1. Food aisles (There are so many choices here... and so much processed food. Most of my cooking is done from scratch because we do not have the quick options Americans do. I'll have to post a series one day on that topic.) 2. Smooth roads (So smooth at times, that we get sleepy as we travel. Trust me... this does not happen with our bumpy roads in Ukraine... You always have to be alert there!)
3. Restaurant/Fast food choices everywhere you turn (Why would you ever want to cook at home when you can have dinner in just minutes? We certainly do not have this "quick" option in Ukraine... unless you want McDonalds every day of your life... and who does?)4. Free grocery bags (Did you know that we pay for these in Ukraine... about 20 cents a bag?! Being the frugal people that we are, we save these and reuse them [and reuse and reuse... you get the picture]. You know, I could probably make a fortune by saving the bags we have been given here and selling them in Ukraine!)
5. Self check-outs. (Ummm... this would definitely be a big "no-no" where we live. Especially since people here in America are allowed into stores with big purses, diaper bags, etc... In Ukraine, we have lockers where big purses have to be locked up before you are allowed into a store. I'm sure you can guess why.)
6. Mega-sized stores (Do you know how easy it is to get lost in these places? And wow... how do you ever decide what to buy?!) 7. Parking lots (It is unbelievable how common it is to see a parking lot like the one pictured below here in America. Since most Ukrainians walk, this is an unusual sight for us.)8. Mile markers (These are so nice when traveling!)9. Water/Ice dispensers on refrigerators (It seems that most people have these in their homes and my kids are fascinated. They refill their cups over and over just to be able to work these machines. They are certainly getting more than their required amount of water to drink these days, and I sure don't mind!)10. Free drink refills (In Ukraine you pay for refills, so we are having a hard time getting used to being able to drink all we want.)11. Drinking tap water (Drinking water from a faucet in Ukraine is something even the Ukrainians will not do. Everyone buys their water or draws water from a nearby well to drink.)12. Obesity (I'm almost embarrased to mention this one, but to be completely honest we are stunned every time we come back to America to see the obesity. Food is so readily available here that people are becoming alarmingly overweight. When you live overseas and are away from Americans for a couple of years at a time, the shocking truth of this is very evident when you walk off of the airplane. I sincerely miss America food and easier cooking, but I also realize that I am doing my family a favor by not having as many food choices.) I still have some more "reverse culture shock" to share with you, so I hope to do one more post on this topic. Your comments (here on the blog and in my e-mail inbox) have certainly been entertaining, so I look forward to hearing from you again, my friends!