27 Things I Missed From The USA When I Lived In India

When I lived in India last summer I made two posts on lists of things I missed from the US. Now that I’ve been back in the US for 7 months, it is interesting to go back and read these lists and see what things I have satisfied.

I will copy and paste the list exactly as I had written it months ago in India, and add comments.

27 Things I Missed From The USA When I Lived In India

  1. Guglhupf: my favorite bakery/cafe/restaurant back in the US. I haven’t been able to satisfy this one since this restaurant is in Durham, NC, and we flew directly to Portland, OR.

    Guglhupf Durham
    Guglhupf Cafe, Durham
  2. Extra sharp cheddar cheese (Cabot Extra Sharp too be specific.) I have had extra sharp cheddar cheese, but not Cabot brand since I can’t find it in stores here in Portland. Cabot is still my favorite.
  3. Quiet sleep. Definitely satisfied this one. The house we live in Portland is so quiet. In India, there is never silence. The first few days when we slept here after coming from India it was shocking how quiet it was, and 7 months later we still appreciate it.
  4. The trash trucks that pickup your trash every week. (The things we take for granted, right?) Yep. We have these in Portland. Really makes life easier. What’s different from Durham is that they make you recycle. They give you a giant recycling trash can and a small one for the rest.
  5. Baby spinach. Done. I buy this every time I shop for groceries.
  6. Berries (strawberries/blueberries/raspberries…) I love berries! I’ve definitely had some, but not enough. The season didn’t start until recently so the prices have been really high.

    (#5, #6, and #18) Avocado and strawberry baby spinach salad. source
  7. Bagels and cream cheese. Oh, man… some stranger [angel] in the grocery shop showed us the best bagels in Portland: Gabriel’s bagels from Gabriel’s Bakery.
  8. Having a closet. We have a closet but it’s not very big so I still have some stuff I keep in my suitcase, but I’m used to it. It seems that God likes me living off a suitcase 😉 I find myself living off a suitcase wherever I go.
  9. Kraft Mac & Cheese (who doesn’t love some for a quick comfort dinner every now and then?) We’ve have plenty of it in our return to the US, but recently tried an even yummier (and healthier) brand: Back To Nature Mac & Cheese.
  10. Parmigiano-Reggiano  (I guess the secret is out: I am a cheese lover). I love my parmesan and I’ve also had plenty of it on my return.
  11. Wine (The ability to find cheap good wine very easily). Check.
  12. Canned tuna. Check.
  13. Better chocolate (Cadbury is alright but I am spoiled with Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate which I could find easily in the US). Check! I have to have some at the house at all times.
  14. A better camera (We had to give up our DSLR before coming to India, and for now, I am stuck with my phone and a used point and shoot). I’m still waiting to check this one out. I’ve got my eye on a couple cameras I’d love to buy, but haven’t had enough funds to splurge on a camera.
  15. Our reclining sofa where we used to catch up on shows and snuggle with Simba and Cubby, the best cats ever. This one we’ll never have again. We sold our sofa and we found a new home for Simba when we left for India. I still miss him.

    Cubby being sleepy and cute on the sofa.
    Cubby being sleepy and cute on the sofa.
  16. House tenant bugs. We’ve had plenty of ants to deal with but the bug situation is a million times better here than in our home in India.
  17. My cats. Like mentioned, they went to a new home before leaving to India.
  18. Avocado. Also have had plenty of avocado, but I wish I could buy more. It’s easily available but not necessarily cheap. 
  19. Cleanliness. I feel like I’ve become a clean-freak over the last few years, I constantly clean. I like a clean house.
  20. Privacy. We can get plenty of it here. It was ridiculous in India.
  21. American grocery stores. Check.
  22. Washer and dryer. I really missed this in India. Doing your own laundry by hand is really hard work!
  23. Movie theaters. Check, check! I love movies and going to the movie theater.
  24. Dance class. Nope. Haven’t danced since May 2013.  😦 (Unless doing pirouettes in the kitchen counts) 
  25. Comfortable desk chair. Check. 
  26. Western toilet. Check with much relief. We had an Eastern toilet in our house in India. You know, those “squat toilets” that are holes on the floor.
  27. American roads. Check. Compared to India they’re so much better, but I’m still not a fan of going out driving, and Portland roads are way confusing.


17 thoughts on “27 Things I Missed From The USA When I Lived In India

  1. Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate is my favorite too! Makes me wonder why I even liked chocolate before people started adding sea salt to it. 🙂


  2. Y las tortillas? Nan bread? Chapatis? 🙂
    Nice list. Gracias.


  3. Haha, this is hilarious. I traveled through Southeast Asia for 7 months and the thing I missed most was the food. Like you, I found myself longing for the most random food items from the US — Kraft Mac & Cheese, bagels and Philadelphia cream cheese, Tillamook pepper jack cheese (I’m clearly a cheese lover too!), and ripe tomatoes! When I returned home to California, I almost died from excitement the fist time I stepped into a US grocery store!


  4. Sounds like lots to be grateful for. Chocolate especially 🙂


  5. I feel like this list is what I miss from the US now that I’m living in the UK! 🙂 It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier even after six years. After being in Dubai last week and freaking out over every US restaurant they had, my husband told me all I talk about is food hahaha.


  6. Food…it is registered in our taste buds. I miss some of my childhood food I have eaten in India. India has changed commercially. I don’t find the old simplicity and genuineness any more!


  7. Lots of missed foods. And yet I bet you loved Indian food. Did you make a list of things you miss from India since you’ve been back?


  8. Do you prefer living in the US or India? By the sound of it you have settled back into American life well and are no longer yearning to be back in India?


    1. Frankly, it’s no about what I prefer. My husband and I lead a life surrendered to God and we simply try to follow His lead. That’s why we went to India, and why we came back. We were planning to return because that’s what we thought we were supposed to do but circumstances led us to stay.
      We are always ready to move. For the looks of it, we’ll probably be here for a while, but in, say 3 months, we might be moving to a different place. Who knows! 🙂
      To answer your simple question, I do prefer the US than India, but I still want to go visit India maybe this fall.


  9. CrazyGuyinThailand May 9, 2014 — 7:25 am

    Outstanding post


  10. I feel like many of these things are available in most parts of India 🙂 They have been for a while. infact I’m always shocked when I go back home to India by the sheer availability of things that you only used to get overseas. But maybe just our towns were different!

    I completely agree with the lack of privacy, and the lack of quiet sleep! 100%! When I go back, it is usually for maximum two weeks and I return exhausted. I get no sleep due to the jetlag and sheer.. noise!! Or I may get maybe 2 nights (in EST) simple because I’ve crashed and burned! haha!


    1. I lived in rural India, and these things were definitely not available hehe. They might have been a 2 and half hour drive to the nearest big city, Pune. Crashing and burning sleep sometimes is the best haha, you get very deep sleep that way 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. omg! Pune was my city 🙂 Yes that definitely explains the difference in availability of items! There was a time LONG ago, that we would need to go to Bombay for certain things 🙂 haha!


  11. I love canned tuna and have it at least once a week. Didn’t have any fish while in India.

    I only ever slept in big cities when in India. Varanasi was the most chaotic – my window had thick chicken wire screens on it because the monkeys would literally fight, frolic, and get jiggy with it all night long…right outside my window!


    1. Omg! I’ve never had monkeys near me much in India. The funny thing is that I rarely eat canned tuna now that I’m in the US. But I just bought 18oz of blueberries, so that’s still a pleasure to have 🙂


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