I’ve been traveling for eight weeks now and, while it doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone that long (and it really isn’t *that* long, compared to people I’ve met who’ve been traveling for 3-4 years!) there are definitely things I miss about home. Sure, I miss my friends and cat and routines and the big city and stuff, but it’s the little things that I got so used to that I miss the most.
Green onions, tomatoes, cheap squash, mushrooms, lettuce, avocado, berries, mango… Produce is expensive here. Fucking expensive. Green onions are $2-3 a bunch. For GREEN ONIONS. They’re like the cheapest yummy thing you can get at the grocery store back home! Tomatoes are on average $8/kg, mushrooms are $6 a package, I’ve seen raspberries for anywhere from $6-9 a pint…I mean come ON. How are these people not deficient in vitamins? I guess they’re used to spending this much on produce, but I’m not and I’m cheap and I don’t have a job, so I’m holding back and popping a multi-vitamin instead. I miss salad. I miss dipping veggies in hummus. I miss making warming squash soup (it’s late autumn here and my body is craving soup). I will never take vegetables for granted again.*
(*This said, when I was living in Melbourne I was able to just swing by the Queen Vic market every other day to get heaps of cheap produce. It was fantastic! I missMelbourne.)
Ethiopian food. I discovered Ethiopian food a few years ago and have been eating it about once a month for the past year and a half. I miss the spongy injera, the buttery-sweet beets, the spicy lentils and the strong coffee. I miss the friendly but African-slow service and the tables of big men drinking coffee and laughing. Lalibela Restaurant, you’d better be there when I get home.
My bike. Dear god I miss my bike. She’s beautiful and old and probably falling apart, but I’ve put love and time into her and I miss her. I miss biking around Toronto and popping into shops without taking my helmet off and the easy comfort of riding around potholes on Dupont.
Spicy Vegetarian Maki at New Gen Sushi. Look, you’re either a New Gen girl or a Sushi on Bloor girl. While SoB is great, I’m a NG girl all the way. Spicy Vegetarian Maki has pretty much been a staple of my diet since 2007. No one does anything even close to its perfection here!
Big, old, ex-ex-ex-ex-boyfriends’ sweatshirt. Okay look. I know this is very “What Not to Wear” but I have this huge sweatshirt I love and can’t get rid of. It’s old, stained, torn and the comfiest thing in the world. This sweatshirt is the reason people can’t just swing by my house unexpectedly. This sweatshirt is fantastic and all these cold nights are really making me miss my confy warm comfy old dirty shirt. Harrumph.
My grocery store. It took me a little while to like my grocery store, but it’s completely grown on me. I love the fresh croissants and my bottled organic milk (which sounds snobby but actually works out to be $1/Litre!). I like the cashiers with pierced noses and that kale is a staple in almost everyone’s grocery cart. I love the garden centre! Fiesta Farms, I miss you. And I miss kale.
Sleeping with a cat. Okay, I know I wasn’t supposed to mention friends/cats but…whatever. I love my cat. I’m a single woman who loves her cat. MAKE YOUR JOKES, PEOPLE, I DON’T CARE ONE BIT.
…Okay, so four of the six points here are about food, which…I mean, is anyone surprised? I’m not. I guess that’s something to meditate on, eh? Realtalk: I wrote all the food points one after another and then mixed in the bike one and the cat one to make it seem like the first few things I wrote weren’t totally about food. Ugh. I have a problem.
While I do love traveling and I am liking it here, I’m definitely missing a few things here and there. Not enough to make me run back to Toronto, but enough to give me wistful dreamy sighs now and then.
One great thing about Alexandra that you can’t get in Toronto: fresh thyme grows everywhere here! What up casseroles!!!