So the other day I decided that I wanted to buy a McDonald’s apple pie. Not one of those crappy baked ones that have taken over the dessert portion of the menu in stateside McDonald’s…no, Mother England still fries her pies in oil, resulting in the perfect combination of crackly crisp crust and molten lava apple filling. Those pies are one of the best things about life as an expat in Britain. They make up for every boiled vegetable, dry pastry, and unsalted piece of meat I’ve been tricked into eating in this country…almost.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. I wanted an apple pie. So I went into a McDonald’s with a handful of change.. It was a strange time of day, just before the lunch rush, so the place was pretty empty. I walk in. See the display tube of pies, nearly empty. And before I order one, I ask the first employee I see “How long ago were those pies fried?”
You would have thought I’d asked, “How many times did you spit in my hamburger?”
I promise it’s less disgusting after the jump…
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So I’ve come to a strange point in my expatriation journey, and that is the realization that England is not my last country after all. When I moved here in 2006, it was with the the tacit internal understanding that I was not going to move again. Old Blighty was going to be my home, I would work towards settling here, and here I would stay. I’m a nester, not a nomad–or so I’d like to think.
6 years on, I’m starting to think about it very differently. It’s a bittersweet process. I’ve realized that my destiny is not irrevocably linked to England no matter how much I might love the place at times. I’ve realized that there are new and exciting places out there, and that I have the capability and the opportunity to go there and live life just as fully as I have in the US and the UK.
But underneath all of that? I’m thinking about the things I’ll be glad to leave behind.
Look, I’m not trying to be the harbinger of doom…there are just things about England that I really dislike. There’s a few I love as well. Without further ado, here are some of those things.
Rally round the family with a pocket full of shells…because there will be no pictures of you and Willie May pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run, or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance
*sigh* People, let’s talk about this UK riot situation.
I know, I know. It was a whole week ago, now. Aaaages ago. But, in the grand tradition of CP time…here we go.
First, the factual, woman on the street stuff. I’m bad at that, so I’m going to send you here, to Spinster’s Compass, where a fellow expat(and ‘net friend) breaks down the aftermath of the London riots in pictures and video interviews. Very well done, and worth a look.
Yeah, so it’s official. I am a terrible person(personne/사람). A terrible person who is hanging on to my attempts to become trilingual because that may be all that redeems me. Excuse the vocabulary practice, then, please..
So what happened was this. I was speaking to someone on the subject of another person, who happened to be in the first person’s house(maison/집). First Person said, “Oh, Other Person is here…didn’t you two have an um, thing?”
I didn’t even think about my response. It just fell out of my mouth. “Yep, I hate her.”
What? What! WHAT!? “I hate her”? I hate her? WTF! I’m me. I don’t hate anybody, except for maybe The Man, and I don’t really even hate him…I just want him to go down because I stuck it to him.
Needless to say, me saying that I hated anything, let alone another human being, really disturbed me. I don’t do hate. I don’t even do nasty. I am the original annoying lily-throwingpacifist. I have literally let someone hit me with small noxious projectiles rather than fight back because I believe just that much in passive resistance(or at least, I used to). So how is it, that all of a sudden, I just casually hate folks? And mean it, too?
Well, if you ask some folks, it’s Jesus’ fault. And that brings me, however indirectly, to the topic of today’s post.
The story so far, after the jump…
I feel really ill. It’s raining. There was dirt on the shower floor this morning, and white paint(?) all over the back of the bathroom door. One of my housemates had some sort of porridge for breakfast this morning that involved most of our pots, bowls, and countertops, and very little washing up. (I hate porridge!) The radio is playing the same Pussycat Dolls song again. Some random Scottish guy is killing sea eagles. Meanwhile, some random Pakistani guy keeps feeding the pigeons on this street and they’re responding to his generosity by ungratefully splattering every square inch of the sidewalk with creamy white pigeon poo. There’s a spider the size of a terrier posted at the front door like some sort of bug bouncer. There are goofy commercialistic Christmas decorations up everywhere in town already. And did I mention it’s raining, and I’m ill?
So after some (very un-necessary) thought, I’ve determined that if my personality was a toy, I’d be silly putty. When you first get it, it comes in a hard plastic shell, but if you open the shell, the actual product is soft, squishy, but bounces like rubber. Doesn’t mean the impact doesn’t hurt, btw. The fact that I actually think about things like that is either an indication of depth or narcissism. Heaven help the first person who comments that it’s narcissism. I’ll hit you with my mirror before you can say Vanity Smurf.