May 05, 2006


Whenever my friends and I would talk about how much we missed Walmart, I always thought that that talk was mostly symbolic. Walmart became a symbol for everything that I missed about the United States: convenience, consumer choice, customer service, and buying a football at three in the morning. When we raved on and on about Walmart, I knew I missed the actual store, but I didn't realize quite how much until yesterday.

When we walked over to the food aisle, and I saw the whole left wall of Walmart (you know the one I mean: the meats and dairy), I honestly got a lump in my throat. I am not making that up for dramatic effect. All of a sudden I saw thirty feet of cheeses. And forty feet of yogurt. There was shelf after shelf of ground turkey, something my friends and I recently rejoiced to find tucked away in our commissary. And when I turned the corner and ran into pomegranate syrup, an ingredient that Erin swore she'd never see in her lifetime, I was overwhelmed.

Dozens of customers ignored the crazy girl wiping her eyes by the pineapple cream cheese and went about getting their items. I kept staring at them thinking how much they took it for granted that they could buy so many items for such low prices. I hope I don't soon forget the magic feeling I got yesterday when I reached for a gallon of sour cream.

When my husband woke up and rolled over this morning at 0600, he joked, "Wanna go to Walmart right now?" Yes, yes I do.

Posted by Sarah at May 5, 2006 04:23 PM | TrackBack

Hehehehe! I'm giddy just reading about WalMart!

I've definitely been in Germany too long...I never knew there was a such thing as a gallon of sour cream! Yummy!

Posted by: Erin at May 5, 2006 09:51 AM

You didn't mention how long it took you to actually complete your shopping. The first couple of months it took me forever. I couldn't stop looking at all of the new items I had never heard of or things I had missed having access to.

Walmart is the best! Next you'll have to stroll through Sam's Club or Costco.

Posted by: Vonn at May 5, 2006 10:57 AM

Remember the days when Wamart only sold products made in the U.S.? Boy, that seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? They are helpful, though. They put information right up on their breakroom walls about how their employees can apply for Medicaid, food stamps, etc.


Posted by: Pericles at May 5, 2006 11:44 AM

Okay, since I LOVE WALMART, I tend to get a lump in my throat everytime I walk through the doors!


Glad you and yours are back in the States.

Take care and God Bless.

Posted by: cheesyknitwit at May 5, 2006 11:54 AM

Sarah -

Welcome home! I just wish that so many who live here every day did so with the enthusiasm you exhibit upon your return.

If I learn to knit can we get together when I get to SC?

Glad you and your husband are here. Getting together is a must.

Love to you both -

Tim (and Patti says welcome home too!)

Posted by: Tim at May 5, 2006 01:21 PM

China owns you.

Posted by: Will at May 5, 2006 07:51 PM

LOL - well I wouldn't miss Walmart because the ones I've lived near have always been about the worst stores around (management issues? don't know). Anyhow, there are things I can't get out here on the East Coast that were easily obtainable in the Midwest... very weird. All in all, we're lucky in the US to have such plentiful supplies of nearly everything.

My son is home on leave and was very bummed out because he'd love to move back to the states from Germany, but thinks he'll be over there for at least another year.

Posted by: Teresa at May 5, 2006 11:19 PM

Well, it's good to see that Pericles is still as snarky as ever.

Isn't it a good thing that Walmart does exist...especially when a stack of food stamps or "Lone Star Card" (or whatever dole mechanism might be offered for payment that doesn't come from a patron's own pocket) can buy more than the average Mom/Pop store.

With all the garbage the Walmart takes...they still provide the average American tremendous savings...and I'd stand on the local Walmart parapets with a broken Jack Daniels bottle to protect them!

Welcome home, Sarah and Hubby!


Posted by: MajorDad1984 at May 6, 2006 04:16 AM

Major Dad makes a fair point; WalMart's low prices definitely benefit the poor. In fact, I recently made the same point myself to some people who were very critical of the place. The proper attitude for us all to have toward WalMart is probably ambivalence; it combines some real positives with some real negatives. It was literally less than a week ago that I was pointing out some positives to folks who only saw the negatives, and so I was only trying to restore the balance to the universe by pointing out some of the negatives here. It does surprise me, though, that the same people who used to favor WalMart for its Made in the USA policy don't seem to be at all bothered by the fact that it now buys a huge percentage of its products from China. I'm a free trader, so I'm not saying that this bothers me terribly either, but where did the peopel who used to look for Made in the USA stickers go?

Posted by: Pericles at May 6, 2006 06:57 AM

Soon as I saw it was you, Periclese, oh, excuse me, Pericles, I didn't bother reading past that,

You seem to think that government is the source of all that is good, and private enterprise is the source of all that is bad.

You are a moron.

Posted by: Bill Smith at May 7, 2006 03:48 AM

As usual, Sarah, a post that was supposed to be fun and happy turned into a political debate. Love when that happens.

