I left the U.S. on June 30 and became an expatriate in central Mexico. I’m returning this week for a conference in Arizona, staying a total of five nights. I should probably be more excited, but I’m realizing there’s not all that much that I’m craving, only a few things that I’ve been missing. Granted, 4.5 months is not all that long really, but you’d think the “missing” list would be longer than the “not missing” one.
USA Things I’m Missing
Hoppy beer, especially pale ale. My first purchase after I get to my hotel.
Football. The American kind, not the boring 1 to zero kind. (There’s a game on Thursday—yesss!)
Good snack foods. The ones in Mexico are fun for the first couple weeks, but there’s not much variety. (Usually some combination of corn, pork rinds, chili powder, and lime.)
Flavorful aged cheese
The ability to get change from a $20 bill (or the equivalent) without fail from any merchant
USA Things I’m Not Missing
Expensive health care
Shouting TV pundits
Rampant obesity (and schools where kids don’t get exercise—the two are connected)
A workaholic culture of materialism
Cities without pedestrians
So this week should be interesting. After I drink my pale ale, fill up my cart at the Target store, and rent a nice car for a good price, maybe I’ll eat Cheez-its and gain five pounds while flipping channels for hours. Then I’ll be good and ready to come back and join the walking people again.
What have you missed/not missed when you’ve been away from your home country a long time?