american appreciation.

Huge thanks to the 65 (!) of you who commented on my blog it forward post.  I’ve contacted ShopRite to see if they’ll donate a box of cereal for every comment, rather than only thirty.  Stay tuned!


Last week, it occurred to me that I have been back living in the US for exactly one year.  In some ways, this year has been crawling by, and yet I still find myself wondering how twelve months escaped so quickly.  I suppose that is just life.

I often reminisce about my expatriate days, waxing on about the pieces and places I miss, along with the many things taken for granted in this country.  But, over the past few days, I’ve been recalling the American comforts I was ready (and lucky) to return to.  Leaving Prague was bittersweet; while I felt I was abandoning a part of myself, I was also anticipating the next chapter of my life on native turf.  Though it feels long ago, I can remember looking forward to quite a few things.

asparagus and jicama salad

Vegetarian-friendly dining.  The lone vegetarian dish still considered Czech?  Smazeny syr, a block of breaded and deep fried cheese.


Produce native to our soil, namely corn on the cob and butternut squash.


The ocean – I could never permanently settle somewhere without seaside access.  I actually used to go to a faux beach along the river in Prague, where the sand was imported and the water was not recommended for dipping.  Not quite a beach.

trader joe's

Trader Joe’s.  The local “health food” store was roughly the size of my New York bedroom, and while it did have a delicious cafe attached, it didn’t quite compare, especially when it came to prices.

peanut butter

Peanut butter for under $15 a jar.

place setting

Order.  Endless red tape and an affinity for stamps and signatures don’t quite top my list of enjoyable memories…


New York.

What American comforts do you think you’d miss?



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7 responses to “american appreciation.

  1. I totally know where you’re coming from! I missed cheap health food stores, especially Trader Joe’s! But I tried to think about the things I would miss about Belgium while I was there, like speculoos and good cheese!

  2. A

    When I lived outside of the US I missed stores like TJ’s and Whole Foods….. I also missed things being open on Sunday and at lunchtime. Everything in Italy closed from 12-4pm. Um what?!?!? LOL!

  3. That’s great that you got 65 comments! woooot!

  4. lowandbhold

    I haven’t been over seas yet so I have a hard time thinking of things I would miss, but I’m sure there are many. Like trashy American TV, haha!

  5. If I moved from the UK I’d definitley miss English telly programmes and probably the English accent. But as I’ve never travelled out of the UK I guess it’d be like the saying “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” so we’ll have to wait and see if I ever travel abroad.

  6. There are a bunch of things I miss every time I live abroad and Korea has definitely been the most difficult. Everything you listed above — especially TJ’s and cheap PB — plus finding meals that aren’t either fried or filled with white rice/gelatinous rice product, walking into a store/restaurant/doctor’s office and being able to communicate with ease, avoiding second-hand smoke…

    The oddest thing about Korea is being stared at *everywhere*.

  7. my doggie. i wouldn’t be able to travel with him!

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