Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Things I Miss

Before we moved here, Peter asked me what I thought I was going to miss from America. I thought about the things he missed from Ireland (Irish junk food, mostly Rancheros and Snack Bars). Since I always avoided American junk food because the taste never justified the calories, I was at a loss trying to think of what there was to miss.

After being here for nearly six months, I now know exactly what I miss. In no particular order:

Our Ice-Making Fridge. To me, an ice-making, water-dispensing fridge is the height of luxury and I was thrilled that the house we bought happened to have one. It would even crush the ice for you. Over here, you can buy such a fridge and, in fact, they are even called American-style fridges. But there’s not one where we’re staying and so I’m reduced to making ice the old fashioned way and getting water from the sink.

Corn Syrup. Yeah, I know, I never thought I would miss corn syrup either. But you try making a pecan pie without corn syrup when you’re not familiar with your substitution options (golden syrup or treacle).

A Wide Range of Diet Sodas. Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Cherry Coke, Diet Mountain Dew, I miss you all. While Pepsi Max (remember Pepsi Max?) is great, I miss the variety of diet pops available in the States.

My Brand of Birth Control Pills. Don’t get the wrong idea – this isn’t 1980s Ireland. Contraceptives are legal and readily available. But they don’t have my brand, Ortho Tricyclin Lo. I took some poor substitute and one of the side effects was that I gained 12 pounds in about a month. I am not a happy girl about this situation and plan to buy a year’s supply of my pills the next time I’m in the States. I don’t care what it costs.

Bookstores That Stay Open Late. If it was 9 o’clock at night and I ran out of reading material, a quick trip to the Barnes and Noble or Borders solved that problem. If that happens over here, I have to troll through my mother-in-law’s bookshelf, trying to decide which Maeve Binchy book will be least annoying. Most retail stores here close at 6 although they do stay open a little bit later on Thursdays. It’s annoying to not be able to go out and buy what I want when I want it.

My Kitchen Aid. The only thing I love more than baking is baking with a Kitchen Aid. Don’t you dare think “no big deal, it’s just a mixer.” The Kitchen Aid is a revolutionary advancement in the baking sciences. It’s big, it’s heavy and it will last for all of your days. I had to give my Kitchen Aid to a good home because of the electrical circuit issue. My brother Shane kindly took in the Kitchen Aid. A week later, he called me and said “I didn’t understand what the big deal was with the Kitchen Aid, but I just made meringues with it and now I want to make sweet love to the Kitchen Aid.” Another convert, just don’t touch his meringues.

Target. From cat litter to cleaning supplies, bed linens to furniture, Target was our go-to source for our daily living needs. Ireland doesn’t really have an equivalent. Dunnes comes close, but not close enough.


At 24 September 2005 at 18:11, Blogger Blue Meany said...

"I want to make sweet love to the Kitchen Aid" - HA! That's beautiful.

Pie Rat hat picture coming tonight! I never realized how much interest there was in it ...

At 26 September 2005 at 06:51, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I love the Kitchen Aid.

At 27 September 2005 at 02:14, Blogger Jason said...

It's quite a culture shock at all the stuff we take for granted in America just isn't there in Europe, even in major cities. My wife is Dutch, and I found Amsterdam terribly short of my little luxuries when we were over there.

At 27 September 2005 at 19:50, Blogger Mahd said...

I think you might have larger problems if he's making love to an electrical appliance.

Every comment I've heard from European friends who have come here is: You have so much stuff.

Well, how could I live without my clapper and salad shooter?

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