10 Things I Miss About America:
- Efficiency. Take the US Postal Service, combine it with apathy and labor strikes, and you get Europe. What I wouldn't give for stuff to run (somewhat) on time and on schedule without having to worry about whether or not that particular labor union decided to show up to work that day, I'll compromise on the customer service if I could just get that.
- Convenience. It's easy to take for granted that you could be dropped in any city in America, and in relatively short order be able to find almost anything that you needed. It's hard to find stuff when you don't know the word for it and you don't know the name of a store that might have it.
- Southern Food. Smithfield's pork BBQ, Bojangles, biscuits and gravy, a proper breakfast or brunch, and last but certainly not least: Sweet Tea.
- Cleanliness. Take the dirtiest city in America, and you'll have the average here. Graffiti, street trash, and just general disrepair is common. Obviously stuff is older here so some of it is understandable, but I still miss that about home.
- Space. Even in the bigger cities don't give you the closed in feeling that cities here do. These streets were not meant for BMWs and Mercedes Benzs to be driving down them, and these apartments should not have 4-8 people in them. Sometimes it's more annoying than others, like when you have to stop walking down a street and hug the wall so a car can pass by.
- American websites. A lot of websites are US service only, so if you try to access them from an international IP address, they won't let you. A lot of the people in my group are trying desparately to get access to Netflix, Hulu, and other sites just to get a brief American media respite.
- Sports. I love just being able to turn on the TV and easily find two or three games on on any given night, whether it's football or college basketball. Yesterday I missed the Duke-UNC game, which turned out to be a great one, and I'll miss watching March Madness live. Thankfully I'll be back in the States before Memorial Day weekend so I can catch the College Lacrosse Final Four.
- Ethnic food. Italian food is great, but I miss the variety of cuisine in the States: Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Indian. We've tried making a couple dishes here, but some ingredients are next to impossible to find.
- Movies. I realized today that I'm going to miss an entire movie season, those being released both in the theaters, and on DVD as well.
- People. But most of all I miss everyone: family, friends back home, friends at ND. It feels weird only being able to see everyone on Skype, and hear about normal routines back at school while I'm here, but part of me wishes I was there.
Leaving for Sorrento and Naples in the morning, so I'll have more pictures at the end of the weekend.