1. Microwaves. I’ll start small. It is so nice to be able to pop leftovers in the microwave rather than heating them up in the oven or on the stove. Microwaves are also great for melting butter, reheating forgotten cups of tea/hot chocolate, and popping microwave popcorn (although I’m pretty good at the stove kind now)!
2. Grocery stores. This is probably a place you go at least once a week, but do you ever stop to marvel at just how many different kinds of food are available to you?? At our grocery store there are three separate cheese areas, each with at least ten different kinds of cheese (or more). You can also get all kinds of berries, in spite of there being two feet of snow outside right now, and anything from staple fruits (apples, oranges, etc) to weird spiky yellow melons (kiwanos) that I’ve never even seen before. There’s a WHOLE AISLE of breakfast cereals, which in Namibia would pretty much only consist of cornflakes and all-bran. Anybody who has lived overseas can probably understand the wonder of an American grocery store.
3. Libraries. I don’t know if this is true everywhere, but Fort Wayne has an awesome library system. There are fourteen branches and you can order a book from any of them for pick-up at your own branch. There are quiet study tables, free wi-fi, movies, and tons of books! I wish my kids in Namibia had access to something this good!
4. Specialty stores. Office Depot, Best Buy, Michael’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods…Each of these stores is easily five times bigger than the biggest department stores in Namibia, and they specialize! So many office supplies! So many electronics! So many crafts! So many sports items! There are also specialty stores devoted to body products, candles, games, spices, cookware… You can find ANYTHING in America.
5. Restaurant Variety. Within a twenty minute drive from home I could be eating Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Greek, or Middle Eastern cuisine. I could also be eating steak, seafood, fondue, burgers, or breakfast. So many CHOICES! Of course I can also make most of these at home thanks to the international foods section in the grocery store!
Hope this makes you take a moment to appreciate American life. =)