Some Things I Miss

I have the homesick blues recently because of the cold weather and gloomy gray of Santiago. I thought it would be fun to describe the things I miss from my pre-expat lifestyle.

Some things I miss most about the United States include:

  • Powerbars and Lunabars. These are so great for on the go.
  • Dependable customer service.
  • Drip coffee. (Starbucks does make it here, but I like to support smaller cafes or make my own.)
  • Smoothies. There are a few smoothie shops named Boost, but they are far away from the city center.
  • Bagels.
  • American-style yogurt (like Stonyfield brand).
  • Seitan and other vegetarian friendly food products.
  • Sunday brunch.
  • Shopping at Target.
  • Edensoy original soy milk.
  • Spicy Mexican food.
  • A firm handshake hello.
  • Being closer to my family and friends, of course.

I’ve made due without a lot of them. For instance, E. and I started making peanut butter to get a PB&J fix. Without some of the processed food fallbacks we were using before the move, I’ve actually learned how to cook better by using whole foods like beans in place of soy meat.

Also, I have been fine without these things for a year and a half. It’s not a tragedy that I live without them.

Are there any customs or foods that you would miss if you left your country for an extended period?

If you are an expat, what do you miss about your native country right now?

Shelly at Musings from the Fishbowl is hosting a Sweet Freedom cookbook giveaway. Don’t forget to enter by June 27!



Filed under Food, Habitation

23 responses to “Some Things I Miss

  1. Amen on the Stonyfield Farms yogurt!! So delish. The best substitute here is to buy Yoghurt Natural (Soporle brand) and if it’s not sweet enough, add a little bit of sugar, and if you want more flavor, add fruit or vanilla extract. The consistency is similar to US yogurt.

    And bagels. How I long for bagels.

  2. oooooooooooh, bagels…..


  3. LB + I missed almost every single thing in your list in BsAs, and since we’ve been back from Europe, it’s been this class reunion with soymilk, seitan, spicy food, burritos, real fruit smoothies + target. I can’t wait until you come back. . . you’ll get to rediscover everything you love, one vegetarian sigh at a time. We miss you. And your pics of Peru are fucking STUNNING. Besos.

    Thanks JB. Glad you enjoyed your travels through Europe!

  4. Okay… the yogurt thing would be a BIG problem. I’m eating Greek yogurt now, as a matter of fact. I would really miss gluten free oatmeal. I already make my own almond milk and smoothies. So, that wouldn’t be too big of a problem. Gluten free pasta might be though. Hmmm… good thought provoking question. Hang in there! You can do it!!!!!

  5. Ditto the bagels, spicy Mexican food and shopping at Target. I’d also have to add cheddar cheese and sour cream to the list.

    By the way, a while back you suggested that I try the Frutigran cookies with oatmeal and raisins – love them! Thanks for the tip. 🙂

    I’m so glad you like them. The tropical flavor is good too, but it tastes really buttery to me.

  6. hmmm. Cheese that tastes like something, and doesn’t cost a fortune. Dill havarti, for example. Occasionally, that really gross morning star farms facon (breakfast strips). Bagels.

    Aside from that, not too much. Cream cheese that doesn’t cost $4 a brick might be a nice change, but it keeps me honest!

    Okay, I’m beginning to think we’re going to have to meet at who ever has the biggest house’s kitchen to make bagels one day. They’re not that hard! I posted a link to a recipe even once.

    And you can get leche con platano almost anywhere, but I don’t think they’re icy like a smoothie.

    I forgot to list “quality cheese.” I agree about the dill havarti. How good does that sound on a toasted bagel? 😉

  7. Bagels can be found at Cafe Melba in El Golf, although they’re not quite right somehow. Thanks for reminding me to take advantage of being in the US right now – I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow! I agree on the quality cheese and Target points. I know you can get soy meat in some stalls in La Vega, although I don’t know if they have exactly what you’re looking for.

    I have taken advantage of the carne de soya. It’s pretty good when making fake Manwich. The brand I really miss is Boca. The italian soy sausages are really tasty.

  8. i would miss: guacamole, coca cola, hash browns.

    If you came to Santiago you would be in luck because it is the best place for avocados! 🙂 They also drink a lot of Coca Cola. Alas, no hash browns, though.

  9. I don’t really miss bagels because I don’ t eat them a lot in the US. How about those scrumptious SoyJoys? Eggo waffles? Yum.

