When we first moved to Germany and even shortly after I composed a list of pros and cons of living OCONUS. Over time that list adapts and changes. You start to realize that there is more to the list than admiring the local beer and hating the language barrier.
I now have a running list on my fridge of all the little things that I miss dearly.
1. Breakfast Diners
My husband and I love to go out for breakfast. A good diner is something we will actively search out when we arrive somewhere new. Diners in the states do not compare to the ones here in Germany. I miss having french toast, pancakes, and omelets. If you go out in the morning here, you're looking at bakeries, cheeses, and deli meats for your meal.
Okay, so I mention this in all of my "I hate Germany" posts so it's no surprise. I hate ordering online from Target because their shipping is sub-par but man, I would kill to be able to go in one of their stores on a regular basis. Although, I have noticed that Ikea has done a decent job at fulfilling some of my Target needs. Not all, but some...
More than just diners, I miss restaurants. Good, American, restaurants. I do love some local restaurants here because I LOVE schnitzel with mushroom cream sauce but I miss the pace, and the atmosphere of those back home.
While we're on the topic of restaurants, let's address something that restaurants here miss out on. First of all Ice. Don't expect any in your drinks. Don't worry, your coke will come out chilled but it wont stay that way for long as there is no ice to keep it cold. Secondly, unlimited refills. Even if I'm not drinking soda, it would be nice to not have to pay for a second glass of water (they don't offer tap water usually so you pay for bottled water). Third, iced tea. Back in the states I would get iced tea any time we went out to eat. I LOVE sweet tea so it is so sad to me that they don't offer it here. You can get hot tea, but be prepared to be turned down if you want it chilled.
5. ID Cards
For once, I would love to be able to go get gas or shop at the grocery store without having to pull out my ID Card. If I didn't want to do deal with on-post security while back in the states I would just go to a public store. It would be very liberating to have the freedom to choose between on-post and public stores. You can choose to shop on the economy here but you'll have to be careful in your store selection as many places will have you paying more than you bargained for.
6. Netflix/Red Box
Renting movies here sucks... The availability is poor and it's more of a hassle than having movies hand delivered to your post box or being able to pick them up from a dispenser outside of a store. You also will only be able to stream Netflix here if you obtain a stateside IP address which will cost you extra.
7. Videos (Youtube, News, etc)
It happens more than I care to admit... I open a news story that has a video attached and rather than the video playing an error will pop up saying that it isn't available in my country due to whatever reason. /sigh....
8. Medical Facilities
I have not been to a German doctor. That being said, the medical facilities on post are sub-par. Our community is small but yet employs a large amount of service members. What does this mean? It means that our clinic is understaffed and too small, the vet clinic has no appointments available, and the care treatment philosophy is to get the patient in and out rather than actually help the patient. What's really sad is that when I was facing a stomach issues a few months back, the clinic had to outsource me for an ultrasound... There isn't a single ultrasound machine in the building. Instead I had to drive down to Landstuhl where competent people could take care of me.
Our upcoming move is looking better and better to me...
How about you? If you're already in Germany, what do you miss about the States?