Monday, August 30, 2010

Comparing and Contrasting

After 12 lengthy (but wonderful) days in the US- the longest period yet since 2005- I have a clear understanding of what it is I love…and hate….about being stateside. And after further comparisons, contrasts, and considerations- I have decided that I am happiest here, and not there- despite the absence of hydrogenated oils.

Below are my top 12 (for the 12 days I was in the states) things I missed the most when I was gone, and indulged in (multiple times) while I was home:

        1.    Cookies

        2.     Taco Bell – and Chipotle, but really- Taco Bell

        3.  Un-dubbed movies

        4.     Molly, my family’s GoldenDoodle (pic below)

        5.     Flip-flops and baseball caps (I would probably be shot dead if I walked down Babuino in Havaianas and a cubs cap)

        6.     Subway (the sandwiches, not the underground)

        7.     My mommy

       8 .   Pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade, you name it, I went there…)

       9.   Dollars

       10.  Starbucks (at least 3 per city block)

       11.  Asphalt, pavement, cement, and the like.

        12.  Outlet stores

And here are the top 12 things I missed about daily life in Rome:

        1.     Bidets. Seriously.

        2.     Espresso (despite my love for- and wavering loyalty to Starbucks)

        3.     Extra virgin olive oil. On everything.

        4.     Passeggiate for no good reason other than to walk

        5.     Italian (excuse me, Italiano)

        6.     Aperitivi

         7.  Pasta al dente (as opposed to the mush they serve in America. Yes, I too am becoming a pasta snob)

        8.     Late dining (“late,” being anytime past 8 pm)

     9.     Cooking- in my kitchen, after going to my mercato, and serving hungry people on my piatti at my tavola. Americans don't really eat anymore.

        10.  Cafés

       11.  Pizza

        12.  Italy. In general.

Then, of course, there are the things that I adore and abhor- that don't really fit into either list- like central air. I love central air conditioning- but I froze my ass off in every store, house and restaurant. And now I’m sick.

I can't spend enough time in English bookstores, but it's rather annoying paying the airlines for extra weight- due to books than can easily, and more cost-effectively, be bought online.

I adore American baked goods- and ice cream: mushy centered cookies, brownies, caramel covered apples, grocery store cakes with buttermilk frosting, sundaes, fresh doughnuts, etc…but I’m less than pleased about the 2.3 kilos I gained. (that’s 5 pounds…but it sounds better in kilos).

So, with that…I’m off to the gym.


(Above is Molly the wonder dog, complete with her swimming device especially designed for the treacherous waters of Lake Michigan)

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