I am not claiming that everyday life in the US is necessarily easier, compared to France. However, life in a familiar environment, wherever that is, is definitely easier.
I am slowly re-adjusting to France, and getting used to the way things are here. However, right now, I am not exactly familiar with my environment. As a result, the simplest things become a challenge.
Shopping for a pasta dinner should be a five minute stop at Leclerc. Alas! everything is different here. The brands, the packaging, the size of things, the way they're organized in the store... Tomato sauce does not come in a can! Instead, you have to track tiny cardboard boxes of 200 ml. that ressemble juice containers for children, so you'll need about two to a 15 oz. can. Parmesan does not come shevelled! Instead you'll need to track small opaque bags of powdered cheese (again, at least two are needed to match a 2 cup bag). All this converting is exhausting. I should know, it was the same story when I first set foot in a Safeway but that was so long ago!
Shopping bags in hand, going home should be easy. But the smallest wrong turn at the wrong time of day easily adds 45 minutes to a 3-minute commute. No kidding. This daily travel time russian roulette is exhausting. And nothing prepared me to that, not even rainy days on Old Georgetown road.
The cherry on top of the cringe cake is wanting to bake muffins - but the muffin pan is in the shipment. Wanting to watch a good old episode of Gilmore Girls for comfort after an exhausting day - but the DVDs are in the shipment. Wanting to put some bigger socks on my son's growing feet - but the larger baby clothes are in the shipment. Wanting to use our winter comforter because it sometimes gets cold at night - but our linens are in the shipment. You get the drift. Everything we thought we could do without for 6 to 8 weeks is in a shipment that has been somewhere between Maryland and France for a solid 9 weeks. There is no getting a firm answer as to when we'll finally see our stuff again. "Likely next week, or the week after" has been heard so many times that it will eventually come true. And when it does, perhaps we'll be back on the path of day-to-day routine being easier again.