What do you miss about your home country when you go abroad?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by reecejackox, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. kimblebee

    kimblebee now my thoughts will be worth 5 cents

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,865

    That’s why we stay where we are. It’s a magical fairy place lol

    The number one reason we wouldn’t move down south is healthcare. Neither of us would qualify for insurance and if we did, we’d have to pay more than we earned to get it. I have four doctors I see on a regular basis and he has three. Add in all the tests, and appointments, and follow ups, and procedures and it quickly gets $$$
     
  2. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,210
    The two things I miss most when I travel abroad (from the US here) are:
    Dr Pepper
    Interstates/driving conditions in America in general

    We like to do road trips abroad and it's a huge stress to try to navigate foreign roads, even when they're in English! Most recently we were in Scotland and unless you're on one of the few major highways, the roads are very narrow. I appreciate how wide our roads are here (even country roads like the one I grew up on tend to be wider than a lot of the roads we saw in Scotland) and that we usually have some kind of shoulder.

    This thread is also super interesting because of the folks who are chiming in from other countries and it makes me realize the things I appreciate while I'm in other countries! Like in the UK the traffic lights turn yellow going from red to green, as well as from green to red like they do here. So you were never surprised by a green light and there was less of a delay in getting traffic moving again because everyone knew it was coming. So helpful.

    Another thing we appreciate is public transport. Aside from major cities like Chicago & NYC there aren't a ton of efficient public transport systems.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. kdonnel

    kdonnel DVC-BCV

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,481
    I just remembered a big one.

    The easy ability to get separate checks from restaurants in the US.

    I went on a sorta school sponsored trip with 60 eighth graders from Spain to France to Italy to Switzerland. The kids were always struggling to pay each other back because restaurants would not split the check. One of the kids always had to pay in full and then try to get the others at the table to pay them back when they managed to get change.

    The adults who dined together ran into the same problem as the kids.

    It was a problem that I have never experienced in the US.
     
    tcufrog likes this.
  5. L&Lfan

    L&Lfan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,311
    I love separate checks. When you split the bill someone always gets taken, usually the one who doesn’t order appetizers, desserts or booze.
     
    dish rag and Gumbo4x4 like this.
  6. belle032

    belle032 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    555
    My parents and I spent a few weeks in Tokyo for my Dad’s job. I’ve never eaten so much fish, seafood, and rice in my life. And the food was just presented beautifully every time. And it’s where I learned to use chopsticks!

    Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those foods,but we were just craving a big American hamburger at the end. One of our favorite photos is of my dad and I gorging ourselves at McDonald’s in the airport before the 15 hour flight home.

    Something I appreciated though, Tokyo was the cleanest city I have ever been to. You could have eaten off the sidewalk. And the people were beyond friendly and helpful. We still comment on those things!
     
    Gumbo4x4 likes this.
  7. mummabear

    mummabear DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    5,109
    Not having tax included in the price , and not tipping.
     
  8. RUDisney

    RUDisney <font color=teal>Mom to Ivan & Kristina<br><font c

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    8,472
    The stories about McDonalds are so funny. When we got to Moscow, we were craving a taste of home. Our DS got sick and had to go to the American Medical Center. He was admitted for 4 days and I couldn't translate most of the menu items because I'm not that fluent in Russian. Finally, on the last day he was there, I asked the nurse if they had anyone who would go to McDonalds to get us lunch. I promised to tip whoever went very well.

    We don't go to McDonalds very often at all. Once every year or two, if that.

    I have never had a better Quarter Pounder with Cheese in my life! Cheeseburger Royale in their terms. My DS got a kids meal and we still have the box from it somewhere since it was for Snow White and written in Cyrillic.
     
    Gumbo4x4 likes this.
  9. wvjules

    wvjules DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    12,858
    Ice and free refills mostly.

    On our last trip to Europe (Paris, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands), I really missed bathrooms that were on the main level. I swear it seemed like every bathroom was down a winding staircase. After a lot of touristy walking the last thing my legs needed was a trip down a thin, uneven, poorly light, spiral staircase to the bathroom!

    As for McDonald's, we usually eat at at least one when we travel. I like seeing the local menus. The best Quarter Pounder I ever had was in Ireland. So so good!

