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IT ALWAYS GOES BACK TO FOOD
In the middle of busy week, though yesterday my massage was cancelled and today 2 meetings at work were, so at least a few fewer things on the list. We had a goodbye fika today for one of our team members (in the events group) that is leaving us this week and moving to Paris, to work for our company as an events manager for the southern Europe region. He's a truly nice, positive guy so it's a bummer to have that dynamic leaving our department. The manager that hired him, however, just quit her job and is coming onboard in the Corporate Marketing department in different managerial role. What a flip-flop!

His team leader gave a lovely speech about him and how we'll miss him and what he will miss from Sweden and then handed him a big bag full of things to help him not miss Sweden, or us, too much. It included Swedish chocolate and salt licorice candy and instant "snow" and a framed picture of all of us, among other things.

It got me thinking about what you miss when you move away from home; to another country. When I moved to Sweden, I had a very long list of things I missed. My mother was over-the-top kind and generous and spent a literal fortune mailing care packages of candy and food and cosmetics and toiletries to me, for years. I still buy the majority of my clothes in the US, as well. Some things, there are simply no good substitutes for. I remember Anders mentioning once that apart from salt licorice, one of the things he missed was kassler (a kind of very salty ham, sort of like Canadian bacon).

I still miss things, but I've found substitutes for most of them, or they've come to Sweden in the time I've been away. There are some things I still stock up on every time I go to the States, but I don't ask my mom to mail much anymore or for friends or colleagues to bring me stuff back when they travel to the US.

There are still some things that I simply must have and those I still order and have shipped here: Crest Cinnamon toothpaste, for one. Spice cake mixes. Red hot candies for decorating cookies.

Foods I miss that I can't get here, so I only have them when I'm actually in the US: good bagels, Fritos, Cheetos, English muffins, Campbell's Cream of Celery soup. I make my mom fix recipes that I loved growing up. We always have to go eat at our favorite restaurants at least once. It's funny how when you talk about things you miss from your homeland, it's almost always food that tops the list. Or is that just me?

I miss Halloween, still, the decorations and the love for it. I miss bookstores filled with English books. I miss Chicago and Michigan. I miss having 4 full seasons...and not just rain all the damn time. I miss my family, like crazy. I miss my friends, the ones I left behind and the ones that have moved back. But I don't miss that much else. Not enough to make a difference or to make me want to move back to the States...my family is the only thing that draws me; that's hard enough without adding a hankering for Three Musketeers bars.

If I DID ever move away from Sweden, I know the list of things would be just as long and in some ways much more comprehensive. The pace of life, the food, the calmness, the security, my friends, would just be the tip of the iceberg. I'm glad that we live in such a global age, where goods and people can move so easily around the globe. Missing things just ain't what it used to be, when you see commercials on Swedish television showing kids how to eat Oreo cookies.

What would you miss if you moved away?
 nostalgic
mood: nostalgic
music: Yuna—Stay


Comments

I'm with you on the Fritos - you just NEVER stop craving them - and the Campbell's Cream of Celery soup, but I would also add the Cheddar Cheese soup because I use it for a Mexican style casserole I make and you just can't get quite the right substitute no matter what.

O! I forgot about Cheddar Cheese soup! I always buy a bunch of that to bring back as well. It's my go-to for macaroni and cheese...which I'm not eating anymore anyway, so there's that. sigh.

It's hard to know, probably bagels and English muffins would be on my list too, though I have successfully made good bagels myself from scratch, that takes time I rarely have. I have yet to find decent chips (all kinds, potato, tortilla) in Sweden and we eat those a lot, too much I'm sure, so that would probably be something too.

Wait, I know. I would miss pizza. I miss pizza right now. When you grow up in New York and around the corner from a pizza parlor, there is simply no substitute. When we first moved up to Maine and a friend came to visit me, I had her bring a pie from that place around the corner on the plane with her.

haha! I missed American deep dish pizza (Chicago-style!) when I first moved here, but I don't actually eat pizza all that much (a result of overload during college), and we found a place here that does a fantastic thick crust, so once in a blue moon I have that, and that's enough.

