Saturday, October 14, 2006

English Oddities

One of the dangers of traveling in England is that you get lulled into this sense of security. You can forget that you're in a foreign country and then get hit with doing something wrong. Here are some examples:

The money - Now I grew up in Canada, so I'm used to colored money and one and two dollar coins. That wasn't the problem. It was the coins. The 10 pence coin looks just like the US quarter. And the 5 pence coin looks like the dime. The 20 pence and 2 pence coins always threw me for a loop. Not surprisingly, I came home with an awful lot of coins because I got a little afraid to use them after I gave a guy a 5 and 10 pence coin when I owed him 35 pence. Oops.

Spoons - Their spoons were different. They had tiny tea spoons (think the decorative kind aunts collect) and then big spoons. Nothing bad about it, but it did help me understand where the teaspoon and tablespoon measures came from.

Sheets - Seriously people, there are supposed to be two sheets on a bed. This is a country that believes in a bottom sheet and then a duvet. There are a lot of temperatures that fall between no covering and a heavy duvet covering. I spent a lot of time at night taking duvets on and off because I was always too hot or too cold. Why no top sheet? And why no blankets?

Face clothes - Again, why no face clothes? I had to go out an buy one. Someone later explained that people carry their own when they travel. Good for them, but mine never dried out, so it was always soggy. Yuck!

Left handed eating - While at the Northumbria community we discovered the joy that is eating with the back of your fork, while held with your left hand. Huh? How is this more efficient than holding your fork with your right hand?

Marmite - This gets a distinction above any other British food because it was just so weird. Everyone said I had to try it because it was so distinctly British. I opened the bottle and got a little nauseous. Finally Stork tried it and I tried a little corner of his toast. I'm really glad he didn't have a camera to record my face. It was horrible stuff. Why would you eat that for breakfast? Or any time?

Other foods (like beans on toast) I could get used to (though not for breakfast). Brown sauce was good and helped spice up the otherwise bland food. The snacks were interesting and fun.


Anonymous Juni said...

Wow. It's quite surprising me.
I thought England is very similar to America.
I like reading your blog :)
I am looking forward to listening about your trip to England.

Hope you have a awesome Lord's day tomorrow.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Yes, left handed eating is more efficient.

Never heard of the face cloth thing though, but I stayed mostly in hotels that cater to business travelers when I was over in England.

8:09 PM  

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