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. :)