Monday, April 15, 2013

A - Z Challenge: MISSING HOME


As much as I love Spain, there's a lot I miss about my home(s) in Philadelphia and Williamsburg.  Obviously, I miss my family, friends, and pets, but here are some more specific things that, if you come to Spain, you'll find lacking.

Peanut Butter

Not a thing here.  Spaniards don't eat it.  Heck, Europeans in general don't eat it.  Peanut butter is  strictly American, which I didn't know until I got here.  Sure, you can find it in the supermarkets, but it's ridiculously expensive.  Plus, it's not nearly as good as Jif.

However, they do have an abundance of Nutella, of which I highly approve.  Good job, Europe.

Coffee Shops

Coming to Spain, I thought I would find an abundance of amazing coffee shops.  It's Europe, right?  I figured I'd be at a café every day, sipping excellent coffee while I wrote.

How wrong I was.

Yes, Europe has cafés, but they're not "sit and relax" cafés.  It's frowned upon to do any type of work, so no reading, no writing, no opening up your laptop.  Cafés are for eating, drinking, and socializing, so if you go alone to do work, you're given quite a lot of weird looks.

You know it's bad when my favorite café is Starbucks.  The only place with comfortable seating and free unlimited wifi.  Plus, it's acceptable to do work there (probably because it's 95% foreigners).  At any rate, I miss good ol' American coffee shops, and once I get back to Williamsburg, the managers  will have to literally drag me out of Aromas come closing time, because I won't ever want to leave.


It stops working once you leave the States.  No streaming.  Nothing.  Same goes for Hulu.

Food (other than peanut butter, which obviously deserves its own category)

Steak.  Chinese take-out.  Corn on the cob.  Reese's Cups.  Soy milk.  Steak.  French vanilla coffee creamer.  Chips and salsa.  Pita Pit.  Steak.  Raw vegetables.  Dark chocolate M &Ms.  Did I say steak?


  1. I'd go crazy without peanut butter! I'm totally addicted to it. I've never lived in a foreign country but can imagine there are definitely things to miss about home, no matter how wonderful the new place is.

    Stopping by from the A-Z and it's great to meet you!

    1. Yeah, I spend a lot of money on peanut butter…It's one of those things I'll pay high prices for. I need it :)

  2. Amazing how we take certain things for granted. I find part of the beauty of travel is seeing how many of those very things are different in other places.

    But, we were on a boat on the Yangtze River in China for a week back in 2002. I took a jar of Skippy reduced-fat chunky PB in my luggage. When I set it out on our table after six breakfasts where bok choy was served, one of the other tourists came by our table and said, "My husband would pay $10 for that jar of peanut butter."


    1. Haha I'd pay $20! That was smart to bring it with you. From now on, I'm bringing peanut butter with me wherever I go!

  3. Hi Sam,
    I came across your blog in AtoZ challenge. I'm Spanish leaving in The Netherlands and, well, in Spain we don't eat peanut butter but in other european countries they do. So if you come to The Netherlands you can provisioning yourself with very cheap and lots of brands of peanut butter.
    I don't know if I understand you correctly are you missing steaks and raw vegetables in Spain??!! I can name you many good places for steak, if you go to an "asador" you could ask for "churrasco" (or from a steak from Avila). for vegetables don't go to the big supermarkets, but to the weekly "rastrillo". If you want to check some ideas for Spain, here is my blog:

    1. All right, sounds like I'm going to the Netherlands! I am missing steak and raw vegetables :) I know they exist here, but my problem is that we're living with a host family that doesn't serve us steak and believes vegetables are best served mushy. Being on a semi-tight budget also means fancy restaurants are a rare occurrence, though really, I should splurge and find myself a nice steak one day.