Saturday, January 29, 2011
On "missing" home
A couple of my friends (and my grandpa) are having a hard time dealing with just how much I loved my US visit. It's like everyone just assumed I would be missing home something terrible! Well to be completely fair, while I didn't miss home that much I did actually miss a couple of things from home:
Jackie the dachshund. She's 12 years old, dumb as a box of hammers and loves barking at all hours during the night and jumping into my bed with muddy paws. I missed her so much! Wouldn't you? I mean just look at her, she's adorable!
Afrikaans. I never expected that I would miss my mother tongue so much. I missed speaking it, hearing it and reading it. You'd think that would be obvious but I speak a lot of English and even when speaking Afrikaans people tend to mix languages so I never thought it would matter much to me. It did though. Not hearing the language you think in spoken outside your head is a strangely lonely feeling.
Chips of many flavours. This one surprised me since in the US there seemed to be so much variety and flavour in just about everything. Yet, when I walked down the chip isle at Wallmart I was shocked by the lack of selection. Lays had a couple of nice flavours but for the most part the selection was pretty monotone. Here on the other had I can expect to find flavours like: Tomato sauce, Salt & Vinegar, Mexican Chili, Smoked Beef, Cheese & Onion, Fruity Chutney, Creamy Cheddar, Spare Rib, Snoek & Atchar, Masala Steak Gatsby, Peri-Peri Chicken, Lightly salted - and these are just some of the potato chip flavours, I'm not even counting the corn chips, puffs etc.
VAT. Normally I wouldn't list our local tax system as a good thing but it did have one feature I really missed when shopping in America - getting to pay the price you see on the pricetag. Maybe I'm just being silly but I hated seeing something advertised for let's say $9.99 only to have to pay over $10 when I get to the cash register. It felt like I was tricked somehow.
User friendly money. As much as I loved walking around with dollars in my wallet, using it was a little awkward at times. Do all the bills really have to be the same size and colour? Is there any good reason why they can't just stamp an actual number on the coins? When you have to hunt around for the value of the money you're holding then something is wrong!
Gingerbeer. Not Ginger Ale, Ginger beer, the stuff that tickles your throat when you swallow. If I was staying any longer I would have brewed it for myself!
Biltong. I had heard that jerky was pretty much the same thing as biltong. It's not by a long shot. Jerky was a deep disappointment, it doesn't even kind of compare!
And yeah, that was about it...