Ain’t missin’ you at all…

I’ve written a lot over the last eighteen months about how things in Taipei are so different from the U.S., how I miss certain things, how other cultures are great and all – but it ain’t no America.  However, as much as I love my country and can’t wait to go back for a hearty visit, there are some things that I DON’T miss about the good ol’ U.S. Body Image – As a woman who grew up in the United States, I’ve been bombarded with ads about how women ‘should’ look since I was born. They don’t do that here, or in a lot of other places.  When there is a car commercial, beer ad, or toothpaste poster in the subway it’s not of a scantily dressed ‘perfect’ woman selling the product.   Instead, it’s a picture of toothpaste – because they want you to buy toothpaste.  Body image problems are not completely non-existent here, but its a lot easier to wake up, put on a slightly tight pair of pants and say, ‘oops, time to cut back on the popcorn, Vegas.’ (It’s always worth it for popcorn.) U.S. political ads –  Holy cow.  I cannot tell you how relieving it is to go through an election season without hearing nonsense from every corner of the U.S. “Jane Doe once shoplifted from a candy store at the age of 8 – do you want THIS person to be your governor?”  Any of my Northeast friends will remember the horrendous Christine O’Donnell dramatic commercial starting with, “I am not a witch…”  I am VERY relieved to not have Jeopardy! interrupted with redundant political ads anymore. Tipping – Tipping culture in the United States is pretty ridiculous.  Instead of paying Denny’s servers a living wage and charging $1 more for a Moons over my Hammy platter,  it’s my responsibility as the customer to pay for my food and service separately.  If I don’t tip, I’m screwing my server out of a living wage.  Uh, what?  How did that one slip through the cracks? We don’t have to tip in Taiwan.  It’s great.  We tip on exceptional service or when the 10% service charge isn’t included in the bill. U.S. Sport Fans – I’ve never been a huge fan of sports, but I’m even less a fan of sports fans.  I recall several Philly sports fans being violent about “their” team.  I don’t miss those stories.  Also, Rugby is awesome – who knew? U.S. News – We have several international news channels in Taiwan, and they don’t feel the need to create a theme song and use dramatic language for every single news story that crosses their desk.  It’s informative and helpful.  Also, there aren’t a lot of ‘talking heads’ on international news screaming at each other and getting emotionally involved in every single idea. Daylight Savings Time –  Ugh, just give it up already.   Other things I don’t miss: digging my car out of the snow having to go to separate stores for beer (in PA) allergy...