Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday from Singapore: Ten things I miss about the USA

A little whiny, I know. Sorry!


1) I miss Target. My big, wonderful, well-stocked Target store. Home of linens and kitchenware and discount racks and toiletries. I miss being able to buy a large plastic bowl for popcorn quickly and cheaply. This, and a dustbin (trash can) larger than a thimble are my current Holy Grails. I also miss Walmart, but won't say so in case some of you are tempted to flame me for shopping there.

2) I miss off-the-rack clothing in sizes larger than Calista Flockhart squeezes into. Want to have some fun? Try asking a midget sales clerk for a bra in European size 90 and let the laughs begin!

3) I miss Fat Burger and Krispy Kremes and meal-sized salads, and I miss McDonald's Large Diet Cokes!!

4) I miss air conditioned public restrooms. Got desperate while out shopping today and had to avail myself of the cleanest toilets I could find. They were clean, but even under refrigeration, you must admit they can be odoriferous. With aroma-enhancing heat and humidity, well, let's say no more. I should share that in most public restrooms there is at least one stall that requires a step up. The reason becomes clear if you aren't watching where you step.

Some cultures prefer a toilet known locally as a squatter, which consists of a regular toilet bowl that has been mounted flush (get it?) with the floor, hence the elevated platform. It's like a glorified latrine, without a seat. For those of you desperate enough and coordinated enough to squat over a porcelain hole without falling over, you are good to go. For those of us who are more concerned with squeezing through the door with our packages than to paying attention, you just might twist your ankle in a most revolting manner.

The bathroom I was in today didn't have a squatter, rather a sign imploring those who would be disappointed at the lacking accommodations, to please refrain from standing upon the existing toilet seat in order to adapt to the situation.

5) I miss light switches that flip up to turn on and down to turn off. I also miss having those switches conveniently located inside the bathroom, instead of shutting myself into a dark room and having to leave again to illuminate the room. In a similar vein, I miss door locks that turn towards the jam to lock and away from it to unlock. I'm sure the neighbors who have listened to my blue streak wish this too.

6) I wish there were more than two access numbers for AOL here, and that the service was faster than Grandma Sincere in a 10K marathon.

7) I miss Joann's ETC and their $1.99 pattern sales. Also fabric sold by the yard and in widths of so many inches.

8) I miss heading out for some shopping and not worrying about how much I buy, 'cause I have a van and it can hold everything. I wish I had more hands here.

9) I miss being able to wear a dress all day without having to worry about developing jungle rot where my thighs rub together in the heat. I also miss having thighs that don't touch!

10) I miss hanging out with the homeschool group at the park and gym.

But mostly, I miss making phone calls to friends and family at the end of the day when I'm winding down, but recognize that y'all aren't too chatty at 4 AM. Thank God for the difficult-to-get-on, painfully slow internet that lets me core-dump my life to you regardless of the hour. And thank God for friends like you!

Missing you... Lisa


Celticspirit said...

Interesting toilet talk! I think we here in the good ole USA take our pottys for granted. Myself...being a not so coordinated person I'd probably fall in that hole they call a toilet.

vanessa said...

AAAhhhhhh, poor you, it must be especially tough around this time of year for you. Big hug.