This week I eclipsed one month in the Old World. I am not really sure if it feels like I’ve been here that long or not. The concept of time seems utterly meaningless at the present moment. That being said, I have settled into a good groove over here. I feel content for the first time in…. I don’t know. Again the concept of time is a bit out of reach.
In this blog post I am going to share some observations about the British and British culture. A few of you have been requesting more rants and I can ensure you that you will find a few here!
The number of fucks given by British drivers is zero. Needless to say, the UK is not pedestrian friendly. Occasionally drivers will stop to let you cross the road in Halifax. That doesn’t happen here. Ever. You are left to dart across the road at a great threat to your own health. I used to have the attitude (the very smug attitude) that if a car ran me over and killed me, I would be dead and hence not care while the driver would be haunted by what they’ve done. I’ve been forced to adjust my attitude because I don’t think the latter part of that sentence holds over here…
Would Anyone Like a Drink?
In the UK drinks are bought by the round. That is to say, when you get up to get another drink you ask if anyone would like anything. Its not the exception, its the rule. My coworkers even do this at work if they get up to get a glass of water. Takes a bit of getting used to but I actually like it.
Probably the most heartbreaking thing I miss on the food front is Kraft Natural Peanut Butter. As someone who eats peanut butter several times a day, it is hard to replace a good brand of peanut butter. I’ve found a replacement PB but it would be a stretch to call it a suitable replacement.
Another staple I haven’t been able to locate are Triscuits. Now Triscuits are simply amazing. Triscuits and peanut butter. Triscuits and cheese. Triscuits by themselves. A top shelf snack! The search for a British replacement cracker is ongoing…
On the flip side, the quality of the oranges over here is worthy of a mention in the next Inaugural Address (Trump’s? It would give him at least one reasonable thing to say.) You know every so often you crack open an orange and it is dry, flavourless and sucks? Or the amount of force required to separate it is equivalent to the force required to tear apart a carbon atom? Every orange I’ve had here has been worthy of a Jose bat flip. Juicy, delicious and easy to peel. My daily orange is the highlight of my day and that isn’t a comment on the quality of the rest of my day.
The chip flavors (or crisps as they call them) are all fucked up here. The prominent flavors are Ready Salted (Regular), Salt and Vinegar, Cheese & Onion, and Prawn Cocktail! Prawn Cocktail! I haven’t had them and they are probably good but Prawn Cocktail! It’s different and I don’t like things that are different.
I’ve already mentioned the quality of the coffee and baked goods but it worthy of another mention.
Sports gambling appears to be very popular here. I do live in a town where one of the biggest draws is horse racing afterall. There are sports gambling stores everywhere. There’s one right around the corner from my house. At first I was confused about it but then I realized the only way to make the sports they like over here interesting is to have some money riding on the outcome…
Cheers appears to be a catch all phrase here. As far as I have gathered it means thank you, you’re welcome, good bye, and has absolutely nothing to do with making a toast…
Physical money appears to be on its way out. Give it a generation or so and I am sure all money will be paperless. Well in the grand British tradition of trying to hold onto things they are in the process of losing….. they have EIGHT coins. EIGHT! I’m not fucking you. Look at them!
From top to bottom we have: two pounds, one pound, fifty pence, twenty pence, ten pence, five pence, two pence, and the penny. It’s an exhausting number of coins. Two pence? What am I supposed to do with that? It’s as if the penny wasn’t useless enough, now I have to deal with its monstrous and obnoxious relative. Seriously, the bottom 5 are really just meant to be collected. “Hi. Can I get an Americano? Great. Here’s 100 two pence coins.” Brother.
I’ll close with that. I am sure there will be a Version 2 of this entry somewhere further down the line. Probably a more complimentary version as I integrate into the lifestyle!