Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Little Humor

Sunday, October 16, 2011
A Little Humor

I skipped writing a blog post yesterday - and despite the guilt I had over not providing fodder to my readers, It felt great. I had written over 30 blog posts consecutively since we left the USA. I like writing the blog - but I really enjoyed the break.

Today, Brian and I are going to humor you. We are giving you several top ten lists....for fun. They are not meant to be serious...I warn you because someone is going to tell me I should miss my family and friends. We do miss our family and our friends....but...there are other things we miss as well.

Without further ado I give to you....


10) An Oven - Do you know how annoying it is to make the same foods over and over? I can't wait to be able to have a little variety in my cooking! We have an oven...but we don't know how to use it and when we turn it on the whole apartment smells of propane...Yeah - we dont use it!

9) Target - For when you want out of the house and you don't know what you want to do or where you want to go.

8) A Sink - We have sinks. But we can't drink the water, can't brush our teeth with the water, and can't wash fruit with the water. Enough said.

7) Starbucks - I could really go for a decaf non-fat, no whip Grande Salted Caramel Frappuccino right now.

6) My bathtub -  Bath is my detox/destress time... I miss HOT water too.

5) Warm Days - I miss wearing shorts, sandals and tank tops. Last night it was -2* C. Yea that's like 28*.

4) My truck - I miss being able to get in the car and go somewhere. Anywhere. We walk everywhere here. My legs look great. But, I miss being able to get out and about.

3) TV in English - We have now seen: ALF, South Park, NCIS, CSI, CSI NY, Family Guy, Kill Bill, Terminator, Hawaii Five-0, Biggest Loser and many other shows in Russian. I have a new found respect for ESOL students.

2) Milk - I am a HEAVY milk drinker. A quart a day....its a wonder I'm not huge. I get this milk drinking habit from my father. I have a love affair with milk. The milk over here is different. When I get home I want a glass of milk.

1) Tijuana Flats - If you aren't from Central Florida this won't make sense. This is a Mexican restaurant chain in C. FL. With a HOT BAR and amazingly delicious food. I've already told our ride home we are stopping there for dinner before we even go to the house. 'nuff said.


10) The Dryer - Having clothes hanging around your house is not attractive. Looking at underwear while eating dinner is strange. We have a drying rack outside...but its too cold for that.

9) Menchies and Jeremiahs - Again if you aren't from Central Florida you dont know what these are. Jeremiah's is italian ice....honestly the best italian ice ever. And Menchies is one of those Fro Yo places where you can decorate your own yogurt and pay by weight. Delish!

8) Chick-Fil-A - Brian loves to stop for Chick-Fil-A breakfast in the morning.

7) My Radio - Lets just say there is no Mike and Mike in the morning here and they certainly don't have any country stations that we can find...

6) Survivor - He's an addict...seriously...and Brian is devastated that he is missing Coach, who is back on Survivor this season.

5) Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper - If you know me well, you know I don't drink soda. I don't like soda. It's too sweet and I'm not a fan of bubbles. Brian is the complete opposite - it's an addiction. He is so over Coca-Cola I'm not sure he will touch one for a long time once we get home.

4) NFL/NCAA Football - That is self-explanatory. (I should mention we have seen basketball, ping pong, tennis, and hockey...all in Russian.)

3) Bacon and Steak - or how about a filet wrapped in bacon! We eat chicken...lots of chicken. Brian is craving other meat...

2) Tijuana Flats - See note above. (I literally could drool right now.)

1) ESPN - Sad since he can read it online that he needs to list it as his number 1. When we stop by Flats on the way home - he can watch us eat. HAHAHAHA....

OK...I hope that helps you understand the serious withdrawls we are going through. I read on someone's blog (before we came) that they missed Mexican. No kidding. I didn't know I could miss an entire type of food this much.

As we were compiling the lists of things we miss about home, I nonchalantly said, I'll tell you what I WON'T miss about this place. And that started a whole new Top 10. I should say, that just because we have OPINIONS doesn't mean we don't respect this country. Someone said something to that effect last week. It's not true. Until you have been in these shoes (and walked the obligatory mile) you cannot even begin to FATHOM what it is like to be over here. The culture shock is huge. Just because families in country VENT and offer OPINIONS as to what it is like to be over here, does not mean that they don't RESPECT the culture or that they won't raise their children with a deep fondness of their Mother Land. Brian and I have already discussed how we are going to do this. Now that that warning has been stated I give you:


10) Being 7 hours ahead of home - I'm way past "jet lag" and into something else. My laptop time is home time and because of that - I haven't really adjusted. It isn't odd for me to go to bed at 02:00 and wake up at 13:00 (which I do at home too btw - not anymore since I'm now a mother) but I'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact that I want to talk with people at home and to do that I have to stay awake long enough to speak with them.

9) Being with Brian 24/7 - I love him...really I do...but everyone needs breathing room (and a break!)

