Things I like about the US

I travel a lot– some people ask if it is because I don’t like the US, or alternatively, they ask what I miss. When people ask me this question, I usually stumble for an answer– mostly I am living in the present and not really thinking about the past/ comparing things. That said, Heather just did a 100 things I like about Chile post and it, coupled with being recently back in the States and remembering all the things I missed, got me thinking. Therefore, I give you my list of 35 things I miss/like about the states.

  1. The diversity.
  2. Kopps ice cream– really this is a Milwaukee specific thing but Kopps frozen custard is the best ice cream type treat in the world and well worth a visit.
  3. National Public Radio. With shows like All things considered and A prairie home companion, I really couldn’t ask for more.
  4. My friends
  5. and my family
  6. Lesbian bars and community in general.
  7. Driving.
  8. Tree lined streets.
  9. Diversity in food. After this past year in Chile, Indian food and Thai have been particularly wonderful (and different).
  10. Non-stop coverage of the olympics (granted this only holds true for the Olympic season– the rest of the year I can get annoyed at some of the things that are granted non-stop coverage).
  11. Free nights and weekends minutes on my cell phone. In Chile the phone was so expensive that people only had very short conversations. While I appreciate this sometimes, in does make it hard on long distance relationships.
  12. Significantly less whistling men and men making inappropriate comments on the street (although, admittedly, Cambodia was even better in this respect).
  13. The weather– again a seasonal thing… but I came to a wonderful summer from a cold winter so it had to make the list.
  14. Dogs. Dogs. Dogs. Everywhere. And treated well!
  15. Parks with lots of things to do. Over the weekend I spent several hours in Forest Park in St. Louis– they have two museums, a zoo, row boat rentals, paddle boat rentals, several restaurants, a bike path, a jogging path, soccer fields, baseball fields, and much more.
  16. Little league. I don’t actually like to play. Or to go. I just like that it is there. That communities have organized sports leagues for children and not just pick up games. When I was little, I was never picked up for pick up games, so I hold a grudge. I did, however, love my local swim team. Well, I loved it until I didn’t anymore but that is a longer story.
  17. Doggie parks. Although, most of the time Harley can’t go. She is just not a friendly dog to strangers or to strange dogs.
  18. The West Allis Farmer’s Market in Milwaukee– yes, there are bigger and better farmers markets in other places I have lived, but I also have a special place in my heart for this one.
  19. Independent bookstores like Left Bank Books in St. Louis.
  20. Also, second hand book stores like Half Price Books.
  21. My parents condo. It may not feel like home because I lived here, but it does because it is so familiar. Also, friends and I can walk to the bars and then walk home, thus making the designated driver a thing of other cities for us.
  22. Megabus. I am going to Chicago next week and I got my tickets there and back really cheap because I bought early. The way it works, the first tickets are cheap– as cheap as 1 dollar– and then each subsequent one goes up in price. Not really sure how this works as an economic model, but it sure does as a marketing model!
  23. Back to school sales.  Now, I am not a bigger shopper and I do wear clothing until it has literally disintegrated on my body, but I do like a good deal. I especially like a good deal when I am down to one wearable pair of shorts and in dire need of some work cloths.
  24. Coffee shops that sell Alterra coffee.
  25. Mini-golf.
  26. Roller skating rinks.  Side note: when I was little, I had my birthday party every year at one.
  27. Salad dressing, preferably a wide variety. (Chile was just lemon, oil and salt.)
  28. My bank is here and I can get money out of it, or an ATM, without paying exorbitant overseas rates.
  29. Knowing that health care is good– although very expensive.  Please keep in mind that it was not great in Moldova (except at the Peace Corps office), or in Cambodia, and while it was fine in Chile I had a few problems with ambulances leaving me stranded with a cracked head and being admitted for “being difficult” when I “refused” to stand up for x-rays.  They failed to mention I fainted every time I stood up.
  30. Free refills on drinks (tea, coffee, lemonade, ice tea)
  31. Microbrewery and a HUGE variety of beer.
  32. The schooling system.  I really appreciate liberal arts educations.  Not just mine, but also that of those around me.
  33. Montessori schools that actually teach in the Montessori tradition.
  34. Meals large enough for me to get a doggy bag and have dinner the next night at home.
  35. Many options for spice both at the store and in peoples houses.

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