things I miss

Ted and I went to a greasy-spoon diner in Saratoga Springs and had greasy-spoon American diner food. I had fried eggs and corned beef hash from a can.

ZOMG. So. Yummy!

See, it’s things like that that I can’t define missing until I have the opportunity to have them again. I mean, I knew I missed diner food, because you just can’t get it the way it’s done here, over there, and I’ve wanted some, but the corned beef hash from a can, I didn’t think of that *specifically* until I had the chance to have it.

The train trip up and down from Saratoga told me that wow, I really miss *trees*. Ireland doesn’t have very damned many trees. I’ve really got to get my bike fixed so I can try to do some biking and get out into the countryside, even if biking on Irish roads is nearly suicidal, because wow, I *really* miss trees. (I do not, however, miss mosquitoes.)

I miss the bigness of America. Even on the East Coast, where the states are all small, there’s a hell of a lot more room than there is in Ireland. The streets are wider (to the point of hysteria. Ted and I kept gazing in wonder at the width of the streets). Saratoga has these absurdly wide *sidewalks* that are quite wonderful. You can walk abreast down them instead of single file. The houses in Saratoga are *enormous*, and the lots they’re on are also very very large. Part of me is thinking, “Well, but what do you need all that space for?” and the rest of me says we cling to you like leeches! and wants to fling me on one of the enormous lovely porches and not let go.

I miss sounding like everybody else. I mean, okay, I don’t sound like everybody else in New York (or Boston, where we were far too amused by the attendant’s accent when she told us how to get to the Delta terminal), but the not-sounding-alike is still closer in the vowel sounds than it is in Ireland.

I miss–and this one is going to surprise some people, probably–the friendliness of Americans in general. The Irish have a reputation for being friendly, and it is absolutely true that if you get into a conversation you’ll never escape, but they do not meet your eye and nod or smile in greeting when you’re on the street, not unless they already know you. Even in New York City, which has like The Rep for being unfriendly, people acknowledge you. I’ve been noticing as long as I’ve been in Ireland that people don’t meet your eye, but I really, really noticed it when I was in NYC in August, as a comparison.

I miss basketball courts and baseball fields, but basketball courts especially.

What I don’t miss is the Propeganda TV. Oh my god. I’ve never actually lived in a police state (I said hopefully) but coming back to the States and listening to the relentless frigging pro-USA television is really disturbing. The airports blare overhead announcements every few minutes about how you’d better behave yourself or you and your luggage will be sent to Guantanamo never to be heard from again. Logan International had US/MA flags all over the place, and I don’t remember what they said beneath them. “Freedom First” or something, while they told you to take off your boots and throw away your 4oz bottle of shampoo at security. Can’t say I miss that.

Don’t miss the endless politics on TV, either. It’s gotten worse since last I was here, with “gosh look at all the cut-screens we can add to keep you interested!” at headache-inducing levels. Don’t miss the endless commercials.

Apparently a lot of what I don’t miss is media-based. :)

19 thoughts on “things I miss

  1. Y’know, it would never have occurred to me that corned beef hash could ever have come from a can.

    Let alone be yummy.

    I want proof. I want someone in the States to send me a can, with corned beef hash in it. A photo of the can (emptied) and a happy camper (filled) will not do it, sorry…

  2. That’s my favorite diner breakfast. Put some hash browns on the side and dayum…

    One of my best friends comes to visit me from Belfast every year and the size of things here just blow her away.

  3. I suppose that corned beef hash from a can is comfort food to Americans much the same way that Vegemite is comfort food for a lot of Aussies.

  4. Yeah, welcome to the police state here. There’s creeping fascism *everywhere*. I live in hope that with the next national election one year away that the nightmare is coming to an end rather than to a middle. The situation is such that I am wholly unwilling to put our names on a state register and marry my wife on paper when it becomes legal to do so here in Oregon on the 1st of January because (and you have to understand that this is coming from a decidedly UNparanoid personality) I am not convinced that should things continue they way they have been going here that my front door won’t be kicked in at 2am a few years from now because being gay has been declared a crime against the state. It pisses me off that I even have to consider anything that damned Orwellian. Welcome to America, home of the sheep and the straight.

    In other news, I just got a fresh copy of my birth certificate and will be heading down to get a passport sometime very soon. If things take a decided turn for the worse here, Vancouver, BC or even London is looking pretty damned good. Between me, the theatre geek, my wife the writer/artist/Mac Goddess, and my girlfriend the PR Maven/opera singer, I don’t think we will have a problem finding work as long as we settle somewhere near a major arts center. At any rate, I’m going to have a valid passport long before the possibility of needing to get the hell out of dodge.

    Thank your lucky stars that you live in Ireland now. Becoming an ex-pat looks better by the day.

  5. …or indeed Marmite for Brits. And it’s strange how particular that taste is: I tried Vegemite, once, and thought it was really unpleasant. But I adore Marmite.

    But. Neither of these is corned beef hash. From a can. *still boggling*

  6. Having actually lived in a fascist state (China) I can tell you it’s not that bad here…but it’s definitely getting worse than I remember. I’m thinking of emigrating to Canada, mostly because I know I can’t be a single mom in the US anymore.

  7. I loooooooove corned beef hash from a can.

    I thought marmite was utterly disgusting, when I tried some of Geni’s. :)

  8. I wish I could enjoy eggs and hash like I used to. Unfortunately it only took one deployment to kill almost anything breakfasty for me. Smelling eggs and corned beef hash each morning for six months straight will definitely do it:(.

  9. Mmm, diner food! (Did you go to Compton’s?)

    Glad to have met you at the con and am adding you to my friends (a.k.a. reading) list. :)

    Maria Lima

  10. I went to that diner and had that hash. Mmm, yummy!

    (Theoretically I could go to diners here and have it all the time, but for health reasons I save my really bad eating habits for cons.)

  11. I have corned beef hash in a tin. I got it from Tesco’s. You want I post it to you?

  12. Great to finally meet you in person. :-) And to meet Ted, of course, who was his own pile of awesome.

    Given that today is Election Day, it was probably one of the worst times possible for politics on tv. But at least it’s an off-year, so the really horrible ads weren’t out in force. :-)

  13. Sadly election seems to have been in full roar since at least june… I’m forcibly reminded of Twains quip about idiots and repeating himself.

  14. Makes one wish for a parliamentary system with it’s seven weeks or so of campaigning, eh?

    When I reminded David that he’d be back from the sandbox in time for the full effects of the campaign to start he did not look pleased.

  15. Oh Dog yes!

    Although i suppose with the size of our country, i could live with even 90 days…

  16. Maria, it was so cool to meet you! *beams* I hope we’ll run into each other at future cons!

    And yeah, we went to Compton’s. Le yummy, yummy diner fud!

    I love your icon with all the love in my heart. :)

  17. but for health reasons I save my really bad eating habits for cons

    That’s a very good idea :)

  18. Oh, no, they’ve got it here too. It’s just the dinerishness of it all that really struck home. :)

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