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I wish I could say it’s nice to be home.

We were welcomed by an upstairs saturated with cat piss, a musty basement and a cold-ass Memorial Day.

Yeah, I’m cranky.

So I’m going to use it to dig the good old U.S.A. After spending two weeks in Ireland, it’s hard not to notice all the annoying things about where we live.

We drive everywhere. It’s stupid. I got home, walked to the corner to Walgreens, and realized I never do that. I usually drive. Crossing the busy street it’s on is no picnic on foot, but really, there’s no excuse.

We rarely acknowledge each other. Unless it’s a checkout clerk, no one interacts with you when you’re in a public place. I am really missing the friendly “hello, love” I got from nearly every passing stranger. When I first got home, I’d look at people expectantly, waiting for them to acknowledge me, or I’d say hi first, only to be looked at like I was nuts.

Our buildings are ugly. I’m so used to looking at quaint little cottages and brightly colored storefronts that being home hurts my eyes. Even their new buildings are cute. Ours are garish (beige) cardboard boxes in comparison.

Our coffee sucks. Even the “good” coffee house coffee is shit compared to the stuff we had in Ireland. I don’t know what they do differently, but I’m slamming the massive amounts of the black stuff I need to slog through the jet lag like it’s medicine.

We don’t use reusable grocery bags. I’ve actually heard grocery store clerks bitching about people who bring their own bags. In Ireland, if you want a disposable bag, you pay. And it’s not cheap. So everyone brings their own bags to the store.

On the other hand, I did miss vegetables. The Irish diet is decidedly heavy on potatoes (yes, there is such a thing as too many), and light on green stuff.

Other than that, I’m giving Ireland a check in all other categories.

How hard would it be to become an ex-patriot, I wonder?