Great story, Kim. You've essentially described the way I feel about living in France--perhaps in many other European countries. One thing, among many, I don't miss about life in the US is the restaurant experience. The get em in get em out mentality and the constant intrusions by wait staff. I don't need to be asked if I'm "still working on that?" Or to have my plate whisked away the moment I set down my fork.
Life in Europe might not run quite so efficiently, but it's vastly more enjoyable.