After a long day at uni, I made my way over to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients for dinner that night. I had decided to make good ol’, classic macaroni and cheese. During my voyage for dinner, I stopped mid-search and just stood in the aisle of WoolWorth’s and looked around. At that point, I was feeling desperate to find anything that looked even a little bit familiar. I just wanted Kraft Mac & Cheese shaped like “SpongeBob” characters. Sadly, I was not able to find anything close to Kraft Mac & Cheese, but this moment in the grocery store made me realize the little things in life that I took for granted back in Colorado.
I am sure you can guess my first thing on the list:
Being able to find my favorite food – Just like I have explained in my above anecdote, I am rarely able to find the same brands and food that I usually get in the States. Picking out food is always a gamble because even though you are getting, for example, cheese sauce, you do not know how that sauce is going to taste or cook. The recipes that I brought from home never quite turn out like they do when I’m in the States because I can never find the exact ingredients that I need to cook it. I should also say though that I have found food here that I will never be able to get back home, which makes me sad, too. There is no way to win when it comes to food.
My daily routine – While being here and having to create a brand-new routine, I have developed a grown appreciation for my daily routine at Colorado State University. Even though I have now settled into being here, I most definitely will not take for granted having a set routine of work, school and extracurriculars.
Having a car – Even though the public transportation system has treated me very well since I have been here, … I miss my car, having the luxury of driving to a specific place and parking right in front of the building. The other day, a task that usually takes me 10 minutes at home took me over two hours because I did not have a car. I wanted to rent some movies, I spent two hours on the train (round trip) and it took me 20 minutes to walk to the rental store from the train station.
Serving sizes at coffee shops – When they say small, they mean small. A small coffee is served in a cup the size of a dixie cup. This is not enough coffee to get a student through college.
Autumn in Colorado – The weather here is much different than I ever imagined. I knew summer was going to be hot, but I expected autumn to be a little cooler, where you have to wear a light jacket all day and you can come home and have a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate. This is what I pictured. During the first month of autumn here, it broke 80 degrees (26 Celsius) probably 90 percent of the days. Hot chocolate, sweaters and fireplaces are not in the picture … ever.
When I talk about these things, it’s not because I am homesick, it’s a longing for familiarity.
Collegian Australia Abroad Blogger Michelle Buser can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @buser_Michelle.