One aspect about living abroad is accepting the reality that there are a few luxuries about Western life that you are going to miss out on. While I can absolutely say I am loving my life in Korea, I can also admit to missing a few things from home. I heard about a blog where people living abroad list all the things that they miss. Its titled "s*** I Miss" and I'm here today to make my own list. So here goes:
1. American Cable Television: Oh boy, do I miss my DVR and trashy sitcoms. But I also miss being able to sit down and watch the evening news. I can read about what happens online, but I would prefer it if Anderson Cooper could just tell me himself.
2. Whiteys Pumpkin Ice Cream: It's that time of year! And if anyone can afford to buy some dry ice and overnight some of that goodness to me, it would be much appreciated.
3. Rave Cinema on 53rd Street: No surprise here. I miss my sanctuary. We get a few English films released in Gwangju, but not all of them.
4. Laundry Dryers: I suppose it is more earth friendly to air-dry your laundry anyway, but I sure do miss the convenience of a dryer. Correction: I miss the convenience of my dad using the dryer for me.
5. Other Household Appliances I Miss: Dishwasher, microwave, Keurig coffee machine, toaster, and an OVEN. These things are all available, I just don't currently have them. Korea may be on the other side of the world, but that doesn't mean they don't know what a Whirpool appliance is.
6. My car, Blair: I miss driving! I felt exactly the same way when I was in London. After a few months, you really miss having control of a vehicle. Cabs, subways, buses: they get you by. But I would really enjoy getting in my car and driving for while, windows down, volume up, and the smell of the corn fields weaving through you. Oh....I miss that.
7. Tomatoes: Specifically my parent's garden's tomatoes. They are just not as good in Korea. Those homegrown tomatoes are killer. And in addition I would like to add the salsa that is then created from those killer tomatoes.
8. Jimmy Fallon: I really miss Late Night. If I have to explain it, you're not watching it enough.
9. Book Stores: I have found a couple book stores in Gwangju that have an English section, but it's very limited and usually stocked with all the obvious books. Thank goodness for my Kindle Fire, otherwise I would be reading nothing but Stephen King and John Grisham for an entire year.
10. Domesticated Cats: They are all wild street cats in Korea. They won't touch me.
11. Government-sponsered Infrastructure Programs: Like organized garbage pick up. It is privatized in Korea, and quite different from home. (See picture accompanying this blog entry.) People just pile up the trash, and eventually it will disappear. I'm just saying...lets pull some weeds, mow the grass, or sweep the streets every once in a while. Eldridge has spoiled me.
12. Mexican Food: Where for art tho? There is a mythical Mexican restaurant in this city that no one can seem to find, ever.
13. Touch Tunes: Very few places give you the option of picking music as sneakily and conveniently as Touch Tunes. At home, you can drop a Taylor Swift bomb, and no one will ever know it was you.... Not that I've ever done that....
14. Western Medicine: Thank goodness I brought Nyquil with me from home. All the foreign teachers got quite sick a few weeks back, and without that Nyquil I would have turned into Grendel himself. Yesterday, I got a migrane smack-dab in the middle of my teaching day. I spent hours trying to use "the force" to make some Excedrin appear in front of me. When the students figured out I had a head ache, they took turns pressing on all my pressure points. It didn't work.
These are, again, what I would like to refer to as "first world problems". Of course, I could have discussed how I miss my family and I miss my friends. That's true too. But a s***-list is more fun.