Some of the things I missed when I was back in the U.S.
All the fruit

sari sari stores

convenient and cheap public transportation of trycicabs and the more expensive but still cheaper than U.S. taxis.

Friendly people and specific friends

The home-made ice cream sold by a guy on a bike in my neighbourhood

Having taxes already added in to the cost at the store, so if an item says it costs 50 pesos, that is exactly how much it costs.

cheap, small packaging- if I want a single envelope of flavoured instant coffee for about ten cents, that’s available. If I need just enough dish soap to get me to the next support check, that’s available.

The neighborhood rascals

Slower pace of life

Buko Pandan flavours as well as good pineapple rice

Fresh shrimp that does not cost an arm and a leg

sunset every day at 5:30

crispy kang kong

working with Koreans (I know this is available in other parts of the U.S. just not so much mine)

The sea

The view of Mt. Apo

lower cost of living




Some of the U.S. Things I Miss

My kids and grandkids

my mom ( I know they aren’t ‘things’ but you know what I mean)

clean bathrooms

being able to flush toilet paper in the toilet

Hot running water from every tap


certain spices and herbs, especially dill and cilantro

Berries, all the berries

good lettuce

cherry tomatoes and tomatoes with flavor

lower humidity

lightning bugs

mourning doves

clean roads, the litter and garbage here does get to me at times.

Being able to order something at a restaurant and ask them to change something up- not to put something on the plate that comes with a meal, or to have a sprite instead of tea (even if charged extra), or to order the hamburger meal but ask them to hold the bun or leaf the tomatoes off… to make such requests here is to send the entire kitchen staff into stress and panic and you’re not going to get what you asked for anyway.  It’s just not done, and so we don’t do it.  But it’s nice to be able to order just a meat patty and vegetables for the Cherub and have that treated like a normal and easy thing to do.

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  1. Frances
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    crispy kang kong – curious, I went a-googling and found this:
    Sounds delicious, but gently amused by the instruction to
    “Rinse Kangkong leaves with clean water. Get rid of the leaves and stems.”
    and wondering about “2 trampled eggs”

    • Headmistress
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      And the crashed black pepper. She seems to have used google to translate. Sadly, crispy kang-kong is one of the things I can’t really eat any more. I’ve never had the mayo/garlic dip with cheese, just mayo, garlic and some extra vinegar.
      I have a filipina friend named Jeanne (same as author of this article) and her name is pronounced with two syllables- gi-ahn, emphasis on second. It’s quite pretty.

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