20 Days in England
What I like so far:
1. The food. I never would have believed it, but almost everything I’ve tried here is fan-freakin’-tastic.
- The bacon. You think you like bacon? You’ve never HAD bacon until you come here. This is American/Canadian bacon multiplied by a thousand. I’m considering turning some into a sheet and quilt set. You can do that with British bacon.
- The curry that Eileen made. I get all watery-eyed just thinking about it. I can’t WAIT for more.
- The glazed goat cheese salad from The Settle restaurant in Frome. No kidding, I damn near had a Meg Ryan moment. It was THAT good.
- The fish that Eileen made. Simple salmon filets that were to die for, literally made my mouth water after the very first bite.
- The Cornish pasties that Eileen and Duncan brought home from Cornwall. (I have to confess something embarrassing here. My mother- and father-in-law never actually SAID that they were going to spend a coupla days in Cornwall. They said they were going someplace which sounded to me like ‘Nookie.’ For a week I went around singing Makin’ Whoopie to myself, until I realised that they were saying that they’d visited ‘Newquay,’ a coastal town in Cornwall. I’m such a fool.)
- The fish and chips from the local place, Codswallop. Going in the little shop was amazing – all kinds of freshly fried foods that warmed the cockles of my little Texan heart. They also actually serve cockles. I have no idea what they are, but I thought that was hilarious. I don’t think the other patrons thought it was nearly as amusing as I did when I just started pointing and giggling.
- The rice pudding that Eileen made. Okay, so…we had egg fried rice for dinner, and the leftover rice became A DESSERT. It was nothing short of a miracle, as far as I was concerned. I rarely eat dessert and I had two bowls of it.
- The hot buttered crumpets. There’s really nothing more that needs to be said here. Let me find a picture of one, then you’ll understand.
- The cheese. This really deserves its own category. It is my afternoon snack. (I remember when Tweet first joined me in Canada and she saw the yellow cheeses marked ‘cheddar’ in our refrigerator. It was one of the few times that her spine straightened and she got this British-ly disgusted look on her face as she said, “That is not cheddar.” How was I supposed to know that The Town of Cheddar That Invented the Cheese is 15 miles from her hometown?)
3. The weather. I don’t care if it gets a little wet and drizzly occasionally – it isn’t miserably hot. ‘Nuff said.
4. The television presenters. Listening to them, it’s easy to believe that everyone is either Scots or Liverpudlian (or Liverputian, which I prefer) in much the same way that it’s easy to believe that every American is blonde, rich and tan by watching Entertainment Tonight.
5. My in-laws-to-be. It’s the first time that Tweet and I have had the chance to spend significant amounts of time around other couples who are also totally, completely and head-over-heels in love with each other. Plus, it’s incredibly interesting to see the origin of her sense of humor, her quirks, her good nature and her cleverness. (I dunno where the shyness comes from – her brother constantly sings karaoke at the top of his lungs, her mother is THE most popular person I’ve ever known and we have to actively stop her father from wandering about buck naked after his showers.)
What I don’t like so far:
1. The chips. Sorry, the ‘crisps.’ Itty bitty bags of less-than-salty crunchiness. What do you MEAN I can’t just run out and grab a bag of Lays?! That’s it, I’m eating another plate of cheese.
2. The prices of fuel and electricity. Good lord, it’s horrible here – no kidding. I feel properly humbled after complaining about American taxes and costs for so many years.
3. Pimms. I saw the devil drinking Pimms! As I tasted it for the first time, I could feel my face curling into the exact same expression my cat used to use as he was coughing up a hairball. (I apologise profusely, Pete, but it’s true. I am on track to try those ciders, however.)
4. The alarm clock in our room (the one which Tweet is insisting that I mention that I picked out). It’s a little cordless digital thing but when we first turned it on, it wouldn’t stop talking. It kept announcing the hour, every hour – all night long. And when the alarm goes off, it’s a digital rooster crow. It’s the single most horrifying piece of technology that I’ve seen since the digital rectal thermometer.
5. No free refills on sodas, even at the fast food restaurants. I have to admit that it kinda does make me want to throw a spoiled-child tantrum, which, I suppose, is exactly what some Brits might expect of an American, so I’m alright. (They even charge for the little ketchup packets, which is high treason as far as I’m concerned. I bought those fries – they COME WITH ketchup, dammit! And get away with that bottle of vinegar – what are you, French?!)