[so sometimes i wonder why i moved.]
1) Your cat is seriously freaked out.
2) You have thought about becoming a minimalist and just leaving all of your possessions. Fuck that family heirloom vase and fuck shoes. Who needs shoes?
3) You keep moving the “special” spot for your passport. The chair? Great. No, but what if it falls off? How about the table? What about in the kitchen?! And on, and on.
4) The scale is out and you are HOPING none of the luggage weighs in above 50 pounds. Because you are already planning on wearing your winter boots and winter coat on the plane. In July. See Number 2.
5) You’re having a reoccurring dream about having a house in the countryside. With two dogs and a horse. And babies. And no boxes.
6) You’re allocating hours to pack and then somehow just end up watching Season 6 of Castle again, because you haven’t paid for the internet for the last two days.
7) Despite pretending that you are not really moving to yourself, you have told houseguests to “Excuse the mess, I am in the middle of a move.”, for the past three weeks.
8) Friends pop by and ask if there is anything you don’t think you want? Like those speakers? Or what about your iPod? Seems too bulky to carry on the plane.
9) The little pile of “things to throw in at the last minute” is now bigger than your suitcase. See number 4. Fuck.
I wrote a more PC version of this here, where I catch up with a real-life minimalist who, get this, hasn’t had a couch for the past three years. Check it out and share any of your own moving horror stories in the comments below.
And the Lana Del Rey addiction continues… I also just started watching Girls so apparently I am living three years ago.
I have been writing this post for awhile, ever since I knew I was leaving Las Terrenas for the US of A. Originally titled, Things I Am Looking Forward To In America, I was a little late on the upload, perhaps due to my reluctance to return or the frantic state of moving (side note, when will I get used to that?!), so now this post is called Why I Love America. Also, it was the 4th of July so really, I am just timely.
1) ICED COFFEE
[enjoying my American iced coffee at Reading Marking in Philadelphia.]
Ok, this one, America wins hands down, over everyone else, any day of the week. Italians might get close with affogato (espresso poured over vanilla ice cream) but since that is more dessert-like, it doesn’t count. There are three components to a great iced coffee which include:
1) Cold coffee.
3) Coffee that has been brewed extra strong, so when the ice melts, it doesn’t get too watery.
Seems fairly simple, but most countries get one or all of the components wrong. Maybe it’s the American fascination with cold, icey drinks whereas a lot of other cultures from Turkish to Chinese believe that cold drinks leads to sickness, but we have cold beverages figured out.
I am such an iced coffee enthusiast that I even introduced it to my language school’s cafe in Beirut, Lebanon, requesting an iced Americano every day. The bartender would shake the espresso in a martini shaker with ice and then pour it over more ice. When other students caught on I was pleased, until I realized that there was only enough ice for three students to have iced coffee. Ooof.
Bottom line, Americans know their iced coffee. Don’t even try anywhere else, unless you are prepared for warm coffee to be poured over three ice cubes so you can enjoy watery, lukewarm beverage. #myfavorite
[check out that sidewalk… looks great, but then, oh wait! there is an electrical box in your way. of course.]
This might not be as exciting as iced coffee, but Americans really rock at building and maintaining sidewalks. Not only do they not have holes in them or are not blocked by cars 80% of the time, but they are beautifully paved, cement creatures that are perfect for running or jogging or walking. No need to worry about falling into a hole or stepping in dog poo.
And not to say that this is something Americans do better than so-called developing countries, but I would venture to say that Americans do sidewalks better than most European nations as well. European cities have those cobblestones that are probably older than our constitution, and man, do those suck for heels.
I haven’t explored the sidewalks of South America or Asia very much, or Africa at all so I will withhold my judgements about those areas of the world. But in terms of Middle East, Europe and Caribbean, America is ruling the sidewalks.
[just the road to my house. every day. during the rainy season. tropics = there is so much they don’t tell you on the postcard.]
Being from a small town, I understand that sometimes, sidewalks are not possible everywhere. And that is fine, it is better for the environment and better for tax payers. But, America also wins the paved roads game by a longshot. This is more based on my experiences in the DR, but the rainy season combined with dirt roads made me wish for the days of pavement.
[one of the two main roads out of Las Terrenas. it was really fun to bike over, especially when sharing the road with motos and cars.]
4) Data Plans
Americans have some of the cheapest, fastest internet in the whole world. And all at their fingertips for those lucky enough to have smartphones. After moving to the DR, I gave up my snapchatting, vineing AND instagram videos, all thanks to outrageous prices for data plans. Thanks Carlos Slim aka CEO of communications conglomerate Claro. Anyone who has ever lived in Latin America can deeply understand why Slim is the world’s second richest man.
While that definitely resulted in more books-read and less time wasting on the internet, I am happy to be back in America where I can video Skype and stream online videos ALL DAY. AT THE SAME TIME.
[proud to be an American. also proud of my flag cake.]