8) Walking Everywhere - I mentioned I miss my car right? (I do like these new legs though - and I have vowed to walk with Sterling everyday after school!)

7) Stomach Aches - Nerves, food, stress - who knows what is causing them. My whole family has stomach issues but over here my stomach aches have been worse. I'm sure it's a combination of stuff - but I will not miss them.

6) Wearing the same clothes every day - seriously I'm leaving a lot of my clothes here. I need new jeans anyway and the shirts I brought (I packed smartly) are just solid colored Gap long sleeve tees for layering. Won't miss them. I'm coming home with less than I brought here. I never want to wear these shoes again either. And I mean NEVER.

5) Walking up 4 flights of musty stairs - enough said.

4) The gas stove - I LOVE gas stoves. Any cook will tell you they are SO MUCH BETTER than electric. But, not this one. It's 15 inches wide and it won't heat at a simmer. And I've already mentioned we can't get the oven to work. I miss my dependable electric right now.

3) Cold Weather - I was born and raised in the Orlando area. I am a rarity - not many natives exist. That being said, I did my stint in cold weather. After college I  moved back to Florida to avoid the cold. Sure, I love visiting it and I love snow. But if its cold and its not snowing then the cold is pointless. I want my sunshine back.

2) Eating the same food over and over and over and.... - you get the idea. I can pretty much guarantee I won't touch McDonald's, pizza, grilled cheese or an omelet for weeks after getting home.

1) Lady Gaga - Our neighbor (he/she - we don't know!) plays Lady Gaga CONSTANTLY. Brian joked that they only had the single of Poker Face because thats ALL we heard for the first week. Then it was Bad Romance. Now it's Poker Face again. Seriously - I'm not a Gaga fan to begin with and this hasn't helped.


10) McDonald's - In Brian's words, "I like McDonald's but not this much." I should say that they only reason we were going to McDonalds in the beginning was for free WiFi. Well, they did something and we can't get WiFi there any more. I only go now for the fries. And the coffee. The coffee everywhere else is either really weak or really strong.

9) Lady Gaga - Seriously...enough is enough.

8) Wearing the same clothes over and over and over and.... - We pretty much want to burn everything we brought with us.

7) Being 7 hours ahead - It's hard to talk to your friends and family when you have to wait until 1 am for them to get off of work.

6) The Wahl - When you plug it in and turn it on it's like a herd of elephants is taking over the apartment. It is literally the loudest thing I have ever heard. - rock concert loud. We should take a video of it...I'm not sure it would do it any justice. Sterling needs a haircut and we were planning on Wahl-ing him before we left. Not going to happen. I'm sure it will scare the pants right off of him. So forgive me if both of my boys come home looking a little shaggy.

5) Being Followed Around the Supermarket by the Policemen and the Workers - I should say this only happens at our little corner market. At the bigger markets they leave us alone. But at the small one, they know we are American and they aren't very fond of us. This one guard literally stalks us from when we walk in the gate until we pay. Annoying.

4) Our downstairs neighbor's constant home repair - This is the lady who yelled at us in the stairwell. We really wish we knew what she was doing. But there is CONSTANT drilling and banging. With walls paper thin it gets old fast. And its ALL DAY - even around 23:00 we will still hear drilling. UGH!

3) Seeing fresh fish (and I mean FRESH fish) sold everywhere - It's a little disconcerting to have fish eyes stare at you while you're buying meat from the deli. It's also a little strange to be at the fruit stand and have: a bushel of apples, a bushel of grapes and oh look a bushel of whole fish.

2) Not being able to read the menu at a restaurant - This is so tricky! We either resort to pointing (if the menu has pictures or the food is on display) or taking a pictures of what we want to show the workers. If we can't do either, and they don't have a menu in English, we leave.

1) The cold weather - No, really. It's cold. He may not be a FL native but he has lived in FL since he was 6 months old. Last night to bed he wore: 2 pair of pants, 4 shirts, 2 pair of socks and his gloves. Our apartment doesn't have heat...


Hope you got a's about time for a little lightheartedness up in here!


  1. Erin & Brian...I never laughed so hard b/c this was Tom& I a year ago. I swore we wrote this blog! I will be more than happy to take the order and bring Tijuanas to you at the airport! And yes, Tom and I longer wear our clothes! You couldnt have said it any better..there is a respect for the country/culture but BOY you definitely can't wait to get OUT!!
    Missed you yesterday at the walk but it will be AWESOME to show 2 RR boys off next year!
    See ya soon
    Hugs from O-town

  2. Definitely LOVED your lists!! We could relate to a whole host of those things except the McDonald's and pizza - WE LONGED FOR THEM1! Our first restaurant we went to when we went out to get paperwork done was McDonald's and we stopped at a Pizza Hut on our way home from the airport!!! LOL!! Soon it will be over. Soon. Hang in there. Next year you will get to encourage another family as they sit sweating it out over there -stuck and depressed!!