13 Things I Took for Granted

Waffle House

I love living here in Utrecht, but some things the US just does better! Here are some of the things that I took for granted about the US.


  • Prices, everything besides food is cheaper in the United States. I don't think it has that much to do with the exchange rate either. 
  • Mega stores! I really miss one stop shopping. While specialty stores are really quaint, it takes a long time to know where to go for what. I miss knowing that I could get it at Target!
  • Store hours, I respect that people need to spend time with their families. But if you discover that at 3pm on a Sunday that you need a calculator for a test first thing Monday morning, you better hope you live near a major train station that has a book store, because otherwise you are shit out of luck. Unless it is a grocery store, the store will close by 6pm on a weekday, unless it is Thursday when it might be open until 8. Open for four hours on Saturday and closed on Sunday. It is anyone's guess as to when it will be opened.


  • I miss a good cheeseburger, I haven't found a good one just yet.
  • Mac and Cheese requires some heavy searching for cheddar cheese. 
  • If you forgot something, you have to bike all the way back to get it!
  • Being able to bake a cake when I want to, my oven is the size of a microwave.
  • Taco Bell, Chick fil a, Sonic,Zaxby's,Waffle House, Taco Mac, Marlows. 

Odds and Ends-

  • Magazines, I miss my subscriptions! Subscriptions do not save you any money here, and magazines are expensive.
  • 3 ringed binders, paper here has holes all up and down the side.
  • Office supply stores.
  • Stand up vacums. Seriously, why are all vacuums the kind with long hoses that you have to drag all over the house?

What did you take for granted about your home country?


Image Some rights reserved by Guillaume Capron



Mint chocolate chip ice cream, Mexican food and the efficiency of shopping at Target (and having a massive selection!) Well, let's be honest, the list goes on and on :)

I do really miss queso! 

I really miss the upright vacuum, too. We splurged and got a Dyson when we moved, but I feel like it was pointless, because I end up swearing constantly. HATE the drag-alongs! Especially when you consider how small the houses often are and how many things that damn behemoth can get stuck on.
Have you tried Stairway to Heaven's burgers? They're pretty decent. I just make my own now, since as you said, everything is so expensive.
I miss Payless, especially now that my shoes get so beat up so quickly walking on the brick streets.

I have tried Stairway, I liked it in principle, but my burger was blue on the inside. Not like, oh you know this is a little bit rarer than I like, more like, was my burger dyed cooked color on the outside, because I don't think this touched the pan raw. 

They sell cheddar in Dirk van de Broek, no? At least they do in Hilversum, so I don't see why it should be different in Utrecht. Though agreed, it ain't easy.
As for the oven - in my experience of Dutch houses, you can be glad you already have one. After 3 years and 4 houses I finally said fuck it and bought an electric -_-

I have no idea what Dirk van de Broek is! I will have to check it out. 
Our oven is a microwave combo, it is okay for now, but one day I want a bigger one. 

Dirk (for short) is a very cheap supermarket, though it's still a conventional supermarket so it's a step up from Aldi and Lidl (where there's more of a warehouse feel). Dirk usually comes attached to a Dirk III, which is a liquour store. There's gotta be one in Utrecht :)

I'm from Germany, but live in the States (near Atlanta :)) and I HATE the stand up vacuum. How do you vacuum under the bed with these things?? Or in the corners??

Hey Verena, thanks for visiting!
All the standup's I ever owned also had a hose. I just used that. Maybe it is just what we are used to that we prefer?