which Earl would have to do here, is tricky. Most places don't have takeaway, or à emporter, as the French say, at least not in our part of the country.
On Monday, Earl was gone all day on a hike. He left behind a croissant for me, but I only managed crackers again until the evening when I rallied to make pasta at around 5:30. Way too early for a French dinner, but I had to strike while I felt able to eat something.
I started talking about moving back home, and Earl reminded me that I always feel that way when I'm sick.
That same cloud beneath the mountains -- I told you I hadn't left the house for four days
So this morning, after not much sleep, I ran and then we met friends for coffee. I'm back in the land of the living and the beautiful scenery reminds me of something that I can't get back home in Ohio, even when I do miss many of the conveniences.

7 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Glad u r feeling better. I'm a creature of habit and would hate having to go without my familiar comforts when sick. You are a trooper! LOL

francetaste.wordpress.com said...

The strict hours drove me crazy for years.
Asian restaurants (whether Chinese, Vietnamese or Thai) tend to do takeout. "à emporter." Other restaurants might as well, if you ask (especially if you/Earl showed up with a container, which they might not have). You would be surprised. But as you say, soup is likely not on the menu at the moment. I have lots of homemade soup in my freezer, but I'm not exactly next door.
The Intermarché in Quillan is open on Sunday mornings, isn't it? It isn't very close to the center of town, though.
Have you gone to a pharmacist? They can be quite helpful.
I hope you're A-OK soon.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Dear Paulita. .I really do hope you are feeling better now .. surprising how very much different the two countries are .. i would of hid under the blankets. .cups of tea and paracetamol. .Many villages in the uk have no facilities on a Sunday . Glad you are back in the land of the living. .take care . Do you have an address you can message me please ..

Jeanie said...

I'm glad you are on the mend. I can see why home would seem pretty good by now -- when you're sick all one wants is familiar. Well, you have time to make that decision. I suspect Earl is right -- he knows you well!

Sim Carter said...

Plenty to feel HomeSick about! Glad you are feeling better.
I must say you've reminded me about the MacDonalds in France. They may not have milkshakes but to my recollection, they have all manner of delicious French pastries for dessert. Not too shabby.

Paulita said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I am feeling much better and homesickness does kind of float away then. As you can see from my next post where I feel like I'm fitting in.

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