I don't think the reality of again living in a foreign country has officially set in yet. Sure, I grew up overseas, so I know what it's like... but that was YEARS ago and I was in a VERY different stage of life (moved back to the States when I was 15... starting 9th grade). I had my family around me. I'd lived there since I was six, so it was really all I knew. Since then, I've traveled a lot, but it's never been for more than a month. Last summer I went with two of my cousins and my sister to visit my parents in Indonesia and by the time the month was up, I was definitely ready for some America. :) It's just not the same. I know I'll love it and learn to adjust, but I know there will be some things I definitely miss. Obviously family, friends, and students are top of the list, but those are givens, so I'm not going to spend time at this point... I'm sure I will at a later time... writing about how/what I'll miss about them, but instead am just going to write about some of the American comforts that I foresee myself missing greatly.
- Chick-fil-a - for those of you not from Virginia/the East Coast, you may not understand. Waffle fries, cookies-n-cream milk shakes, chicken sandwich, free wi-fi. My mouth is watering just typing this. Definitely going to be missed. (Also in this category are Cheddars, Plaza Azteca (local joints), and Panera.)
- Country Music Radio - I LOVE country music. While I plan on bringing a lot of it on my mp3 player, computer, and CDs, this won't allow me to stay current on the fabulous new music that's always coming out. Hopefully my Country-lovin' friends will keep me informed on all the new goodies that are played on repeat. (On a similar note, I wonder how many country concerts are played in Malaysia? I'll definitely have to squeeze in as many of those as I can this summer before I go!)
- Driving - As far as I know now, I will not have a car over there. This is not too mind-boggling for me, since that's how it was growing up, but that was before I knew the joys of joy-riding. :) I don't LOVE driving like some of my friends, but it is definitely a comfort that I think I'm going to miss. According to my ever-accurate Wikipedia research, Kuala Lumpur has a fairly extensive, successful public transportation system which is not over-crowded. That should be fun to learn!
- Freely, proudly flown American flags - While driving home yesterday and thinking about this list, I saw a truck in front of me with a full-sized American flag flying in the bed. I consider myself quite patriotic and am going to miss seeing all the American pride that is evident in this country (or maybe it's just our area because it's so heavily military? Either way. I love it.).
- Green - Maybe it's just because it's Spring, but Newport News (my section, at least!) feels extra green and fresh right about now. I've been LOVING our 80 degree April days and can't seem to get enough time outside to enjoy it. If Malaysia is anything like Jakarta (which from pictures, it appears to be MUCH less polluted and congested, but pictures can lie!), I'm not going to have the beautiful parks and open fields that I
- Wal-Mart - I'm not positive that they haven't made it over to Malaysia yet, but even if they have, I'm guessing it won't be the same. I love the convenience and completeness of Wal-Mart. If they don't have it, I probably don't need it. :)
Once I'm there, I'm sure this list will grow. When we were in Indonesia, some of the things we missed were Kraft Mac and Cheese, American cereals, and American candies. I've heard that Malaysia is pretty modern, so not sure if those little delicacies will be present, but I'll keep you posted.