“Studying” Abroad: Things I’ll Miss

tacobell

Nick Weldon/ Old Gold & Black

With just a week remaining before I depart for Dublin, it’s starting to hit me that I’ll soon be leaving my beloved country for almost seven weeks. While I’m certainly excited for my trip, there are definitely some American comforts that I’m going to miss.

3. Unlimited cell phone usage – How did people live without cell phones? I honestly do not know. While the actual phone part has become less important, I pull out my iPhone so many times each day it’s basically involuntary. I’ll have it with me in Europe and will be able to use it in Wi-Fi spots, but I’ll be without that convenient 3G service. This one will take some getting used to, but I think I’ll be able to persevere.

2. Central air – Luckily the summer climate in the UK and France is relatively mild. Two years ago I stayed with a friend’s family in southern Italy and nights were brutal. There is something especially refreshing about stepping into an air-conditioned house on a hot summer day. Unfortunately this is not often experienced in the crowded cities of Europe.

1. Taco Bell – Taco Bell is the perfect example of Americanization. It took the stereotypical view of Mexican cuisine and turned it in a popular national brand. The chain really took off with the introduction of the $2 meal deal, which ironically now costs $3. Some say they are able to keep costs so low because their beef doesn’t technically qualify as actual meat. A recent lawsuit against the company claimed that their “taco meat filling” only contained 36 percent real beef. Apparently they used fillers like silicon dioxide (the main chemical compound in sand) to make up the difference. But honestly, when did a little sand ever hurt anyone? Besides offering exceptional value, Taco Bell also has Baja Blast, a turquoise-ish colored version of Mountain Dew only offered at their restaurants. I don’t know what I’m going to do without it.

Here is a list of where I’ll be over the next six and a half weeks so you can know exactly where I’m suffering Taco Bell withdrawal. My next post will be from Dublin.

July 2-10            Dublin
July 11-12           Liverpool
July 13-19          Edinburgh
July 20-26         London
July 27-28         Paris
July 29-Aug 9   Bordeaux
Aug 10-16          Chamonix
Aug 17                Geneva