My Pinterest boards are barren. The man at the coffee shop on my street has no idea what a PSL is. One of my scarves was purchased in Morocco while riding a camel for practicality. The basicness is at an all time low.
It's not without surprise - I'm doing something that most people merely share in the form of an article on Facebook, hopelessly dreaming of the "18 Amazing Travel Views You've GOTTA See Before You Die". And yeah, it's f*cking cool. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't miss some of the things that I once was embarrassed of admitting. Pour yourself a mimosa and stalk your ex on Facebook before diving into this post; it's time to embrace your inner basic bitch and sympathize my lack thereof while living abroad.
A restaurant may say they have brunch, but any BB will soon realize that it is a LIE. Apparently no one in Europe or Africa is keen on an excuse to get wasted in the form of carbonated diabetes in a glass. Not everyone likes Aperol Spritzs, you know. I shouldn't be glared at when I order two bottles of Prosecco and an eye dropper of orange juice, Europe. And you'd think that I could find a decent Bloody Mary in a country that serves cold tomato soup as an appetizer for every meal, PORTUGAL. Is it wrong to order a coffee, a bottled water, and two cocktails in case I change my mind about whether I want to drink the juice of tomatoes or oranges? And what is with the lack of food options? A fried egg and some weird pork product disguised as bacon can only fool me for so long, Morocco. WHERE is the Eggs Benedict? DO YOU EVEN HOLLANDAISE??? What the hell is "le petit dejeuner"? Who's ordering petite ANYTHING in America, much less a meal that prides itself on combining two large meals into one supersized feast? BRUNCH IS BAE. I MISS IT.
Iced Coffee, TO GO.
The breakfast theme is inevitable for me; it's my favorite meal. But when I want a caffeine jolt at 3 PM and it's 98 degrees outside, I'm not looking to burn my tongue on an ounce of espresso. The coffee everywhere, while delicious, is frustrating in more than one way. For starters, it's tiny. Even what they consider "American coffee" is about 4 ounces of sadness. People sit for hours and drink coffee. Why? Because they order 14 coffees. HOW DO YOU DO IT, FOREIGNERS? I'm thankful for the fact that I now get to enjoy the benefits of a more laid back life, but sometimes I just want a soy venti iced coffee with sugar-free vanilla. Another weird thing I've gotten used to? Sugar. America is filled with shit that is banned all over the world, including sugar-free anything for the most part. They don't even carry it in the one Starbucks I found in Marrakech, Morocco. This is probably better for my body. This is definitely not contributing to basicness. (However it may be contributing to my waist line.)
Mindless American Television
I don't even watch TV for the most part. In fact, I didn't even have cable back home. But one of my favorite things to do while I lived in the same building as my best friend and his partner was to walk over with a bottle of wine, make dinner, and watch the latest episode of Ru Paul's Drag Race or UnREAL. Or even The Good Wife, a show I never watched in the correct order, causing me to annoyingly ask questions about the characters the entire time. The only TV I've watched abroad is a few episodes of the English show "Skins" (thanks to my last roommate, a Brit herself) and two episodes of Stranger Things, which I can't seem to finish because usually I'm alone and it kind of freaks me out (even though it's great). Nowadays, if the TV does come on, it's a Moroccan man yelling at me on what seems to be some twisted version of a karaoke channel or an episode of Cartoon Network's Rick and Morty in Bulgarian.
Seasonal Wardrobes That Make No Sense But It Doesn't Matter Because It's Fall, Damnit.
Portugal in July was rough, accessory wise. I packed six pairs of shoes, none of which were wedges or heels. I went all month in Portugal while not allowing my calves to be properly put on pedestals. But no one can imagine the dramatic volume of the SIGH I heaved as October 1st hit and I had no boots to put on. The irony of this is that it was 75 degrees when we landed in Sofia on October 3rd. But every BB knows that weather has nothing to do with wardrobe, especially when it comes to Fall. Was that a leaf on the ground? RELEASE THE INFINITY SCARVES. PREPARE THE SWEATER PONCHOS. PULL ON THE BOOTIES. Sure, you'll sweat your ass off because you live in Texas and Fall is figment of ones imagination there. It's 90 degrees but you will rock that oversized sweater and leggings. Head to H&M and buy the same one in four different colors. You (and I) earned it.
