There’s nothing like living as an expat to make you appreciate the things that were available in your home country but aren’t anymore, and I feel strongly that all college students should study abroad for a year if only so that they’ll appreciate how good they have things back in their home countries. When I first came to Japan I had to get used to living in a country in which many of the things I’d taken for granted all my life were suddenly exotic and difficult to obtain. There are no Pop Tarts in Japan, no Lucky Charms, no amazing craft beers which are all the rage in San Diego right now, and no Mexican food either — the closest thing is the Twister Wraps from KFC, which taste almost like chicken burritos if you close your eyes. Whenever I return to Japan from the U.S., I bring various foods back with me, including a bag of tortilla chips and salsa. Last night my son and I went to eat some but found only tortilla chip dust at the bottom of the bag…so we got creative and mixed the dust with the last of our salsa and ate it with spoons, to avoid wasting any of the precious stuff. It was delicious.(Yes, you can get chips and salsa here, but the chips are like Doritos if you’re lucky, e.g. pre-salted and pre-flavored, and the salsa is always closer to spaghetti sauce than what we expect it to be.)
Living in Japan will make you appreciate chips and salsa.