Here is the beginning of a list that will surely grow as time goes on. Later I’ll be posting a list of things we DO miss.
- Ridiculous obsessions with holiday seasons that are arbitrary and not necessarily culturally relevant, interesting, or meaningful (see: Halloween) – There are some Halloween items on shelves in stores here, but nothing as insane and overwrought as the selection in the U.S. We do not miss this at all.
- Over sexualized advertisements – Here the sexiest ad you’ll see is for a spa. Not like in the U.S. where sex sells everything from hamburgers and cell phones to socks and actual sex.
- Car maintenance – This is mostly Karissa, obviously, but neither of us misses parking, fueling, or worrying about someone dinging the doors.
- Crazy amounts of plastic bags – We take our unsung heroes, the giant blue tarp-like IKEA bags, with us when we know we’ll buy more than what fits in our work/laptop bags. We bought bags at Sam’s and Walmart a few times (for 0.40 RMB, which is like 6 cents), but we don’t take bags we don’t need, we don’t use bags as much as we did at home, and we don’t miss this. (If we had the dog with us, we might revise this statement because free poop bags were always nice to have.)
- Tipping at restaurants – We pay for what we order and the business pays the staff. It’s nice to know the waitstaff will be paid at least a wage that makes it worth their while to work where we eat, unlike in the U.S. where waitstaff receive “tips” in the form of handwritten notes on napkins telling women to go home and cook for their families. Seriously, people? Just pay for the service you received.