I really missed the American chips (still do, to be honest) but have found enough substitutes so it's not that big a deal. But I MUST HAVE when I am home in the US!

(Anonymous)

I'm not sure I would miss much in the way of food. When we lived in Europe I thought all their food was so fabulous and especially the candy-which I still crave! Now when I visit I see Ben & Jerry's in the stores- so that would be available - although maybe not the Coffee,coffee,buzz,buzz,buzz flavor. But then, I suspect I could make my own. But I would miss my chiropractor whom I depend upon to keep me in good shape and supplements, and I would miss my massage gal since she is the best, and I would miss the Healing Touch Center where I get and give healing treatments. And of course, the family that would still be here! SO it mostly just boils down to missing people! Love, Lizardmom

Yep! I can certainly understand missing those things! I miss your massage gal too! :D

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I think I would miss the LANGUAGE. I don't speak another language, unless sarcasm counts, or hyperbole? And just the ease of knowing the norms and how to be. I would learn these things, of course, but it would be hard. Food is tied with these things, because I am a terribly picky eater. I think I have told you before, my favorite place is HOME. I am also with your mom up there...who would cut my hair? And be my doctor? Dentist? And, would I have to make new friends? Ugh. So much WORK.

I admire you. I think you are brave, and I love seeing your life from your point of view. Thanks for that. xoxoxox

Re: From Megsie

I think it depends quite a lot on WHERE you move to. I don't miss the language so much here, because English is everywhere. Everyone speaks it, nothing is dubbed and there is a very large English-speaking community. But you are right, it's not easy, exactly. It's a matter of degree. If I were in Asia, for example, I think it would be MUCH more difficult!

(Anonymous)
Food. Yum.

I do not miss Food.
I actually enjoy it still, often.
It is all just different things. Here I eat German food, mostly. Traditional German Lunches when at the Cantina in Munich. At home it is a misch mash of styles thrown together. Although the Chef there at the cantina spent some time in New York, and often surprises me with his American Style options. His Spare Ribs are incredible. His Barbecue Sause rivals some of the best that I have sampled all over the southeast seaboard. The options from Eastern Shore Maryland to Georgia and throughout the Carolinas are rather extensive and I have had sampled many from this region.

My Cooking at home I would call European with an American Flair. Or American with a European Flair.

Since we rarely eat out due to differing circumstances, such as Small Children, Work and Commuting. I have tried to become more creative with Dinners, combining Ingredients to make yummy dishes. Which they are.
(My Chinese Wok is pretty damn good some say.)

Simone has gotten creative trying to come up with ideas that small humans will eat, with or without ketchup. seems Ketchup is winning. Although she incredibly does manage to cram an impressive amount of fruit, yogurt, and various other healthy ingredients into the 2 of them. Thank goodness Nutella is healthy. At least with Green Apple slices, or banana, it is.

So do not really miss the Food. I am looking forward to having American Cuisine again, when we visit in the summer. although I cannot say, what it is that I would want to enjoy first... Maybe some Jimmy Dean Sausage Biscuits. Although I am pretty sure that those are one cause of my previous Gall Bladder Problems and led to my recent case of Pancreatitis. Which I will not regale here. Regale - I am hoping I used this properly in the sentence, for all you English Majors out there. If not. oh, the agony. sorry. I am so embarrassed.

I do not miss all the holidays, most seem to be here in one form or another, and now of course I am involving my children in the traditional German ones, and learning them myself for the first time. even though I have been here 12 years, I really am seeing what holidays are actually more important for kids, instead of just a reason to have a drinking party, like most of the ones in the states. I cannot wait for Cinco de Mayo!!!

"I miss my family, like crazy. I miss my friends, the ones I left behind"
Ditto. I wonder how they miss me too, or not do they not at all. The friends that is, the family, I know. we talk often.

I miss my wife, I am going to go to the couch and join her. She has a broken foot, but that is another tale to tell.



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