The Things I Miss from America:
Thrift stores. There are two major reasons as to why I dislike buying new clothes:
1. I'm super cheap and hate spending money.
2. I don't like the unoriginality that usually comes with buying things straight from the stores. For example, if someone bought something from, let's say, Forever 21, it wouldn't be surprising to see someone else wearing the same thing while walking down the street.
And that is why I love thrift stores-- you get cheap prices and unique items. Another bonus is the hunt. You can't waltz into a secondhand store and find exactly what you're looking for, and I like that.
The rule that pedestrians have the right of way. I'm not sure what the actual law is in Belgium, but it's really starting to look like drivers have the right of way rather than pedestrians. If I don't get used to this soon, I swear I'm going to get hit.
Hugs. I adore giving kisses here, but I'm really starting to miss the simple little pleasure that comes with hugs. To those of who who are currently in a culture that accepts it, please appreciate the hugs that you receive.
Things I Realize I've Taken for Granted:
The ability to eavesdrop. Now that everyone around me speaks French, I can't creepily listen in on a conversation. It's not like I go around with the goal of invading people's personal conversations, but now that I am completely incapable of doing so, I desperately want to.
Grocery Baggers. You know how in America, either the cashier or bag boy/girl with place your products into your bag? That's not how it works here. In most places in Belgium, you have to bag your own items. This isn't necessarily bad or annoying, I've just never really thought about it much before. So, thank you, grocery baggers, for your dedication of a portion of your life to placing our items into bags for us.
Solid and consistent internet connection. I know I've mentioned the internet connection in Belgium multiple times, but it's something I seriously took for granted while in America. Unless there was a storm or an obvious problem, I always knew there would be internet connection throughout the entire house. Here, it's like a scavenger hunt for wifi hot spots. You can never count on properly working internet. Dear American Internet Access, I would like to apologize for how ungrateful I used to be. You were wonderful to me, and I never realized it. Please forgive me.
Although it may seem like it, I'm not trying to compare and critique the two countries. It's really not like that. My overall sense of awareness has just been increasing substantially since I've arrived, and there has been a spike in my level of appreciation for things I was never properly grateful of before. I do believe that the acknowledgement of these differences is a beneficial step in the process of self-discovery, so I'm trying not to ignore them.