It's not the fact that the cheese is orange (and has no flavour), it's not that the streets are dirty.
I can live with all of these differences.
It's the fact that the coffee sucks and that Starbucks really is the best coffee you can buy in NY (ok almost there are 3-4 other favourite places I have found) however the majority of it sucks - but that’s not the worst part.
The worst part is that out of the 20 different American brands of instant coffee we have tried there isn't one that comes close to Nescafe Espresso.
Not a problem you think, considering Nescafe is an international company should be easy to find right?
Nope apprently it's a local brand and can only be purchased in Australia (and the UK of all places) oh and there’s a guy in Texas who sells it for a 50% mark-up.
So what do we do? Well every trip back always brings at least 6-8 jars of the stuff, and every time a friend of ours comes to visit....it's on their goodie list, along with Tim Tams and Vegemite.
Though this time our next trip home isn't until Christmas and we just ran out last week, so we had to get my sister to ship some to us at $60 for the coffee and $70 for the shipping (oh ok there were some dairy milk chocolate blocks in there as well which added to the weight).
It's given me a new appreciation to all the Asians you see trying to bring cured snake blood and other weird and wonderful things through Mascot customs.
At least for us it's just an email away and we can get some posted over. For them it's not a difference of orange cheese or real cheese, it's a totally different experience.
Travel the world people, it gives you a new appreciation for home but also gives you empathy.
P.S. Now thats how expats buy coffee :) 6 x 375grams all the way from Australia, thanks sis.