What You Can't Get There, or Here

Shortly into your stay overseas, you’ll find yourself moaning about the lack of chocolate chips, or marshmallows, or barbecue sauce, or any of hundreds of other niceties you enjoyed at home.  (I’d love to hear yours.)  This melancholy pops up occasionally.  Fortunately, it is offset by the realization, usually made during a trip home, that there are things you enjoy about your foreign setting that you can’t find at home.

What do I miss most about life overseas?  Shawerma: heavy on the tahini and with the onions chopped fine.  Mole (pronouced mo-lay): just imagine a combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and chili powder.  Hard to imagine?  How about a picante peanut butter cup.  Trust me, it works, especially on fried chicken.  Chirimoya: a dark fruit with incredibly delicious white flesh.  Deep, deep history and culture: I loved being in places where the paths you took every day were possible archaeological sites.  In Israel, I noticed when a road construction crew stopped working for a time.  I went to the site and found that, in their excavations, they had uncovered a Roman mosaic.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!  You can get many of these foreign things here at home if you look hard enough, but it isn’t the same.

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