Expat Ponderings

Monday, February 06, 2012

I spent some time over the weekend reading expat blogs. An "expat" is a person native to one country who packs everything up and moves to another country. These types of blogs are fascinating! While most expats love their new location, I notice a familiar thread amongst them all- all the expats miss certain foods or products from their native country, things that evoke a sense of comfort in their lives.

For many American expats, they miss particular foods. One expat from the American south lamented the lack of fried okra in England! I found that comical (I had fried okra once, and I will never miss it!). :) But I can understand the feeling. I have never traveled out of the country but I have been away from home (and New York State) for extended periods of time. I have missed certain things from home that make my home... well, home.

I would miss real, Italian-made pizza. I would miss spicy chicken wings. When we traveled to Virginia, we got pizza and wings from a "real," New York style pizzeria (so the sign said). When we got our order, the pizza was *ok* (not enough crust and too little cheese) but the wings were not Buffalo chicken wings-- they were tiny pieces of southern friend chicken! We giggled at the food, being the New York pizza and wings connoisseurs that we are, LOL. But if I ever had to live down south for any extended period of time, I knew I would be in trouble, lol!

What about you? What are some things that you associate with home that you could not do without if you traveled far away or lived in another country? Would it be your ipod touch 8 gb, your TV shows, your special cuisine?

3 remarks
John said...

One thing that is very annoying is that entertainment is often not available - Netflix is available to less than 10% of the world, NCAA sports about 5%... Most music/movies/TV shows are that restricted. I have great trouble finding good science fiction books too.

In many places you also just don't know where to go to get things. For some reason in Malaysia they don't sell normal sheets - only fitted sheets (I am sure somewhere they do but I can't find them).

Also the standards of work can leave quite a bit to be desired. Customer service is often not very good in the USA. But in many other locations it is even worse.

There are also many great things about being away. But one of the benefits is being able to appreciate what you take for granted. And sometimes it is surprising. I would not have though missing Netflix would be so annoying but it is. Partially this is because many other things I care about I have: good food, I can play basketball, nice hiking options, internet access (though missing sites that don't care about the 95% of uses that are not in the USA)...

Not having to deal with the TSA is sure nice. People forget how much hassle and wasted time the security theatre adds to travel in the USA. Taking a short plane trip is not a hassle like it is in the USA in most of the rest of the world.

6:59 PM  

Thanks for your input, John.

I guess the inconveniences truly depend on the person! I don't like Netflix or sports or TV at all, so that loss would mean nothing to me.

Wrangling with the TSA, however, would disturb be greatly. It seems the US is purposefully hostile to travelers these days.

I would go bananas without Internet, though. That's why I'd prefer to travel to an industrialized nation.

Thanks for your comment!

3:44 PM  
Rena said...

Hmmm let's see it would be...

Chicken Riggies
Tomato pie
Italian greens
Pizza
Half moons
Turkey Joints
CNY Italian dishes
Garlic knots
Natural peanut butter
Reliable internet service
Reliable cell service
The familiarity of home
Family and friends close by
Fall foliage
Our parks and nature trails
Our historic places

Gosh so much more as well.

12:34 AM  

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