There’s No Place Like Home….There’s No Place Like Home….

Today I only had to teach 2 classes due to some scheduling changes so I had the privilege (or drudgery), depending how you look at it, of “deskwarming” for 6 hours.  I spent most of that time shopping for flights home.  Life would be so much easier if I could just click my ruby red slippers together.  And I spent the rest of the time making lists of what I miss from home, what I will do, and what items I will bring back with me.  It’s not like I’m living in a hut in Africa out here, but there are a few select things that aren’t readily available that I had almost forgot about until today.  Here’s what I miss (in no particular order):

1.) this one goes without saying,  my family and friends

2.) driving my Honda Civic…or other people’s sweet cars (and of course singing and dancing to myself while driving….don’t miss the feeling of road rage tho….)

driving

3.) my dad’s two floor/4 bedroom house complete with a backyard (when you live in the city for long enough, especially Seoul, you appreciate the comfort of a real American style home)

4.) western style breakfasts ( I cook eggs a lot at home, but I miss going out to a restaurant for an American breakfast with pancakes and hashbrowns)

5.) asparagus and avocados (these are two types of produce that don’t seem to exist here)

6.) my favorite beers : Blue Moon and Shocktop as well as Sam Adams seasonals  (Seoul has a fairly decent selection of beers, but I have yet to find my favorites)

what I would do for a nice cold Blue Moon right now....

7.) drinking/eating in smoke-free bars and restaurants (every time I go out in public I am immediately covered in the stench of cigarettes.  But I guess if cigarettes were $2 a pack in the US, everyone would smoke there too)

8.) saliva-free sidewalks (in the US you have to look out for stepping in gum and dog poop; in Korea you have to watch out for globs of spit and loogies)

9.) American gum. i.e. Orbit, Stride, Trident (the gum here does not last and its all fruity because Koreans don’t like peppermint or cinnamon….maybe that’s why there’s not much gum on the sidewalks)

10.) real pizza! (Koreans know their Kimchi, but they do not know how to make a good pizza)

11.) real coffee! (I’d like some coffee with that milk and sugar please)

12.) real cake! (the cakes here look amazing but they taste bland….I think that’s because they are made from rice instead of sugar)

mmm cake

13.) limes in my Corona! (if you order a Corona in Korea you will get it with a lemon….apparently you can buy limes on the “black market” here though because there is a Mexican restaurant that serves lime margaritas….but the slice of lime that it comes with is the width of your fingernail)

14.) Dr. Pepper (I’m not a soda drinker, but the one soda I drink is not available or if it is, it is ridiculously expensive)

15.) bras (enough said….I will be bringing a whole suitcase of Victoria’s Secret purchases back here)

16.) Wal-Mart, Target…. (I miss the familiar stores where I know I can get a good deal….and I especially miss the people at Wal-Mart : this video is a must-see!)

17.) showering in a tub with a shower curtain ( as weird as this may sound)

18.) wearing sleeveless or low-cut tops without feeling like a whore (you can’t show your shoulders or chest here, but apparently you can wear skirts so short that nothing south of the border  is left to the imagination)

19.) salads! (can I just have a salad please….ooohhh and some ranch dressing too! Why is that so much to ask here?)

20.) Wendy’s and Sonic (they do have American fast food restaurants here, but not the ones I actually want to go to)

21.) going to the beach in a bathing suit and rocking my tan (girls go to the beach in shorts and t-shirts and tan skin is considered unattractive)

shoulders and a tan! scandalous!

22.) Reese’s PB cups, homemade cookies, whole grain bread….(as I am writing this I am realizing how much food I have been deprived of!)

23.) Yankee Candle (it’s so expensive here!…..definitely gonna bring some candles from home)

24.) clothes! (I’m sorry that I am a size 6 and that is considered an XL here)

25.) Cosmo and other girly magazines (in English!)

26.) my UR dance family from Meriden! (Gonna miss performing in the United Rhythms show this weekend)

UR girls

27.) Zumba crew (Koreans just can’t move their hips like my Latino homies from the dirty den)

Zumba @ Meriden Y

Okay I think I’m done.  This is pretty much a preview of what I will be doing, eating, and drinking when i come home. After reading this list you probably have absolutely no desire to ever come to Korea.  Try to understand that I’ve been here for 10 months.  I think I have earned the right to vent a little bit.  I am coming back to Seoul for another year after all so it’s not that bad.  I’ve kept this blog extremely positive compared to a lot of other ones out there.  When you travel or live abroad you leave behind many of the comforts that you were familiar with all your life.  But you learn that you can live without them and try new things, just not forever.  Eventually you need to feel that familiarity again.  2 months…..

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4 responses

  1. You sure will appreciate 1 through 26 when you return; plus, you’ve given me some ideas for your birthday present!!!

    Aunt Diane

  2. What perspective you have in just a short time away, which I know feels like a “lifetime”! 🙂 I’m excited to hear about your plans to return but I am so bummed that we won’t be with you on the beach in AUGUST!!! As you know it’s been a busy season for us with Brendan’s High School Graduation. I’ve had so much fun celebrating. I wish we could do it all over again!!! 🙂 My sister and her 3 kids who range from 20 – 24 in age were here. My niece just left this afternoon. BUT she is returning to live with me in August!!! I am so excited. She will help me get Brendan settled into his dorm room on August 28th and support me as I cry the entire 4 hour ride home!!! Miss you Jenny!!! xoxoxo Marianne

  3. I get homesick on a ten day trip to Germany. I can get good beer there. Listen, I miss cheesesteaks and hoagies in CT. I can’t imagine being away for ten months. Your blog has been terrific because you have been so honest and even your moaning and groaning is small in comparison to what my moaning and groaning would be. Mary Ann

  4. Oh Jenny I can not wait to see you for huggs and hear you laugh,
    I miss you and will put a package of things you miss to take back with you in september ….
    Can’t wait till your home in the USA again
    Love MOM
    Love the blog, love how you write so sincerely and add your Jennifer touch to it all !!

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