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Mike Anderson | USLHC | USA

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What I Miss

When I’m out here at CERN, living in France, there are a few things I look forward to when I’m back in the US.

Being able to buy groceries late at night

By “late” I mean “after 9pm,” because some of the larger grocery stores around here stay open as late as 9pm sharp, and many other close at around 7pm.

These early closing times also lead to grocery stores being very busy with long lines after 5pm when people start finishing work.

When I’m in the US it’s nice to be able to relax after work for a few hours and not have to worry about quickly rushing to the store to get needed supplies.

Large areas without people

DSC01724When I look across the countryside in the valley here between the Jura and Alps mountain ranges, every piece of land is either a farm or a city.  It’s almost all owned by someone and put to use by people.  There’s always at least a village or more within view, and it’s hard to get far from them.

In contrast, the population density of my home state (and the US average) is about 1/3 the pop density of France.  I love being able to drive, get away from the city, and be surrounded by forest and wild animals.

Although, I’ll admit, it is a bit too cold this time of year for me to be able to enjoy The Porkies.

Wider Roads

DSC01716Back home in the US, I only feel minimally comfortable riding my bicycle on the side of a busy road.  Unfortunately, out here in the French countryside, there’s even less space for bikers.  The roads are so narrow that cars have to go into the next lane to pass you, but if there’s traffic both ways there’s no room for that.  It’s scary tight.

Also, the first time I came to the Geneva area two years ago I knew within a week I’d never want to drive my mother around.  She gets stressed out enough as it is driving on US highways.  But out here, people drive at higher speeds, with more acceleration, and all on much tinier roads!