10 Things I miss about the States

Okay, so I have not kept up on my promise of posting from Turkey at least once a week. Things have been hectic lately with my kids taking exams and all, so I apologize. In other news, I have been here almost two months now (November 3 will make it official) and have started to keep track of things I miss most, you know, in case anyone feels like sending me a package. ūüôā It turns out that most of the things are food related, which is not surprising, though a couple are consumer related, which is a little disappointing.

1. Oreos

I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I love love love Oreos. They are the perfect boxed cookie and are like childhood happiness in a blue package. I’m expecting some from a package my mom sent and I’m afraid they won’t last very long.

2. Pandora

Whenever I’m writing, getting ready, cleaning, cooking, whatever, I like to listen to music and Pandora knew me so well. We had a good thing going; I had all of my favorite stations set up and they usually knew just what songs to play. Apparently though, this relationship is strictly for the US, as the website refuses to go abroad (refuses, faces legal issues, whatever). So now I have to find a new station and it’s not that easy when I was so comfortable with the old. I’ve been told to try Spotify or Grooveshark, but I’ve mainly just been using Youtube until I can bring myself to actually find a real replacement.

3. Netflix

I didn’t have Netflix before I left the States, but conveniently enough, almost all of my friends did. It was a good system I had going and I’d become so attached to Netflix that I thought I would break down and go ahead and get my own account once I moved to Turkey. That was a fail, because yet again, there is another website that does not want to join me on international adventures. I’m disappointed, Netflix.

4. York Peppermint Patties

Like Oreos, they’re pretty much perfect.

5. Gatorade

Particularly red and blue Gatorade. I don’t mind water and brought my Tervis with me to make sure I was drinking plenty, but if I had my choice of¬†re-hydrating¬†sports drinks, it would be Gatorade any day. Unfortunately, Turkey disagrees with me on this.

6. An abundance of people who speak English

Yes, I am learning the language quickly and sure I can handle day to day tasks with my minimal vocabulary, but it is so much¬†work. It is draining, mentally and emotionally draining. And if I have to do anything outside of the spectrum of ordering food or buying school supplies, I have to get my roommate or another fluent friend to help me. I’m not a fan of being so dependent on other people and miss being able to call the cell phone company on my own to figure out why my data isn’t working.

7. An Autumn that I recognize

Part of this is because I’m in a big city. We’re not really surrounded by trees so much as towering buildings and pavement. But I miss the trees and how they turn and it’s only recently started to cool down here, so it just doesn’t feel like fall. And more importantly, it doesn’t smell like it. And there are no pumpkin patches or corn mazes or flannel shirts or decorative little scarecrows. Fall is my favorite and while I guess it’s technically fall here, I don’t recognize it as such.

8. Pumpkins and all that they entail

Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin patches. Carving pumpkins. Pumpkin seeds. Hot pumpkin beverages.

9. Target

If I were living on the European side, Target probably would not have made it on the list. However, on the Asian side, you will not find as many large, all-encompassing stores like Target. Instead, you have a lot of little, independent markets that sell the same thing, just for slightly varying prices. Which is nice and fine and all, until you need something specific or different and have to go to ten different places to find it (and again, remember the language barrier). As much as I hate myself for saying it, I miss being able to go into one store and find everything, yes everything, that I need.

10. Mexican food

Dear Jesus, do I miss Mexican food. Fajitas, tostadas, chimichangas, enchiladas, rice, beans,¬†avocados, chips and salsa, guacamole, burritos. Just all of it. I miss all of it. All the Mexican-ish food I’ve had here has been homemade from whatever similar ingredients I could find and frankly, it’s just not the same.


Around the world again

The last posting of pictures went pretty well, so I’m going to try it again. Here are some more of my travels and such. Again, comments or critiques are welcome.