Last week I did an article called “15 Things I Quit Giving a Sh*t about after Moving to Mexico”. It did quite well and got some good response. After that article, someone asked me if there was anything I missed about the USA. I got to thinking so I came up with this list. I also want to prove that I am not a cold-hearted hater of the USA, and there are some things I miss. The USA is a great country, and I love my country, just not a lot of people in it at the moment.
Now keep in mind, this is my personal list, and I am sure other expats have your own list. Mine I am sure has a southern slant to it, and a more manly view of things I miss, so here we go.
- My Mom’s home cooking, and my family of course. My mother in South Carolina used to call me once a week to get me to stop by, and pick up some leftovers. She would freeze me food she cooked and had left over. She would put them in freezer bags, and I would just take them home, and microwave them. Things like spaghetti, home-made chili, chicken and dumplings, and stuff like that. My father used to bitch at her, and say he can’t believe I was 50 years old and my mother was still cooking for me. Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners were always good at our house growing up.
- South Carolina BBQ. Mustard sauce, vinegar or red, does not matter, I like it all. I can’t get good BBQ with cole slaw, baked beans, and all the fixin’s here.
- Hormel canned chili. For some reason the last six months I have been wanting a can of Hormel canned chili.
- Going to Atlanta once or twice a year to watch the Braves play. Been going to Atlanta for years to watch the Braves, from college until I left the USA.
- Bass fishing on Lake Hartwell, and other lakes in South Carolina. I used to fish in local bass tournaments from time to time. I spent a lot of time on the lakes in SC.
- Trout fishing in the mountains in northern South Carolina.
- Hot dogs with chili, mustard, and onion, South Carolina style.
- Country fried steak and gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn bread, turnip greens, banana pudding, collard greens, southern fried chicken, bratwurst and sauerkraut, mac and cheese, cheddar cheese, biscuits and gravy, biscuits and good bread, grits, root beer, Dr. Pepper sugar-free, fried okra, fried squash, fried green tomatoes, boiled peanuts, green beans meat loaf, and a bunch of other foods from back home. I could go on and on. I watch TV here and see all the commercials, and it is like, “Man that looks good”. These are some things I have not had in seven years, 2009, since I left the USA.
- Talking Gamecock sports, and the trials and tribulations of our plight as long-suffering Gamecock fans. Not a single University of South Carolina graduate within a 1,000 miles probably. I get some off of cruise ships sometimes, but mostly, I suffer alone.
- Watching my nephew play baseball at Newberry College in SC.
- Being able to go to a store and get anything I need. Here bunch of small stores, so not much selection sometimes, but I get by. You just have to know where to go.
- Channel surfing on the TV. I used to be able to watch a ball game, news, and a TV show all at the same time clicking around. Here I can only watch one show at a time on my computer.
- Going to live football games, either pro, college, or high school. Something about the crisp fall air and football. I don’t like cold weather though, just football.
- Food buffets. Places where you go and just pig out and eat everything. Good every once in a while.
- Black people. I have some cool black friends in the USA, none here, just some dark-skinned Mexicans, and a couple of Belizeans. I am losing my “street cred”.
- Whipping into a drive thru on the way home and picking up Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, or any other junk fast food place. I did not make it a habit, sometimes you have to admit, a Taco Bell taco at 11pm tastes pretty good in the USA. Mainly what I mean is the amount of choices you have to get on the way home. Here on my way home on my bike, I got like 3 or 4 choices at best, and they all are Mexican food places. It is healthier I am sure, but sometimes you just got to have a “Big Mac”.
- Southern accents. My ears perk up here when I hear someone walk by talking in a southern accent, I can almost pick out the state and region now with cruise ship tourists here.
- Lemons. Can’t get them here, don’t grow here for some reason. I go without, use a lot of limes.
- Salt and pepper. No ground pepper here much, salt sometimes, but mostly salsas. No salt and pepper shakers here like every restaurant in the USA.
- Newspapers. I miss reading the daily newspaper.
Well these are all that I can come with up at the moment, I am sure I will think of some others later.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina