If you’d asked me this question when I’d been in Guatemala a year, I could have given you a loooong list of things I missed terribly. Stuff like Twizzlers, cornbread, real hamburgers, the ocean, walking into a store and picking up what you want instead of asking for it . . .the list went on.
Now that I’ve been here nearly 13 years, the question doesn’t have the same weight. There was a time when I would yearn for things from Canada, sad that Guatemala didn’t have the basics that I was used to. Over the years, that’s changed. When someone asks me what I miss, I’m hard-pressed to remember things that I once would have traded my left arm for.
This is partially due to the fact that many things are available here now and they weren’t back in the day. Over a decade has passed and you can now find things like Bragg’s Amino acids, root beer and plenty of other once impossible items in the supermarket. And part of my lack of things to miss is that I’ve simply forgotten them or gotten used to the alternatives here.
Soy sauce was once the bane of my life in Guatemala. It was sweeter than I liked and my sister would bring me bottles of China Lily when she came down. Now, I could care less. I’ll happily swap those bottles of China Lily for something else.
Things I still do vaguely miss, when I think of them, include:
- Blueberries (though they are available here, but they’re crazy expensive)
- Real lemons, the yellow kind
- Black forest ham
Yes, it’s nearly all food. Funny how that works, isn’t it? But then again, if I were to move back to Canada, I would miss avocados, pitaya, pineapple and tamales an awful lot! I think food is very much a part of culture.
If you’d told me 12 years ago, or even 10 years ago, that I would stop missing things from my home country, I probably would have shaken my head adamantly and told you that you were terribly mistaken. But it’s true. After a while, things just don’t matter anymore. Sure, they’re nice to have, but they’re not pieces of home that cause you homesickness anymore.
I guess, if you live somewhere long enough, anything can become the norm!