Sometimes when I’m going off talking about random things going on in my life and season, it’s easy for me to forget just how unusual my life is. I’m 24 going on 25, and I live in a northern European country playing the game I love. Even though things are not going as well as I had hoped, I’m still happy with my life right now. I also have high hopes for what the future may bring and I don’t plan on leaving Europe anytime soon. That’s all well and good, but there are some things that I truly miss from America. I figure I’ll use this post to list those things I miss.
1. Amani – Amani is my niece and I miss her more than anything in this world. I obviously haven’t seen her since I got to Europe. She’s now 10 months old and I just want to give her the biggest hug and kiss and carry her around! I will go back to the US in November, so I’ll see her then.
2. Fast Food - When I initially put this on my list, I hadn’t been to a fast food restaurant in weeks. Still, I rarely eat fast food here. In America, I would get fast food a couple times a week. And that’s not just McDonald’s, I’m also including Chipotle and Taco Bell and Chinese food and other fast foods. In America I always took for granted that there would be plenty of fast food places within a reasonable distance. Here, there’s only a McDonalds that takes me 20 minutes to bike to.
3. Driving – Unlike most people, I love to drive. And I don’t mean driving fast or aggressively, but just cruising around. I love the freedom of having a car. You can take a day trip much more cheaply and easily than with public transportation to any place other than Stockholm. When I first moved to Baltimore, I spent three hours just driving around the city getting to know it. As a result, I felt like I knew the city of Baltimore far better than I know the equivalent area in and around Enkoping.
4. Political Television – Even though I rarely mention it in the blog, I am a big fan of politics. One of my true interests in life are the dynamics of politics in America and the game of politics. To me, politics in America have turned into something fascinating and very frustrating at the same time. Also, I think there’s something to democracy the way we do it in America. It seems counterintuitive, but it takes more than a good idea to get things done. You have to be able to work with people and with challenging ideas. And all of this typically plays out in front of dozens of cameras and countless media sources. It all makes for incredibly entertaining tv, which I can’t see most days because the stations don’t show in Sweden (and I don’t have a tv anyway.) Also lumped in the group of stations I miss are HGTV, DIY Network, Cartoon Network and Comedy Central.
5. Pop Tarts and Grape Jelly – Most of the food that I eat in the US is available in Enkoping. For some reason though, there are no Pop Tarts or Grape Jelly. I can kind of understand pop tarts, but grape jelly? I figured that would be pretty universal. I mean, Enkoping grocery stores have a zillion marmalades and jams but no jelly. And when I asked the guys about where to find grape jelly, they didn’t even know what I was talking about. Thus, my daily peanut butter and jelly sandwich is really a peanut butter and marmalade sandwich. Nothing like what mom used to make.
6. The last – and honestly most important – thing that I miss is the commentating brilliance that is Ray Hudson. Anyone who watches GolTv back in the US knows about Mr. Hudson. He is the greatest, most hilarious commentator who ever lived. I can’t describe his delivery better than just putting in a video, so I’ll put one here. I have to preface it by saying he has a severe man crush on Messi and Riquelme. Enjoy and I’ll post again soon!