I miss long, hot showers. I miss being able to wash my hair, my face, my body, shave my legs, scrub my feet, and stand under the water for a long time, all in one go. I miss fluffy towels and carpeted floors. I miss hair dryers and being able to curl up on the couch and watch a movie.
I miss bomb sushi.
I miss having a kitchen, and cookbooks, and utensils. I miss making dinner. I miss refrigerators!!! I miss being able to open a soy milk, and have it be fresh five days later. I miss taking my time drinking that soy milk, and not having to inhale it all in 48 hours, before it goes bad. Oh, refrigeration…
I miss tall boots.
I miss my bike, and having a car, and even Metro! Oh, how I long for public transportation where you can ride in (semi) peace without the entire bus staring at you. People might pick their toes on Metro, and have horrible B.O., but they don’t stare incessantly, and point you out to their friends.
I miss quiet roads. I miss sidewalks. I miss orderly lanes, and horns that are only used when necessary. I really miss sensible drivers who adhere to the motto, Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way.
I miss organic grocery stores!!! I miss shiny, clean rows of vegetables at Whole Foods, so unlike the dirty roadside produce here that gets splattered with mud and cow shit before it is wrapped up in newspaper and sold to you. I miss strawberries, and raspberries, and cantaloupe!
I miss calling up my friends and going out for tea. I miss gossiping with Mohammad while he eats all of my food. I miss Kelly’s sweet ass and colorful scarves, and Brigitte’s dirty jokes that make me pee. I miss my mom’s cooking, and my dad with his feet kicked up on the couch. I miss my sassy little sister, and my naughty little brother. I even miss our furry cat, Boo, snotty and well-fed, with his shiny white tail stuck up in the air. Unlike the bony, hungry animals here, Boo reeks of privilege and prosperity.
I miss my anonymity. I miss not being stopped five times a day, and asked to pose for pictures. I miss being a part of the majority, and not an obvious minority.
I MISS GOOD RED WINE!!! I miss clinking glasses with my best friend and feeling that warm Merlot buzz. I miss wine with dinner, and wine just because. I miss ordering expensive bottles of wine at my favorite organic restaurant, and I miss looking at the view of the Space Needle while I drink it. I miss friendly bartenders who pour you samples of Napa Valley cabernet, and I miss swirling it around in my glass and deciding, Yes! This is perfect!
I miss getting my hair cut every six to eight weeks.
I miss cooking hippie food with Brynn… salmon with white wine, lemon and garlic, brown rice with cranberries and walnuts and basil, stir-fried bok choy and carrots, turmeric lentils, homemade polenta with goat cheese and tomato sauce, sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar, seafood soup with coconut milk and cilantro, yogurt and banana shakes, and fresh fruit juice all the time.
I miss tips, big, fat tips that roll in every Thursday and Friday night, and swell my bank account to reassuring proportions.
I miss Volunteer Park, Golden Gardens, Marymoor, and Gasworks. I miss Ravenna Park, with its winding paths and sunlit fields, and I miss all of the lakeside parks in Kirkland. I miss watching the sunset from the old bridge in Juanita, while frogs catch the last warmth of day from lily pads, and couples stroll hand in hand. I miss eating ice cream cones and walking along the docks at the Kirkland Marina, looking at boats and enjoying the sun.
I miss expensive Burt’s Bees products.
I miss clean public toilets! I especially miss the beautiful restrooms at Pacific Place, all orderly stalls in a row, gleaming floors, and spotless mirrors. I miss daily janitors and toilet bowl scrubbers. I miss not having to squat down over a hole in the floor that is stained with black shit and smells so revolting I nearly gag. I miss dependable sinks, soap, and hot water. I miss signs that say, Employees Must Wash Hands! There is no such thing in India.
I miss hot tubs, and hot baths, and heaters, and hot water bottles.
I miss polite Western men, who know how to be friends with a woman without leering at her, or groping her from behind. I miss gay, gay, gay Capitol Hill, where men only look at you because you are wearing cute boots, or have a fly haircut they are coveting. I miss carrying my umbrella to protect me from the rain, not from the roving packs of slobbering Punjabi boys who barely flinch when I jab it in their direction and tell them to fuck off.
I miss my baby’s arms.