Three weeks in and Germany is still a wonderful country. Berlin is beautiful (and a little gritty), there are endless things to do, the shopping is amazing, and I’ve met a lot of really great people. I love it here, but of course there are things I miss from home. Besides my friends, my family, and Zealand, here are a few things I’ve been missing:
I was a one per day kind of girl, but since moving to Berlin three weeks ago I’ve had just two kombuchas. Both were from Veganz, the vegan grocery store chain here, and they were so small I had them one after the other. Kombucha is such a huge market in the US, at least in NYC and New England, that I figured it would be the same in any Western metropolitan area. Nope. As long as this remains my biggest problem, I think I’ll do just fine here, but please, if you know of kombucha in Berlin, help a girl outtttt.
2. Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret isn’t located internationally, who knew? Should’ve stocked up on bras and panties while I had the chance. Seriously though, I haven’t yet figured out where people buy their undie necessities.
3. Peanut Butter
Yes, hate is a strong word, but I’ve legitimately hated peanut butter my entire life. And then about a year ago, I tried it and I didn’t hate it at all. And I’m not talking about the sugary, awkwardly cream goo stuff. My preference is Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted Crunchy — a bit of that, sea salt and banana on a piece of extra crispy toast is my breakfast heaven. Well, was my breakfast heaven. It’s incredibly hard to find, and the few I’ve found taste nothing like the real thing.
Better for my bank account, worse for my wardrobe.
5. Whole Foods
I took this majestic wonderland for granted, and there’s not a minute that goes by that I don’t regret it. The kombucha isle, the organic healthy everything, and the salad bars. Oh my god the salad bars.
6. Shopping on Sundays
In the US, Sunday is a pretty typical day to run errands and shop for clothing. In Germany, however, supermarkets, pharmacies, retail stores, and basically all other kinds of shops are closed on Sundays. Fortunately, restaurants are still open, so it’s not the end of the world if you forget to go grocery shopping.
7. Magnum (1.5 L) bottles of wine
The answer is yes, I can be lush and economical at the same damn time. I can’t, however, complain too much because a good bottle of wine literally costs 3€ here.
8. American pillows
Oddly enough, the thing that surprised me the most about Germany is the standard size of sleeping pillows. There are two sizes: gargantuan and long and skinny. Why not something in between?
9. HBO GO
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are extremely lacking in Germany compared to the US, but HBO GO doesn’t exist at all. Not only does this mean I have to go elsewhere for Game of Thrones, but I can’t even watch the series I’ve been anxiously waiting for, Big Little Lies.
If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, The Woman in Cabin 1o, or In a Dark, Dark Wood — I highly recommend all of these books — you absolutely must read Big Little Lies. It’s the best book ever, and now it’s a series exclusively on HBO!
10. Cape Cod Potato Chips
Original flavor or Salt & Vinegar, 40% reduced fat, to be exact. I don’t like junk food or fast food, but I cannot resist potato chips. They are perfect in every way. Crispy little salties, flavorful little crunchies, delicious little babies — I love you so much.
There are lots of potato chips in Germany, and a huge variety of flavors, but no Cape Cod chips. Maybe there’s an equivalent and I just haven’t found it yet. Let’s hope so.
11. Hot Sauce
They have it here, but I haven’t found a good one yet. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression is that Germans don’t really like spicy food. I, on the other hand, am a freak for spicy anything, so I’m going to need a solution real quick. All suggestions are welcome!
12. Tortilla chips and salsa
Green Mountain Gringo salsa and tortilla chips are always a staple in my kitchen. I can’t think of a more ubiquitous snack food across the US. Our culinarily skilled neighbor, Mexico, may play a little part in that. Germany doesn’t have chips and salsa, and from what I’ve both tried and heard, their Mexican food is pretty horrible. In all of the supermarkets I’ve been to here, I’ve seen one with “Salsa Dip” and “Nacho Chips”. You win some, you lose some, right?