Red, White and Blue…Green, Brown, Pink?

expat life Pretoria South Africa

Happy Independence Day to my American Readers!

Tonight, Kurt and I will re-watch The Patriot, one of the movies we brought with us on our South African adventure. I was imagining what my friends at home might be doing today: eating a hot dog, going to Starbucks, maybe watching a parade and having candy and bubble gum thrown at them from the firetrucks and floats.

In honor of the things I already miss from America, I would like to offer up the “other” colors I think of when it comes to my good old, Red, White & Blue:

GREEN: I miss the big round, weird-looking chick on the Starbucks sign. There are no “real” Starbucks stores in South Africa. Oh sure, they made a half-ass attempt here when the 2010 World Cup came to town, opening up a few of those “wannabe” Starbucks stores in the fancier hotels, but none of those are nearby even if I wanted to try one. I could get coffee at any of the wonderful cafes here in South Africa, of course, but I am now trying my best to stay decaffeinated again. But I do miss my Belle Vernon Starbucks and amazing barista friends there.

expat life Pretoria South Africa

I am nothing if not loyal. I love the baristas at my Belle Vernon Starbucks in Pennsylvania. Not all of them are in this photo, but I miss them all!

BROWN-ISH: “…the Fourth of July” (to partially quote Jennier Coolidge’s character in Legally Blonde, 2: Red, White and Blonde) “…makes me want a hot dog real bad.” There are things similar to hot dogs here. They look like hot dogs: various parts of meat formed to resemble the American food. They even have hot dog buns to put them in. But these dogs don’t hunt, folks. They are randomly-flavored meat-pops. What I wouldn’t give for a package of Hebrew Nationals right now. {sigh}

expat life in Pretoria, South Africa travel

Oh if only I could find a good, American-style hot dog here!

PINK: I have never before had to ration my bubble gum. But there is nothing even remotely like Dubble Bubble that I have found here. Granted, I see some very lovely teeth that clearly have not benefited from the tooth-rotting properties of childhood daily mouthfuls of sugary goodness, but still.  I will chew an extra piece today, just to celebrate that I can. And perhaps will shock yet another passerby as I blow a bubble the size of my face. I did exactly that just the other day, and passed a woman who stared, then giggled, then clapped and exclaimed: “Nice balloon!” When I finally have an address here, will someone please send me a new package of Dubble Bubble? (Not the kind with the comics; it doesn’t taste the same or blow as good of bubble.)

expat life Pretoria South Africa

Nope. Haven’t found ANYTHING like this on the shelves here yet.

None of these are the end of the world, of course. Just a few of my longings on this Fourth of July holiday away from home.

Happy Birthday, ‘merica!

Love, Marla

 

5 Comments on “Red, White and Blue…Green, Brown, Pink?

  1. OMG- Only you can get away with getting your baristas to pose with you WILLINGLY. I know my baristas; they know me. We chat; they know my drinks. If I said “hey I’m moving to Russia- let me take your picture,” I’d get weird looks.

  2. MMMMMM……….Hot Dogs. I will miss the laughter of family and friends watching the firework lighters get chased and surprised by various flaming balls.

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