I have to admit that my work schedule over the past few weeks has been less than ideal, and an exhausting visa-renewal trip to Singapore a few days ago has left me wiped out and feeling more homesick than usual. While I love teaching here and I know I’m incredibly lucky to be living abroad, that doesn’t stop me from missing a lot of things back in Cincinnati.

I miss playing in parks. Cincinnati has dozens of amazing parks, and my friends and I often took advantage of them by backing a picnic and spending a morning or afternoon in the outdoors. If Josh and I want to frolic outdoors in Indonesia, we have to consider dengue-carrying mosquitoes, sweltering heat and/or thunderstorms, and pollution. Most people take their children to play at the malls rather than the parks here.

Parks

I miss afternoon field trips to museums. There are a few in Jakarta, but it takes almost two hours to get to any of them by public transport, and they don’t hold my interest as much as the museums back home. Many of Cincinnati’s museums are cheap or even free sometimes if you know when to go, which makes it pretty easy to soak up history and culture in Cincy.

Union Terminal Museum Center

I miss cooking in my own kitchen. We have a maid who makes our dinner here since we don’t have a kitchen at our house and we simply wouldn’t have time to cook each night. But I miss making glorious stir-fries with fresh organic veggies bought from Cincinnati’s historic Findlay Market, and I miss making vegan pizza, and I miss tossing together fresh spinach salad with homemade lemon-ginger dressing.

Chez Moi

I miss my weekly baking sessions. I was that person who always brought baked goods to share with coworkers, friends, classmates, or whoever wanted one. Not having an oven is one of the many challenges I’m facing in Indonesia, and while it seems like such a trivial problem, I’m not adjusting well to this cupcake-withdrawal phase of my life.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

Cupcakes

I miss being surrounded by books. There’s a sad lack of English-language reading material here. Of course, you can find books in English, but they’re expensive, and they’re just another thing I’ll have to pack or get rid of when I move back to the US. I still do a lot of reading online, but it’s not the same as having an overflowing bookshelf or the well-stocked Cincinnati Public Library to turn to.

Reading

I miss dramatic sunsets . . . 

Cincinnati Sunset

Cincinnati Sunset. . . and dramatic storms.

Cincinnati Thunderstorm

I miss the Ohio River. Firework displays reflecting on the water’s surface, picturesque walks along the riverfront on either the Cincinnati or the Kentucky side, and baseball games that look out over the Ohio are just a few things about the river that made its place in the city so special. The closest thing I have here in Tangerang is the trash-filled sewer that I walk along every day on my way to work. Not quite as glamorous!

Riverfront View

Riverfront Fireworks

I miss UC. Even after I graduated, I still loved going on walks around the University of Cincinnati’s lovely campus. The library was another comfort, and when I had online TEFL work to do last summer, an empty classroom in McMicken Hall provided the perfect environment for me to be productive. There’s something about that place that just feels like home. I can’t wait to get back there for a picnic on Sigma Sigma Commons this fall!

University of Cincinnati

I miss the city. Cincinnati is full of places to go, things to see, food to gorge on, and events to attend. It’s a great place to go on a wander through the city streets and appreciate the varied architecture, hidden quirks, colorful street art, and friendly faces. And in my opinion, no place on earth beats the spectacular skyline of my beloved Queen City.

Queen City

Union Terminal

Music Hall and Union Terminal

Skyline from Kentucky

Cincinnati Skyline

 

While there’s no question that I’ve discovered some pretty magical places in Indonesia and am looking forward to several more months of uncovering this country’s secrets, Cincinnati is still the place that calls to me, and I can’t wait to call it home once more!

Love, Elizabeth 

*All photos were taken by Josh, who has come to love Cincinnati as much as I do!