mardi 15 juillet 2008

Welcome to Miami, Bienvenidos a Miami

As we mentioned in our earlier posts, Diego and I just got back from a two-week vacation in Miami. My sister got married and Diego had something of a family reunion (his niece is having her 15th birthday party, so his sisters were in Miami visiting from Uruguay). It was our first time back since moving to Paris, and both of us were sort of surprised at some of what we noticed.

First, the bread is just awful in the US. And, yes, I even mean the bread you get in the fancy bakery section of the supermarket, which is allegedly fresh-baked on the premises (don’t even get me started on the croissants!). My parents think that the best baguette in Miami comes from Sedano’s, but to me, it tasted like Frankprix baguette. What I don’t understand is how every single baguette looked exactly the same every day, even though it is supposed to be fresh-baked. My favorite local baker has some days where the bread comes out more cooked than others, so I have to ask for it pas trop cuit. But I figure that the small inconsistencies are the trade-off for getting locally fresh-baked goodness.

Second, the fruit is pretty awful too (except for the mangoes from my parents' backyard, which are deliciousness personified). Actually, "awful" is not the right word...tasteless is more like it. The fruit usually looks good, but it has no smell or flavor. I’ve been on a fig- and strawberry-eating frenzy since getting back, and I love how it makes our kitchen smell.

Lest you think the US has no culinary delights to offer, it was wonderful to have access to a large selection of international wines. It’s pretty hard to get a good selection of non-French wines here, so I lived it up by having wines from South America, California and Australia. The meat, too, was fantastic, especially our parents' asado. I think I ate enough meat to feed a small village.

Third, shopping, eating and drinking out, while cheap, is more expensive than it used to be. Sadly, this created a bit of a moral dilemma for me. I found a pair of very cute animal print shoes that were massively discounted and cost less than $70 (that’s about 45 euros!). While my inner animal rights activist felt guilty because of the materials used in the shoe, in the end, I simply could not bear to see them end up on someone else’s feet. And hey, women here wear entire coats made out of cute furry animals, so my one pair of shoes is a negligible environmental faux pas in comparison.

Last, being back in SoFla reminded me of how much I hate sitting in traffic. I missed biking, walking or metroing everywhere. I-95 with two lanes closed and half of the drivers talking on the cell phone is no fun (why, oh why, hasn’t Florida followed suit and banned cell phone use while driving, like the rest of the civilized and uncivilized world?)

Oddly, neither Diego nor I experienced our usual post-vacation sadness. Maybe it’s because we know we are leaving Paris soon, or (for me, anyway), the fact that I did not have to come back to a job I dislike. But, regardless, it felt good to be back.

3 commentaires:

Colleen a dit…

why will you be leaving Paris soon? Glad you enjoyed your trip home- I totally agree on the bread and fruit. I ate better bread and fruit (admittedly only when it was available) in Bosnia that I do in DC!

makietdiego a dit…

We are moving to London in the fall! My job here was pretty awful and Diego found an amazing job at a bank in London, so off we go again. After this, I don't want to have to move again for a while!

Congrats on the Apt. Therapy gig. I read about it on your blog...yay for getting paid to write :)

Colleen a dit…

London? I'm jealous...