Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things We Miss

Some of our lovely friends we have made here in Berlin have begun slowly filtering back to the states.  This is making me both super sad and extremely aware of the limited amount of time we have left here.  We will be in Berlin for 2 more months, and there really are so many things that we need to check off of our Berlin Bucket List before we head out. 

Today’s blog post is not about those things, rather the opposite  As our friends leave, we've begun to think about the things that we actually miss from home and the list was a little surprising to me.

Here are 8 of them:

1. REAL Mexican food, which for the record is probably not real Mexican food, rather an Americanized version of Mexican food that I’m used to in the Midwest, but I don’t care.  I want some queso fresco dip like nobody’s business and some actual pico de gallo that I didn’t make myself.  Three big cheers for refried beans and hot salsa that is actually spicy enough to make my nose run.  I currently ride public transportation for 1.25 hours to get to a place with decent Mexican food served up by an Australian guy who tries to convince me he’s from Texas every time I go there.  (Seriously dude, I’m not buying it!) 

2. Customer Service!  There is no such thing as good German customer service.  I have confirmed this with many of my fellow Americans living here as well as my German friends.  Example: If I want to call and talk to my internet provider, I have to pay 17 cents per minute while on the line, INCLUDING while I am waiting.  (Apparently this will be changing in the near future because of a law, but it hasn’t yet.)  Once I actually reach a person, they are RUDE and act like my call is a major inconvenience to their lives.  They will then try to convince me that whatever reason I’m calling is stupid and that I should hang up the phone asap.  It isn’t only on the phone though.  Time and time again we have actually had difficulty finding someone in a restaurant, beer garden, hotel, etc in order to pay our bill before we leave.  Don’t they want our money?  What would they do if we actually just walked out?  We would never do that, because we’re honest nice Midwestern folks, but we’ve certainly contemplated it before. 

3. Just Being a Bitch! I totally stole this from my friend Sarah, but she is sooo right on the money with this.  If I am ever in a situation here where I feel angry or the need to be a little bit bitchy, 9 times out of 10 I will hold my tongue.  Why?  Well, this is at least partly because I feel like I am representing America a little bit, and I don’t want to be the American Bitch.  I can’t wait to go home and just be a bitch whenever I feel it necessary.  Just a plain bitch when provoked, not an American bitch.  I don’t want to answer for our entire country and culture anymore, I just want to be me. 

4. Less Obvious Eavesdropping & Staring. Holy crap the Germans like to stare and listen in on your conversation and it is getting on my last nerve here.  This is when I’ve taken exception to my bitch rule here, and most assuredly deserves a whole blog post.  Coming soon.

5. PEOPLE!!  I cannot emphasize enough how much we miss all the people we know and love back in the USA.  We have a new niece whose adorably chubby thighs are impossible to pinch through a computer screen, and I am sooo sad that she’s probably going to be crawling by the time I finally get to cuddle with her.  We’ve had quite a few visitors here, but we have so many more people that we know and love that we haven’t been able to see in 10 months.  We’re very much looking forward to big hugs!

6. OUR BED!!  We don’t even have a super nice bed, but it is ours.  I think Andy is the most excited about no longer having a canyon between us.  Double German beds, including ours here, are usually two single mattresses next to one another.  This is a serious hindrance to cuddle time, and we are over it. 

7. MY CLOTHES & SHOES & COATS  I don’t even have really nice clothes at home, but I certainly have a greater selection than the one suitcase-full that I have here.  We already shipped our winter clothes home with Andy’s parents, so that dwindled my stash here even more.  Yes, I have purchased a few items here and there, but honestly, I miss having an actual closet full of all of my clothes.  Perhaps I’ll hate them all when I go back and see them, but at least I can hate them while staring through my closet door instead of in my memory.  I do however have a fairly nice collection of shoes and coats at home that I’m looking forward to rocking when I get there in October!! 

8. Unquestionable Understanding.  This one goes both ways.  I want to absolutely understand everything that is said to me all the time again AND not have someone question whether or not I understood because of my accent and/or nationality. PERIOD.


  1. Number 6', absolutely! I miss my box springs and pillow top so bad! Only 3more weeks here (2 in Berlin, 1 in Die Schweiz) for us...

    1. The prospect of returning is scary & exciting to me. I can't wait to read about your re-entry.

  2. I'm a little worried about the state of the world when Customer Service is better in the U.S. Enjoy your final months there! Your burrito awaits!

    1. At least customer service at home is either an overly polite Indian or someone who has a manager you can ask for if necessary. I think some stories might be in order...stay tuned.



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