What I Dread About Visiting the States

Although I love ‘merca, there are definitely things I don’t look forward to when returning home to visit.

11 Hour Flights: The more I fly the more it terrifies me. I used to fly on a plane once every two years, or so. Now I fly several times a year making the odds higher that my plane will explode. Flying over the Atlantic is a bit freaky. If something goes wrong out there it will be a watery death. Luckily my daughter won’t be on this flight with me. I just don’t want the responsibility of staying calm when the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling.

Parking Lots: There are cars everywhere, BIG cars. I know, I live in Motor City, Germany, but most our time is spent in füssganger zones. Walking from the parking lot into a store is treacherous in the US. It’s a bit like being inside level 10 of Frogger.

Grocery Stores: Do they really have to be that big? And why is it that I can never find all that I need in that super big store? Even though our home town is small, it seems like Safeway and Albertson’s are always cranking at high speed. Is there ever a time when the lines at the check out are under 6 people? And I don’t want “two for one” anything. I came to buy a box of strawberries, not 2. I don’t care if they are free.

Illness: What do I do if I get really sick? Our insurance covers us in the US, but we must pay up front in order to be reimbursed by our German insurance. And we all know the crazy charges associated with health care in the US. Imagine what Bronchitis might cost you if you had to pay for the doctor visit, antibiotics, etc. Not to mention that I would have to go to the walk-in clinic. I want to see a doctor or a nurse practitioner. Don’t give me doctor assistant guy who insisted one time to me that the only way to take a good urine sample was with a catheter. Seriously?

Getting Asked “that” Question: This is the most difficult part of coming home, when the conversation at the party turns to the question of “When are you moving back?” What do we say? How do we answer? There is no answer. We don’t know ourselves. We don’t have a grand life plan. We can only answer by saying we will move home when it’s time to move home.

There are many things we look forward to, but that is the subject of a post to come. What do you dread about returning to your home?

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7 replies

  1. Since we don’t have a home base to go to, we usually end up renting a car and visiting family and friends. Our last trip took us across Washington, down to Oregon and California. We could have bought a car with what we paid to rent one and living out of a suitcase for six weeks while we were house-hopping got old. We loved seeing everyone, but we were exhausted by the end of the summer. It’s been 2 years since we’ve been back. We’re supposed to go back next summer – we’ll see.

  2. My answer to ‘that’ question is ‘probably never’, and I dread the responses. Both verbal and non, from friends, family, and strangers.

  3. I dread the air conditioning in homes, stores, and cars being set so cold that I cannot go anywhere on a hot day without sweatpants and a sweater tucked into my bag. (When I return, I return to _Wisconsin_!) On a very humid day I might sweat a little going to a store, and then I can’t stop shivering once I enter the front door.

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