01 October 2009

"Bring me the ranch dressing hose!"

--Homer Simpson

We're heading into that time when we seriously think about where we'll move to next. We probably won't find out until December but we have lists of cities to ponder and we can submit some preferences. Some of our top choices in Africa and Asia have already been taken, which is disappointing. But we have plenty to choose from and I think we'll pretty much be happy anywhere we end up. We can keep ourselves entertained.

I did a super-scientific analysis of the list based on benefits and perks from Mike's employer, deliciousness and gluten-freeness of local cuisines, and warmth of the weather. The winner of my analysis was Havana. Rum! Yucca frita! Graham Greene! It's actually on our list of preferences, but not near the top. 

In researching cities, I'm alarmed by the number of TGI Fridays that are popping up India. I'm also concerned by the number of people who complain about the cost of ranch dressing in Asia. My method of analysis seems quite different from other Americans. I can understand missing some of the comforts of home. I'm going to Nairobi this weekend and I'm thrilled at the chance to restock my supply of Milka bars. But lack of Milka bars isn't the first thing I'm going to tell someone when they ask me about living in Burundi. I want to learn about culture, history, and local cuisines first. (And how easy is it to import a cat?) Availability of American, or even European, goods, is a minor detail I'll worry about when it's time to actually pack. I guess I just expect that no place is going to be the same as the United States, so there's no sense worrying about it.

And isn't that sort of the point of living overseas?

I'm playing our top choices close to the chest. I hate to talk about a place too much and then not get it. I'm in the mode where I've made my preferences known to Mike and I'm ready to sit back, forget about it, and be surprised. And after I'm surprised, I'll share the surprise with you, gentle reader.

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