Our time in Germany is beginning to draw to a close. We have traveled so much and seen many things, but it will never be home. I have been getting so excited about returning to American soil and all it has to offer.
These are the main things I miss about the good ole USA.
Food is available all the time, whatever you want. And at reasonable prices! Here, it costs over $100 for my family of 6 to eat at a low-priced restaurant. We could have a nice meal in the states for half that. Even fast food places here cost 1.5-2x US prices. And the choices!!! There are sooooooo many options back home. Here, the food is terrible unless you like pork, pork, and more pork.
You need something on a Sunday? Sure, it’s all open! (Well, except Hobby Lobby.) Want to get groceries at 8pm? Or an early morning Walmart run before work? Stores are open then too! Here, stores are open Monday-Friday 10am-5 or 6pm, and Saturdays for a few hours in the late morning/early afternoon.
And if you DO find a store that’s open, here are a bunch of office supplies that are not compatible with your US sizes, shoes and clothes that are different sizes, and new toys with the directions in German. And all of it at twice the price I would usually pay. Thankfully we have had amazon.com, but sometimes I don’t want to wait a month to get what I need! And bookstores! I miss bookstores with books in English! I’m a total bibliophile.
THE PATRIOTISM AND FAMILY FEEL
Germans are not a very patriotic people. I miss the swell of pride when we hear our National Anthem. I miss seeing the American flags flapping in the breeze. I miss barbecues with the neighbors and people who give a friendly wave when you pass them on the street. Germans aren’t mean, but they are also not friendly with strangers. They will not talk to you if they don’t know you, and they look at you weird if you initiate conversation.
I have learned as much German as I could while living here, but there is still no substitute for English-speaking service. I want to be able to get internet hooked up or get my door fixed without stumbling through a language barrier. Or to go into a store and be able to say “Where are the brooms?” without playing charades and sweeping with an imaginary broom until the clerk figures out what I mean and points me in the right direction.
I miss being able to surf the internet without getting automatically routed to the German version of the site, over and over again. I went to expedia.COM, STOP taking me to expedia.de!!! Many of my favorite sites are blocked altogether because we are here, and don’t even get me started on YouTube and Hulu. Not. gonna. happen.
BEING ON U.S. TIME
Time-zone changes are a huge headache. It makes communication with friends and family back home very difficult.
Using both US dollars (on post) and the Euro (off post) is exhausting! I always end up having not enough of the one I need, but plenty of the other.
FREE FAMILY FUN
The US is chock-full of festivals and fairs and “grand opening” events where you can have a great day out with the family for no cost. Here, everything costs SO much money. To take my family to the local indoor playplace, it costs $60. That’s outrageous for a few hours’ entertainment! Even the expensive places back home didn’t cost that much.
FEELING AT HOME
Like Dorothy said, there’s no place like home.
Now, in saying all this, I don’t want you to think I hate it here. I don’t! I have many things that I will miss about Germany as well. But that is another post for another day. Tschuβ!