Football Season (AKA Attending Every Football Tailgate That I Can)
Football in Europe is not football. And if you call football "soccer" here, the British guy on our trip will slap you across the face after telling you to respect "Footy". Yeah, the baby name for "Feet" should be RESPECTED. Yet the more I hear about Footy the more I question why no one stands in the parking lot outside of their tiny Volkswagens and drinks beer and burns meat until their arteries clog. What's the deal, Europe? We know you like to drink, especially in sketchy places and during the day. Let's move it to where everyone can see us and throw bags of beans into the hole of a wooden structure on the ground! Let's play drinking games and chant songs that relate to our teams as a girl pukes behind a dumpster after taking a beer bong! LET'S MAKE SEVEN LAYER DIP AND EAT IT 10 HOURS LATER! Who cares if I was only invited to this because my friend knows someone who went to TCU? I live in this city! Err, near this city. I deserve to partake. IT'S BASIC AND FUN AS HELL AND DOESN'T EXIST ABROAD. (Plus, like, I have a really cute purple scarf that I could wear.) But honestly, I was spirited AF in college. I was a tour guide, for gods sake. START TAILGATING, EUROPE! LET ME LIVE!
Current life status: outlining odes to both of these condiments while gently weeping into cold, flavorless pizza. You can eat them together. You can eat them separately. You can probably marry them like those weirdos on TLC's hit show My Strange Addiction (if you go to one of those countries where you can marry inanimate objects). If I could rule the world, I'd put these on every table. Eating things without flavor can result in trauma and stress. It recently has, post-Bulgarian club at a late night cafe after carelessly dousing fries in what I believed to be was something edible. (Hint: it was garlic sauce IN A RED BOTTLE and I ruined my plate of fries.) Practice safe eating: always use a (delicious) condiment. Rest of the world, let's have a talk about sauce. Not every sauce should be mayo-based. Ketchup and sweet Thai chili sauce are not synonymous. Hot sauce should be just that: HOT. SPICY. WHERE IS THE SPICE. Make like the 90s hit band and SPICE UP MY LIFE, ALREADY. I need sauce and I need it now. And if any of you American readers wanna mule that shiz over to me, I will gladly pay you triple for it. Send some Reese's PB cups while you're at it. They're too artificial for Europe, but will do just fine for my mouth.
You knew it was coming. You could sense it as you clenched your Lululemon jacket, scrolling down the page. Alas, here it is: our promised land. The BB mecca. Sweet, sweet, Target. Sweet, sweet shit I don't need but buy anyway. Every time I step foot into the store, passing those giant, red, concrete balls outside that make absolutely no sense on the way in...*chills*.
Do you think immulsion blenders are on sale? I wonder if they still have those Nate Berkus poufs? The patterned one would look SO good in my living room...what did I need again? Oh yeah, hooks for over the closet to hang my towels. I urgently need those. So much that I came to Target on my lunch break for the--OH LOOK FALL HATS ARE OUT.
Target is the ultimate go-to for all things, and I can't express how much I miss it. There is nothing like it. And America is lucky to have it. I urge you all, right now, TO GO. Throw all cares to the wind! Forget what you were buying! Just give into the rush of saying "YES!" to that decorative wooden wall hanging that you've been eyeing for months! LIFE IS TOO SHORT, PEOPLE. DO IT NOW. FOR ME. Then send me photos and describe the experience in the most spiritual and descriptive way possible. Better yet, FaceTime me. Let's do this together. Grab a PSL on the way in, and sip it slowly as you peruse the Back to School section for no good reason. Take a look at the new shower curtains. Think about buying that resistance band. Remember that you're out of soy milk, and grab a carton of Silk as you make your way to the shoes. Try on 9 shirts and decide to buy 2 that look similar to ones you already own. Plan a birthday party for your non-existent child who will also be obsessed with Target. Aisle by aisle, I'll be there with you; laughing to yourself, snapchatting the stupid men's graphic Ts, sipping a PSL, scarf-admiring, not caring where your boyfriend went, and planning brunch in my head.
Freelance writer, designer, and do-it-aller. Traveling the world with Remote Year 6, living in a different country every month. Currently living in Cape Town, South Africa and probably drinking wine.