Friday, May 22, 2009

Repatriation (Part 2)

I know, 2 posts in 1 week! I must be feeling better!! :-)

A friend from Brussels is repatriating also and as I read her blog I am reminded of some of the experiences and observations I had when I arrived back home. Here are a few:

  • Overwhelmed by choices. I was very limited in the things I bought in Brussels (mostly food) mainly because I could not read the labels or understand what things were because it was all so very different than what I bought at home. Being back, I find myself overwhelmed at the many varieties there are in the supermarkets! I vividly remember a trip to Target my first week back and noticed a whole aisle (A WHOLE AISLE) dedicated to 100 Calorie items. When I left for Brussels, there were only a few 100 Calorie items. See...
    Now on to electronics. I bought new TVs, a refridgerator, picked out appliances for my house, etc. I am really not a techy person, but I wanted to make sure I got what I needed and something that would last. Wow! That day I spent at Best Buy was a very very loooooonnngggg day! Just too many choices. I finally had to completely depend on the person helping me to decide what was best! We will see in about 5 years if something has to be replaced!

    And, then there are all the breads, salad dressings, cereals...the list goes on and on! My friend's example was bread and I can certainly relate. She mentioned there are choices between thin slice, thick slice, extra fiber, extra protein, honey wheat, oatmeal, white, rich in Omega 3, low cholesterol, extra oatmeal, 9 grain, 5 grain, buy one get one free, and wheat. She ended up sticking her hand out and choosing. The one she touched which was Grains & More, 19g of whole grains, Good source of fiber, Hearty multi-grain bread, Double Protein, A blend of wheat and rice protein, 14g of protein in 2 slices, Heart healthy! Whew!

  • Southern hospitality! Gosh, I really missed that! Customer service everywhere, people asking how you are doing and genuinely meaning it! And even asking you if you need help in stores...I know!! Gasp!!

  • We had to bag our own groceries at the grocery stores in Brussels. And, you had to pay for your bags if you did not bring your own (you also paid to use a cart, but that is another story). So, being back home and having someone else bag my groceries is a nice luxury...and they even take them to your car! I know!!! What have I done to deserve that?!?! But, it also brings up the fact that we are a very wasteful society and all the plastic bags are really bad for the environment. I will definitely be using my reusable grocery bags I bought in Brussels the next time I go to the grocery store!

  • I love being back at home and run into people I know! That is such a treat! The first time it happened was the day after I arrived home. My friend, Ginnie, had her baby the day I got home (at almost the exact time I landed...yes, I love that baby for waiting on Aunt Tippa!). I digress! I went to the hospital to see her the next day and on my out, I saw some friends walking in! It made me smile to just happen to run into someone I knew! I was so used to going places around Brussels and elsewhere and never seeing anyone I knew, better yet, not being able to understand the conversations going on around me! I felt like I lived in a bubble!

    I am sure there are tons more examples, so I will write about them as I remember them!

    Do you spot anything here funny?I thought this was sooooo funny when I spotted it in Target!! Brussels is stalking me! I wanted to also share a few pics from around my house. The ones below are not the best as the lighting was horrible. I hope to get more later as I continue to make it a home!

    Maxie loving the sun and our new patio and backyard! My living room! From the living room looking into the dining room!My friend, Cindy, and I went shopping a couple of weeks ago...and let's just say, we SHOPPED! Trying to load it all into her car! We had soooo much fun finding stuff for my house!Yep, even the back seat was full! Look at this! What a day!


    1. Your house is absolutely gorgeous! And I didn't know you knew Emily and Kyle :) We went to church with them...small (albeit the Brussels bubble) world! We're heading home in two weeks...dreading repatriation!

    2. so many things to say...

      when you said you went shopping, i had no idea you really went SHOPPING! Cindy's car is slammed! That's impressive and better than any Christmas stash ever!

      I have never seen the Brussels cookies...I'm familiar with yes, they must be stalking you.

      ok, you seriously took pictures of the shelves at Target! That is funny! anything for a blog pic, right?! i love it!

      have you been posting pictures of your house on Kelly's blog? you should!

      thanks for the shout-out...Sarah Kate thanks you too!

      when is the NEW blog coming?!!! I'm thinking the shots of your house are a great segue!

    3. You house looks FANTASTIC! It looks so warm and inviting :) I am very impressed with all the work (and shopping) you have done!

      Try milton's bread. It is low in calories and has 6 g of fiber per slice. You want the one with the red packaging. It's my favorite bread.

      So wild about all those 100 cal packs. I saw candy ones at BB&B last week! I wonder what's next!

    4. Okay...pls. keep posting pics of the house! Those were so the drapes, love the colors on the walls, love the TV!!!!!
      And your!My pups would be in heaven out there!
      Keep 'em coming!

    5. Wow, when you go shopping you REALLY go to town!

      I completely agree with you about being overwhelmed by choices. I remember going into a deli in NYC and there were 3 huge bulletin boards with so many variations of a sandwich my head was spinning! After looking at the menu for about 10 mins I told my friend just get me a ham & butter baguette. lol!

      Hope your transition is getting easier! ;)