My upcoming journey through London, Spain, Morocco and South Africa will last 32 days and be the longest I’ve been way from home. I consider a long haul-trip to be more than 21 days or three weeks. This will be my third such trip since 2011, when I went to Hong Kong, China and Japan for 23 days. From March to April of this year, I stayed in London for 30 days.
What will bind these three trips is what I’ll miss about America. I’m not talking about the comfortable boring-zone that is suburban Northern New Jersey-New York City area. I consider myself a citizen of the world, but there are American things that I wish the rest of the world would embrace.
No. 1 — American-made mattresses. There are two things that Americans manufacture better than any other country in the world. Popular culture and mattresses. You can be cheap in many areas in your life — clothing, household goods, foods — but you can’t be cheap about where you sleep.
I bought a $2K mattress last year and it completely changed the quality of my sleep. A lot of things we own have been manufactured oversees, but my mattress was constructed in U.S.A.
If you stays at a hostels, hotels or a complete stranger’s house oversees, you’re going to be sleeping on an inferior mattress. It won’t conform to your body’s likes. A hotel has to purchase their beds in bulk so that is cost-effective. They can’t please all their guests. Some people like a hard mattress, feather soft or somewhere in-between. The place you lay your head at night will be universal.
Thus, when I get home, I want to sleep the shit out of my bed.
No. 2 — Massive amount of drip coffee. As much as we can Starbucks the fuck out of the rest of the world, drip coffee will be an American-thing. It’s too watered-down for the palates in Europe, Asia and South America. There’s a reason why watered-down espresso is called an Americano.
There are times where I wish I was born in Italy or Spain, so I can truly connect to a café, or espresso. It’s history and ritual in a small cup. The American ritual is to take a massive amount of coffee (16-22 oz.) with you as you commute to work. I can not deny this, but this is how I like my coffee. It has been ingrained into my DNA, and I can’t un-program it out so I can fit into the rest of the world.
When I’m home, it’s four to six cups for me in the morning — with full-fat milk, no sugar. There are few places in London and Tokyo that do pour-overs, but I want my coffee now, mother-cluckers.
I’m dumbfounded why toilet paper is not cared about like it is in America. Charmin is ambrosia of the God’s to my ass. I’ve stayed at a 5-star hotel in Shanghai, where my bathroom had three rooms, but the toilet paper was harsh.
Are asses constructed differently in the rest of the world? Are their anuses fecal-free when they drop a No. 2? I’m sorry that I need to “go there,” but the rest of the world can learn something about our toilet paper.
Yes, bidets can bypass the wipe and wash your filth away, but it’s not enough. Your butt needs to be hugged by the softness of American-made toilet tissues.
These three things I’m just going to have to man-up to and deal with it. It will give me motivation to continue for 30+ days and appreciate what we have here that makes us good.