Sunday, May 24, 2009

What I miss from my native land

I will be back in the good ole U S of A for the month of July, and I have started to make a list of all the things I didn't expect to miss:

Whole wheat bread or 12 grain bread or ANYTHING hearty. While Russian black bread held my interest for the first 7 months, I now just want familiar bread ... that's not white!

Spicy foods. I'm actually scared that my stomach and taste buds will no longer be able to handle it, but I will eat all the spicy things I can handle when I'm home -- you know, the kind where you can't stand it because your mouth hurts from too much chili :)

Milk and milk products. Not that there are no milk products here, but the milk isn't exactly the type that I would like to sit down with a glass of, the taste is a bit off. I actually found the solution to this the other day, it's ultra-pasteurized European milk ... but it cost me 75 rubles for a quart/liter ... and at 32 rubles to the dollar, you do the math. Milk, even expensive organic milk, is CHEAP in the U.S. and I will indulge.

Drinking water from the tap. Sitting down at a restaurant and getting free water.

Driving. I actually don't miss this as much as one would think.

Wide open spaces.

Lack of people. This sort of goes along with the point above -- when you live in city of 15-20 million people, there is no hope of going anywhere where there isn't at least one other person (ok, except your flat when your roommate is out).

Supermarkets like Target or Fred Meyer - you know one-stop-shopping. I actually don't miss Wal*Mart at all. And Russia has worked hard so far to keep Wal*Mart out.

Buying inexpensive clothes, shoes, bags, etc. etc. etc.

Living rooms. A real bed. A real dining table. Soviet flats are small, and either the whole apartment is a common living area, like we think of living rooms, or the whole apartment lacks a common living area. Kitchens are generally tiny with itty-bitty tables. And the bedrooms are multi-function because instead of real beds, everyone sleeps on a sofa-bed. I had no idea there were so many varieties of sofa-beds.



  1. We await your arrival with eager anticipation! We've missed you!
    Love ya,
    Mom and Dad

  2. I have a new appreciation for my bowl of chili! I'll put on an extra jalepeno in your honor :)