A lot of people ask me what I miss about the U.S. and while I occasionally miss something here or there, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I miss. I spend much more time focused on what I enjoy about my new life in Germany (see this post for the things I love in Germany). In any case, I thought it might be a good idea for me to make a list. I can add all of these things to my to- do list the next time I visit the U.S. 🙂 Here it goes:
- Target: Yes, the big-box store. I know it sounds silly, but the prices are decent and the products are diverse. I mean, what’s not to love about a place where you can pick up yoga pants, Laneige skin care products, wine, and some new home decor?
- Air Conditioning: The summer months are tough. We live on the 4th floor in an apartment with very little circulation so I’ve had more than a few very hot and sleepless nights.
- Nail Salons: Where I come from, I’m used to big nail salons where you can just walk right in at your convenience and get a mani and/or pedi quickly and cheaply. Here? Not so much. There’s normally only one or two people working so appointments are necessary and it’s much more time-consuming and expensive.
- TV: I have Amazon Prime (U.S. and German) and iTunes, but paying for full seasons of American TV shows is pricey! I normally pay $3 per episode or $15-$25 per season. But it sure beats the alternative, which is CNN International or the BBC which repeat the same news on an endless cycle.
- Grocery Delivery: Okay, you may have read this title and just think I’m a lazy girl. I am a bit lazy, but grocery delivery really is the best. In Chicago, I was a loyal Instacart customer. If you don’t have a car and you need lots of things, it definitely beats walking with very heavy bags. Especially in the snow.
- Mexican Food: Chicago is known to have some of the best Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine so I suppose I was spoiled before, but OMG I miss it! I’ve tried several Mexican restaurants in here in Stuttgart and most of them have been pretty bad. There is one good one, El Mero Mexicano, but unfortunately it’s a bit out of the way for us. Instead, we now make our own Mexican food. When there is a will, there is a way.
- Cheddar Cheese: Germans are crazy about Gouda, Emmentaler (Swiss cheese), Muenster, and a whole host of other fancy cheeses, but it’s still tough to track down cheddar. I have come across a Kerrygold cheddar and buy it whenever I see it because I don’t know when I’ll come across it again. Big thanks to the Irish!
- Free Water at Restaurants: As crazy as Germans are about recycling, I find it odd that you’re basically forced to purchase a glass bottle of water at a restaurant. The water here is certainly drinkable so I’m not sure why water from the tap isn’t an option.
- Taxis / Uber: Sure, Stuttgart isn’t as big as Chicago and has excellent public transportation, but sometimes you just want to hail a taxi cab or call an Uber. Or, better yet, order lunch/dinner with UberEats.
- Elevators: We live on the 4th floor with no elevator. Need I say more? 🙂
- Dryers: When I moved here, we had only a washing machine and had to hang all of our clothes to dry so our second bedroom became the “drying room.” After much nagging on my part, we purchased a machine that washes and dries, but it takes FOUR or FIVE hours to complete one load!
- American Junk Food: Cheetos, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Twinkies, Tostitos Salsa con Queso, French Onion Dip, Cheez-its, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t eat any of these things on the regular, but it would be nice to have the option. 🙂
Are you an American expat living abroad? I’d love to hear what you miss about the United States, and also what you love about your new homeland!