I have been in the USA for a month now, and I have been found some things that I have been missing from home, and some things I have been enjoying. So here is my lists.
Things I am missing:
Chocolate. Specifically Dairy Milk and Galaxy. They do not sell it here, and when I drink a cup of tea at night, all I want is a couple of squares of it.
A kettle and a teapot. Tea made in the microwave is not the same, and making tea in a cup never tastes as nice as it does from a teapot.
Crisps. A proper Scottish packet of crisps, filled with so much vinegar and salt that your mouth starts to water and you begin to sweat a little bit just thinking of it. At home I could devour a share pack of them by myself and not even blink. I haven’t quite found a replacement for Chipsticks here yet.
Irn Bru. I don’t drink it that often, but it is a comforting sight to be able to go into the shops and see it there in the drinks aisle. Another thing I am missing, but not as much is Diet Coke. The dining hall does not serve it, they serve Pepsi instead. As someone who can tell the difference between full fat and diet, a similar drink is just not going to cut it.
Shopping. As I have weight restrictions on my suitcase, there is a limit to the amount of stuff I can bring back. Although shipping them back is an option, it does cost, so I will need to be sparing with my presents and souvenirs. As one of my main favourite things to buy are clothes and books, they aren’t entirely a great option for flying with. Although there are some essentials that I will need to purchase while I am here.
Drinking. Being able to meet up with your friends for a few drinks in a bar. I don’t do it that often, but I quite like to have the option.
The nightlife. Coming from Glasgow and Aberdeen, you do get used to there being more than three nightclubs in the city. In a city as big as Albuquerque you would think that there would be tons of nightclubs, but there are only three mediocre ones (apparently).
The words. Words like aye, naw, wee, jumper, trainers, memory stick, t-shirts, tops, hoodies, sweater, trackies, trousers, lift, shopping centre, jumpsuit, rubber, loo. I miss being able to just say them and people knowing what I mean. No funny looks, and awkwardly correcting myself because I have said something wrong.
Slippers and dressing gown. I didn’t bring a pair of my booty slippers from home, and my feet don’t really like it. Another thing that I miss is my bright red dressing gown (although many others may not miss the sight of me in it). It was just great for cosying up at my desk to watch a movie, and it covered my legs.
Being able to shop for shoes in the adult section. Now, I know I am on the borderline size for adult and children’s shoes in the UK, but there are lots of shops that sell shoes in a smaller size for adults (mostly the department stores like Debenhams, House of Fraser and TK Maxx). In the USA, I am firmly in the children’s section and there is no way around it. So no new heels for me.
Family and friends. This is pretty clichéd but true. I miss being able to call them whenever I wanted and being able to pop home for the weekend. Skyping is great, but it’s not the same as seeing them face to face. Mostly I miss hugs from the people I love the most. I miss my friends in Aberdeen, and our kitchen chats, and nights sitting on YouTube showing each other the music we love, googling our homes, and looking up attractive men. Generally being girls having a girly night.
Things I am enjoying:
The heat. I am loving the hot weather and being able to go out without a coat. Conversely I am looking forward to when it does get cold here and being able to compare it to cold in Britain.
Meeting all the new people. Everyone is really friendly, especially the students and it is just lovely to see. The people in Britain are friendly, but mostly just leave you to do your own thing. Passing someone in the corridor and having a conversation about your day is something I am still trying to factor into my journey times.
The views and the sky. Everything is so picturesque, and I don’t feel like I can take enough pictures to capture everything. My phone’s memory card is continuously close to being full, which I need to do something about.
The classes. Although there is a lot of reading, I am really enjoying my classes. They are taught differently to classes back at home, and there is a lot more of an emphasis on remembering facts rather than on essay writing (I haven’t quite decided if this is good or not). There also is less of an emphasis (especially in the English classes) on your opinion of things. At home you can have your own opinion, but it had to be backed up with someone else’s. It also couldn’t overtly say what your opinion was, but it had to be very neutral and unbiased.