    When I'm home I miss full bathroom doors in public restrooms! And the credit card machine being brought to my table instead of having to surrender my card to a server.
     
    tcufrog likes this.
  10. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,210
    Yes! I sincerely hope the US catches onto this.
     
    tcufrog and RUDisney like this.
  11. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,297
    Our international travel has been limited (together it was Jamaica and St. Lucia, for my husband it's been Japan and Canada) but I know when we were in Jamaica inconsistent cell service and internet connection in general was a main frustration, especially for my husband. And it wasn't just "well get off your cell phone then". It was the ability to pay for things and arrange things like transportation. Went to a waterfall area that was high tourist and its cell service was cautioned to be terrible. You HAD to pay in cash if they couldn't get their card machine to connect to the system. Even the Wendys at the airport didn't have service at the time we got food so we had to pay in cash again. The language barrier wasn't too bad there because of where we were going though there were times you just flat out didn't understand what the taxi driver was saying lol. Their roads were also pretty darn terrible and without line dividers and signs for streets/roads, etc were mostly non-existent. Honestly, we prefer to drive ourselves so it was harder to rely on someone else. There in Jamaica though I wouldn't have wanted to drive on our own.

    I'm sure I would have more of what others were talking about if we had traveled abroad like others have. I'm dying to go to Europe eventually though.
     
  12. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,297
    My husband experienced this in Saskatchewan when he was there on business. It totally threw him for a loop at first. The only experience we have with paying at the table is the machines they have at like Chili's and whatnot.
     
  13. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,297
    Even though it's not abroad your comment made me remember when we went to NYC in 2011 and I was buying Dr. Scholl inserts. The price read $14.99 and being so completely used to sales tax being added on top of it I was a bit perplexed when the cashier said "$14.99". Up until that point I hadn't really traveled I guess to places that didn't have sales tax added on for everything or at least I hadn't been paying attention then if I had traveled to places that did that.

    I remember in 2016 when my husband was working in southern Maryland we had a conversation about how the cake at the store didn't have sales tax on it, etc.
     
  14. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,297
    Ohh what were the places you visited? Did you enjoy them all and want to come back or were there some you weren't interested in going back to?
     
  15. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,297
    This was a culture shock to us when we visited NYC. We went to this whole in the wall pizza place and had zero clue that when they asked us for a refill it wasn't free. We didn't really appreciate not being told it wasn't free but we found it was just a commonplace thing I guess there; it wasn't a uber costly error on our part but had we known we would not have ordered refills likely. We're used to it being free unless otherwise noted on the menu (and the menu at the pizza place did not make any reference that refills were not free)
     
  16. tzolkin

    tzolkin DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    5,538
    The trips are usually about two weeks. I don’t think it’s really about not being able to go that long without Chick-fil-A specifically. It’s like a “last fill up on fried junk/fast food”. We stay in rural areas in Rwanda and the food is extremely bland and the same items at every single meal so after a week or so people do tend to start longing for foods (especially junk) from home.

    That said, most people I know probably do go to Chick-fil-A weekly (some more than once per week). I did not get the appeal and waited a few years after I moved here before I even tried it.
     
  17. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    28,530
    The flip side of it is recently I can't got eat in a restaurant even get a drink half finished before the server brings a refill, without asking. Seems wasteful. I know they do it in the hopes of a bigger tip, and that the owner doesn't care since the cost of a soda is about 2 cents a serving. Welcome to American, home of the Big Gulp 64 ounce soda.
     
  18. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,297
    Oh totally. When I get a pop out and about I mostly just get 1 but I do get refills every now and then. So many times they bring me out a new one when I made no indication I needed one (especially when my no ice drink is still half full). It's a catch 22 because you know they are just trying to be attentive but I would preferred to be asked first. I feel bad when the refill goes to waste. I appreciate it though too when they ask, even multiple times, if I need a refill because my drink is low; most of the time I'll decline.
     
  19. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    25,389
    I’m trying to remember where exactly, but there’s a local place in MO that charges for refills. The cups are small & $2 each, so it was quite the upcharge for the entire family. The food was cheap, as I recall. So, I think they were basically making all their profit off soda.
     
  20. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,297
    I think we've run into places like that. They usually notate it somewhere YKWIM? Either in the menu or signs somewhere. We just didn't have any indication the refills wouldn't be free. We were so used to in the absence of any signage refills were free but nope not there lol. Pizza was good, atmosphere was good just didn't realize we would be charged for more soda.
     
    Gumbo4x4 likes this.
  21. rlk

    rlk DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    847
    The only time I missed something while traveling was having electricity 24 hours a day in some of the tented camps we staye.

    We went to the first McDonalds that opened in Hungary while we were in Budapest. It was beautiful inside, with a separate area for desserts. As I was taking pictures, a large security guard came over and sternly said "no pictures" and then stood close by to make sure we complied.
     

Share This Page