Will, as usual, you are a total drama queen. "China owns you." Ooh, diss.

And Bill, I think it's harsh to call Pericles a moron simply because you don't agree with him (and from your comment, I'm not quite sure why you disagree with him in the first place). I would rather debate with someone who can back up their beliefs with reasons, as opposed to people that just name call (even though name calling can be quite fun too).

But whatever. I'm still stuck on the gallon of sour cream. I don't care if it comes from China. That's the first thing I'm buying when I get to Walmart. We can have taco night every day of the week! Yay!

Posted by: Erin at May 7, 2006 10:07 AM


Welcome back! I think the people that have never left this country for an extended period have really missed out. They've never experienced that wonderful feeling of coming back to a place like no other on this world.

Posted by: Randy at May 7, 2006 12:38 PM

If you think that I think that everything the government does is good, then you're obviously very new here...

Posted by: Pericles at May 7, 2006 07:49 PM

Hey welcome back to the states. The land of the giant PX is not a bad place to be. Have fun and enjoy yourselves. Life is short enjoy it while youse can.

Posted by: tommy in nyc at May 8, 2006 10:16 AM

I come from a different generation of overseas military brats. We used to have the same reactions to McDonald's that you have having for Wal Mart. (of course this was pre Wal mart and before McDonald's began springing up all over europe.

Posted by: Gahrie at May 8, 2006 11:23 AM

I cried in the Atlanta airport when we got back from Germany. No one bumped into me. People smiled back. And I asked someone if there was an internet cafe so I could e-mail my sponsor with my flight info and instead of giving me directions, they walked me to it.
When we went to Walmart for the first time, I think we spent about four hours there. We didn't buy too much, but just tenderly picked up every item and oogled like looking at a newborn baby! I miss that feeling. We've been back for exactly one year (Holy COW!!!) and that feeling has worn away. Now I hate Walmart. It's such a hassle. ;)
But seriously? Sunday night at 10pm. Ahhhh. Chicken and tennis shoes, DvDs and cat food. Hair dye. Wine! I still, STILL love knowing that I don't have to go to the Esso for late-night-before-10-on-a-Sunday shopping....

Welcome home! Non-smoking restaurants. Air conditioning. Ice. Baby, I feel ya!

Posted by: allicadem at May 8, 2006 12:28 PM

I'm not a drama queen. P.S., me and erin are sleeping together.

Posted by: Will at May 8, 2006 12:51 PM

Spend some time in Walmart for ok...I miss you

Posted by: Kelly at May 8, 2006 10:47 PM

I meant spend some time there for ME!!!!

Posted by: Kelly at May 8, 2006 10:48 PM

Can't wait for shopping. I've already decided that June 24th I am waking up and having starbucks and Krispy Kreme! June 23rd, we land in O'Hare at noon and I am going straight to any restaurant and ordering a soda and will love knowing that it will come with ICE! We miss you on Pine Court but are certainly glad you are enjoying the U.S.

Posted by: Stephanie at May 9, 2006 02:38 AM

I agree with Randy. There are LOTS of Americans who would learn alot about appreciation for this country if they spent some time overseas.

Two of my favorites: Go to any neighborhood restaraunt and be able to order breakfast any time of day. How would you like your eggs cooked (5 choices), meat (5 choices), potatoes (2 or 3 choices), bread (3 or more choices)! Plus they don't pour baked beans all over the top!

The Bar Burger and fries. You know what I mean. Sans the slice of beet on top and soaking into the bun (Australia).

Again, welcome Home!

Posted by: MargeinMI at May 9, 2006 05:28 AM

Welcome home and thank you for everything you and your husband do for the rest of us! God Bless.

Posted by: Chadd at May 9, 2006 06:54 AM

I'm in agreement with Stephanie! Of all the things I love about the US, Krispy Kreme and Starbucks are right up there on my list! I don't shop at Wal-Mart (I got to the other mart, Target) but boy do I LOVE grabbing a Starbucks every now and then...good stuff! Have fun! :)

Posted by: Nicole at May 9, 2006 11:28 AM


Where are you? I want to hear more! Have you been to the Bell yet? Chili's? Yum. Well, I don't even care much about that stuff...I just want to read about YOU...I miss you so freakin' bad!


PS Will, you aren't my type. Trust me on this one.

Posted by: Erin at May 9, 2006 01:09 PM

On an unrelated note: I'm pretty much everyone's type. I know. It's a pretty hard thing to deal with, but I do my best. Also, I'm getting a expenses paid trip to Honolulu for work - I'm going to be filming a travelogue there - and so I must declare that I am so awesome it hurts.

Posted by: Will at May 10, 2006 12:51 AM

It does seem that the word Modesty is not a known word in Will's dictionary. In fact if I was to describe Will in a word, that word would be Conceited.

Posted by: Night Rider at May 10, 2006 05:42 PM

In truth though, I'm pretty lame.

Posted by: Will at May 11, 2006 12:20 AM