When I moved there were certain things I was sure I would miss like Publix supermarkets and my local Chinese restaurant. However there were other things that I’m doing surprisingly well without. The list is divided between things I thought I’d miss before coming here and things I didn’t realize I wouldn’t miss until I got here.
If there’s one chore I hate it’s loading and unloading the dishwasher. There’s just something about it that frustrates the hell out of me. When we first got to Uruguay I realized that dishwashers aren’t as common as they are in the United States. I used to think that if I hated a machine washing my dishes then I couldn’t imagine being happy having to wash dishes by hand. Much to my surprise I actually prefer washing dishes by hand than I ever did using a dishwasher. My dishes are much cleaner, hardly any water spots and dishes get cleaned right away as opposed to piling up in the sink.
2. Big Box supermarkets
Yes there are big box supermarkets in Uruguay, however I don’t like shopping there much. The produce isn’t as fresh as buying from an outside vendor and I get better deals on protein buying it from a butcher. Their “artisanal”breads leave something to be desired so I usually buy it from a bakery. Living in my small town is what I imagine it must have been like pre-1950s in the United States. Don’t get me wrong, I miss Target so much but for every day shopping I prefer buying locally.
3. Fast food
Oh my word, I was a frequent patron of fast food establishments when living in the States. I’m talking about I went to Wendy’s or McDonald’s twice a day. I was worse than an American statistic. I’m not proud of that. When I moved to Uruguay I realized that while yes they have McDonald’s and Burger King it is only in shopping malls or in Montevideo. Meaning, if I wanted to grab some McD’s I would need to travel an hour and a half to get some. Needless to say I have managed to survive without those golden arches.
I’m not going to say I don’t watch television anymore because that would be a lie. But when I moved to Uruguay I thought that finding something to watch in English would be next to impossible. Luckily it isn’t as most TV shows aren’t dubbed but subtitled. Not only do I lack time to watch TV but seasons are so off from what’s currently airing in the States that I just don’t bother. I mean, they JUST started airing How I Met Your Mother. I will say though I really miss watching HGTV.
5. The “big” city
Before leaving Miami, I knew we would be moving to a farm. I pictured small towns of twenty people, miles of wheat and red barn houses. I was already missing my suburban life before stepping foot on the plane. After being here for a year and a half and having returned to Miami I can say I wholeheartedly never want to return. I like our town of 6,000+ inhabitants and I like that I can scream as loud as I want and my neighbors can’t hear me. My daughter has 40 acres of land to run around on and plenty of animals to entertain her. There are some aspects of city living I miss like an abundance of ethnic food restaurants and things being open past 6:00pm but overall I’ve fallen in love with small town living.
To my fellow expats, is there anything you thought you’d miss that you find yourselves making due without? I’d love to hear about them!
Be on the lookout for my follow up post to this, “The ___ things I didn’t know I’d miss…” coming soon!