A friend of mine sent me a silly email about what to expect when you retire to various places in the US, here is part of it, and my response about retiring in France is below. Enjoy!
You can retire to California where:
- You make over $250,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a house.
- The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
- You know how to eat an artichoke.
- You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
- When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
- The four seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud and Drought.
You can retire to New York City where:
- You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
- You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can’t find Wisconsin on a map.
- You think Central Park is “nature.”
- You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
- You’ve worn out a car horn.
- You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
You can retire to Maine where:
- You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
- Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
- You have more than one recipe for moose.
- Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
- The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter and construction.
I countered with the following:
You can retire to France where:
- Your house has to be within a 5-minute walk to the bakery, which is good because the bread only lasts 12 hours. If your bakery is any good there are at least 6 different types of baguettes to choose from.
- You can debate #1 over coffee with anyone/everyone.
- You have all the time in the world to do all the paperwork in the world (remember bureaucracy is a French word).
- You also have all the time in the world (or at least 2 hours or more) to linger over lunch, which keeps you from having or wanting to endure early bird specials, which is good because they don’t exist.
- Drinking at lunch is encouraged, ditto dinner, as well as pre dinner apéros and after any meal—digestifs.
- You can drive for 4 hours and be in 4 different countries.
- Sexy lingerie is all there is.
- The presidential elections begin and end in 4 weeks, not 4 years.
- You know how to cook and eat 6 different types and 2 different colors of artichokes.
- You know that there’s no such thing as a coffee light and sweet. Café means espresso, and if you want milk in it, it’s a café au lait only if you’re drinking it at home, a café crème in the morning, or a noisette if it’s after noon.
- You have all the time in the world, but no memory to figure out which butcher is open when.