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There are many familiar things that you would miss if you left the country for any period,...

It would probably depend "where". I spent 5 weeks in Kaohsiung once. I found I missed American music (easily remedied today thanks to MP3). But that society was so radically different that it was always a bit disorienting. Can't even read the street signs**. At least in most other countries I recognize the letters, even if I don't (necessarily) know what they mean.

For 1poorMIL she has her daughter (who is fluent in Tagalog, of course). She has access to Google+ for the weekly internet chat with other daughter in Dubai. She has the Filipino Channel package on the satellite to see programming in Tagalog (and, yes, the shows are very different than ours here). Etc. All she's missing is the humidity, the noise, and the pollution. And the lack of medical care, a responsive police force, etc.


**In Taiwan it is common (or it was) to acquire a business card for someplace you want to go. People always seem to have them if they recommend a place to you. So you walk down the street comparing the symbols on the card to the symbols on the street signs. Once the street sign matches, then you go down the sidewalk comparing the other symbols to the store name symbols until you get a match there. That's how you get around.
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