    I also miss crunchy peanut butter and tofu.

    I can get you tofu. I have my sources. 🙂

  10. Tee

    So turning that around, I’m curious what you’d miss of South America if you were re-settled back in the states for a few years?

    Oooh. I like that question, Tee. That sounds like a rich post for this week. 🙂


  11. Another wonderful post. Tania and I thought about this quite a bit while living in Mendoza. Here are a few things:

    -Peanut Butter
    -Eggo Waffles
    -Piña Coladas (sin alcohol)
    -Ranch Dressing

    Now that we’re home, we might need to follow Tee’s suggestion: What do we miss NOW from South America?

    I’m a coupon person, too!

    I would love to read what you miss from Mendoza.

  12. Olivia


    While in Peace Corps we really missed,

    good toilet paper
    Ranch dressing
    taco seasonings

    You’ve given some some good ideas for stocking up on some of our comfort things… thanks for the thoughtful post!

    Peanut butter might be a good one for you to bring, especially with a little one. 🙂

  13. Wow. I bet I would miss alot. I don’t even know what they wouldn’t have in other countries. I’m not sure I could live without PB. I’d have to have my mom fed ex it to me.

    I love your blog. I’m adding it.

    have a great weekend!

    Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  14. Well, this time I’ve been away for almost 7 years…what do I miss the most…actually not much. I’m not much of a packaged foods/out to eat kind of gal, so really I don’t miss much other than my friends and family. I do miss corn flour to make corn tortillas and maybe having authentic Mexican food made *for* me, but I can make myself a meal when I’m jonzing.
    I don’t know, I need to think about this one! 🙂

  15. Ginger ale! I know I can make it myself, but when I was pregnant and had horrible morning sickness (that lasted 8 months), I just wanted ginger ale so badly.

    I can see that!

  16. The High Life and/or PBR.

    Good call. I’m not a beer drinker, but I know those are hard to come by.

  17. Hmmm … when I was an expat 24 years ago I hate to admit I miss McD’s, sad, but true …

    I never would have guessed! 🙂

    Now McD’s has taken over the world.

  18. Sonia

    Well here is what I miss most from Argentina–
    Ice cream
    Media Lunas
    gluten free restaurants
    gluten toast
    mendoza wines
    good coffee
    the sea
    culture with a C
    gallery Fridays
    cyber cafes
    jazz cafes
    Pina Mar
    good medicine
    house calls
    good insurance
    freindly medicos
    super friendly knowledgable waiters
    gay people being accepted
    an international city
    portenos at the bar
    San Telmo Sunday Fair
    every neighborhood has a church
    aprons on school kids
    Family-Bonds and arguments
    open minded folks
    participatory p0litics
    Borges Street

    Beautiful! Thank you. 🙂

  19. Pingback: Things I’ll Miss about Chile « Still Life in South America

  20. SG

    I miss everything on your list too! Good coffee, especially.

    I also miss the gross and glorious experience that is going to American movie theaters, with nasty buttered popcorn and bad-for-you soda and all that noise and pop.

    I also love that experience!

  21. Every American expat I’ve ever met here in Australia misses Target. It’s actually terrible because there is a store here called Target with the same logo, etc, but it is so not the same as an American Target. It’s like a tease. You get really excited and think, “I’ll just run to Target and get that.” Then when you get there you find they don’t stock those sorts of items.

    Besides friends and family, I miss Mexican food most of all. I miss hearing people speak Spanish and I miss a good icy cold Margarita.

    Hi Suzi,

    I’m actually surprised there is no fake Target here. In Punta del Este, we saw a lot of mimic stores like Blue, Bath, and Beyond instead of Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

    Restaurants don’t offer good Mexican food in Oz?

  22. Restaurants offering good Mexican food in Oz? Those words don’t even belong in the same sentence (or question in this case). The Mexican food situation here is DESOLATE. So disappointing for someone who grew up literally on the border of Mexico. =(

  23. Mmmmm . . . does it count if I simply fled the South? I miss good restaurants, spicy Mexican food, spicy fried food, rain. Especially rain. I miss the noise of the city, the bright, twinkling lights. I miss shopping.

    I think your next vacation should be to Buenos Aires–good restaurants, twinkling lights, and shopping. I even found semi-spicy Mexican food on Friday!

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