Monday, March 23, 2015

What I Miss

After almost ten years as an expat in Spain, I can say that I´ve pretty much gotten used to the Spanish way of life.  And obviously I like it, otherwise I wouldn´t be here.  I can say this with certainty because we took off to the states for a year to compare lifestyles and we ended up coming back.  Still and all, there are certain things I miss from home that just can´t be replaced.  Aside from family and friends, in no particular order...

1.  Supermarkets open on Sundays.  I know that Sundays are for rest, and Europeans highly respect this, and if we want to get political some might even say it´s abusive to operate on Sundays, not getting into that either way but...I would be MUCH happier if I could get my groceries done on Sunday.  To this day, I will sometimes make a comment about going to the store on a Sunday and my husband will go ape shit because after 10 years I still don´t remember (all the time) that nothing is open.  It´s my brain refusing to accept it.

2.  Diners.  It is cruel not to have access to diner food.  I miss that SO much.  Eggs over easy, hash browns  toast, pancakes, waffles, chicken fingers, honey mustard, hot chocolate with marshmellows and whipped cream, a burger, or even chicken parm!  I don´t usually eat all that (really) but I´d like to have the option if ever inclined.  There are a lot of new places cropping up offering ¨brunch¨ these days, but I´ve yet to see anything that matches a diner experience.  If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.  

3.  Pharmacies.  I loathe not being able to go to the pharmacy and be able to pick out the headache, cold, flu, medicine relief of my choice.  Nope, I have to go and tell the pharmacist what my problem is and have him/her give me some options and then take whichever seems more appealing in a matter of seconds.  Also, as an adult I have no qualms about asking for a pregnancy test, but when we were trying with our second and being new to this ¨experience¨ you´ve no idea how irritating it was to go and have to ask for one while 10 other people were waiting behind you.  I´d much prefer standing in the Pregnancy Test aisle (yes back home we have an aisle just for that) and browse for an obscene amount of time till you find the one that suits you best.  Maybe an hour.  So what? I do the same for feminine hygiene and a million other things at the pharmacy.  If the pharmacy was back home.  Because at the pharmacy back home there are tons of things you can buy, make up, books, food, magazines, ¨As Seen On TV¨ products...love those.  

4.  Target.  Yep, this lovely gets it´s own section. Great finds, designer like items, great linen, homeware, baby items, clothing, the list goes on and all reasonably priced.   Nothing you can´t find there,  nothing! 

5.  Wearing sweats out.  Back home this casual american wore her sweats anywhere and everywhere.  Mind you I also get dressed up to the nines for no particular reason, but if and when the mood strikes me I like my sweats.  Or let´s be honest, even pajamas.  I´ve worn pajamas with a winter coat over it to get chinese food.  To walk the dog, always.  Who hasn´t?  Well, it´s bizarre to do that here.  Unless you´re going to the gym.  Might just be the area I live in, it´s just not done.  I chuckle everytime I think of my first year here, going to the equivalent of Saks or Barney´s in my sweats, and the sales people looking at me like I was homeless.  Good times.

6. New England foliage.  So much color...beautiful.



So, just some random things I miss, and thrive on when I go back home.  Doesn´t mean I don´t enjoy living here, because I do, but we all miss what we miss.  The year we lived back home I missed so many things from Spain that I decided we had to move back.  And here we are, loving it.  Somedays the grass is greener on the other side, and some days it´s the most brilliant shade right where we´re at.  But we´ve found this gives us perspective and you learn to appreciate things a little bit more. 

x

Carol