Saturday, December 07, 2013

You Can't Have Everything......

I noticed a thread on the British Ex-pats forum (USA section) the other day titled "What do you miss about Britain?" Among things forum members sincerely missed were some expected food items (pork pies, fish and chips, etc), more cynical responses included snooty upper-class people who consider themselves superior, sullen customer service, sky-high price of petrol(gas), constant negativity about Britain by Brits themselves.

Expanding on the last point - negativity - a contributor "cluedweasel" wrote:
I was back home for a couple of weeks in September and that was the one thing that got on my nerves. I almost lost it with one kid who was working at a hotel we were staying at. He came with some crack about "at least you escaped this sh*thole". Yes sunshine. If you "escaped" [to the USA] you'd be working 80+ hours a week at 3 jobs, making minimum wage at least. You'd have no health insurance and wouldn't be able to go to the doctor or dentist, let alone afford any prescriptions. You could be sacked at any time for any reason with no notice or redundancy pay. You'd have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree to get a job you could do with GCSEs in the UK. You'd get 10 days a year vacation IF you're lucky. More likely you'd get zero.
Then again what do I know. His granny had taken him to Disney in Florida for his 18th (!) birthday and it was the best place EVER!!!
Well said!

As to what I miss about Britain myself, and some of these are possibly more a reflection of the area of the US where I live: good bread, good cheese, proper fish and chips, pubs, easily obtainable (i.e. no mailing cost) Heinz Salad Cream, mint sauce. NHS: free prescriptions for seniors. No constant emphasis on religion and church. And I still miss the peculiarly English sense of humour.

I guess I'd miss things from the USA too though, were I suddenly to be transported back to England. There'll always be something to miss: "You can't have everything", as Steven Wright once quipped, "Where would you put it?"


mike said...

Well, do you want some cheese and crackers with that whine? LOL

I'm not an expat and I know how you feel. I've found myself a stranger in a strange land on numerous occasions by simply relocating so many times in the USA. I'm not very fond of my current environment for many different reasons, but there are a couple of things I might miss...I can't think of any right this moment. I've lived in worse places than my current abode, too. I always try to make the most of it, though, wherever it might be.

Your personal regrets for the non-availability of Heinz Salad Cream caught my attention. I thought it must be mayonnaise, but probably not, since mayo is so readily available here. I did an internet search and came-up with plausible descriptions.

I did come across this recipe, Twilight. You've mentioned that you're not the kitchen-kinda-person, but here's something you can put Anyjazz to task:

Cornish Salad Cream

6 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon olive-oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 pint milk
1/2 pint vinegar

- Mix the flour, pepper, salt and mustard together.
- Add the olive-oil.
- Mix in the sugar.
- Beat the egg into the milk and stir into the other ingredients.
- Add the vinegar to this very slowly.
- Bring to the boil in a saucepan and simmer for a few minutes, stirring all the time.
- Leave to cool and when cold bottle in sterilised containers.

That recipe doesn't sound too complex to me...I might give it a twirl just to see how different it is from mayo. I don't usually use mayo...I like straight sour cream!

Twilight said...

mike ~ I'd love some cheese and crackers with my whine, mike - IF I could find any decent cheese (without darkening the doors of Hades aka Sam's for Black Diamond Vintage Canadian cheddar) :-)

Really, I'm not whining, honest. I'm stating facts as I see and feel 'em that's all. And, before you say it - I'm not a victim! ;-)
You seem to have a skewed vision of yours truly - but it's quite understandable - my vision of you is probably equally!
Internet communication is like that. Peculiar.

I shall pass on the recipe for salad dressing to Himself. Thank you. I've never cared for ordinary mayo, even in the UK. Heinz Salad Cream is different and it's a national treasure in the UK. Heinz tried to discontinue it and there was such an outcry they reinstated it. :-)

I've found a Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette at Homeland that's not half bad - Virginia Brand.

JD said...

What I didn't miss about the UK while I was living in furrin lands was the weather! :)
Although I did once dream about snow when I was working in Dubai!

Twilight said...

JD ~ Understandable! I wouldn't miss the threat of tornadoes each spring if I were ever to leave Oklahoma! :-)

R J Adams said...

My list would be very similar to yours, Twilight, except for the bread - we bake our own and it's tons better than bought, either UK or US. Pubs would top my list, just for the sheer sociability. Somehow, US church functions don't have the same appeal (even if they served the beer!). There's one other piece of Britishness you'll never find over here - the sheer greenness of the land. The 'forty shades of green', as sing the Irish.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ I was spoiled with my Dad's bread in my youth (he was a baker - and absolutely adored good bread), so he was a hard act to follow, even in the UK, though M&S had a good whole grain cob loaf I used to buy. Here Walmart (wash my mouth out) have some French stick shaped whole wheat loaves I like - at least they don't taste sweet - but we go in that store infrequently, just for Digestive bikkies and that bread mainly.

Pubs don't exist in our town at all - only a couple of bars where youths go for a fight. There are pub-like places in urban areas, but as you say, though they look similar they somehow don't have the same feel (or proper tasting beer I guess).

I haven't actually missed the greenness, didn't ever see a lot of it in Leeds or Brid. There's Not a lot of it about in OK, for sure, after the first week or two of spring it turns beige in the heat unless watered.....and now we have water rationing. We do have nice trees though. :-)