Monday, August 8, 2011

England on my Mind

TLS and I have been talking a lot about England lately. He was stationed there for 2 years before Germany, and after spending a year in Germany, there really is no comparison to England, both military-wise and life-wise. We are itching to go back and are hoping to get stationed there in 2014! (A girl can dream, right?)

One of the advantages to being at a huge base in Europe is that we have a large NATO population here as well. The major players here are given a building for their  support/administrative uses and can have a store/bar/cafe here. (Don't ask me why the Germans have a restaurant on base. From what I hear, it's quite good, but it's not like there's a shortage of places to get bratwurst outside of the base gates.) I think that this is intended to make the NATO folks stationed here feel at home. Because nothing to a Brit says "welcome home" quite like being surrounded by about 50,000 Americans and our SUVs.

Anyhoo, in case you thought I had rambled off on a tangent again, I'm getting to the point of my story. The British have a fabulous cafe here that serves todiefor coronation chicken. Yes, it's that good that it had to be condensed into one word. They also have a tiny one room shop roughly the size of the office in our house that sells alcohol and a few packaged and frozen British products. Today, on our way to cardiologist appointment roughly # 2,0843,0303,034 we stopped by the BritShop to pick up some treats for the long and tedious 10 minute drive to Landstuhl. (Dear tech, you're welcome for eating a bag of Worcester Sauce flavored Crisps roughly 8 minutes before you took my blood pressure.) TLS and I have been talking about England a lot lately and how much we miss it, so our little sodium-fueled drive ended up being devoted to things we miss about England and why we have to go back there.

tapping our Oyster Cards on the Underground
1 Quid cheese sandwiches from the Coop
Those were delicious and the perfect lunch.

Tesco

We went to one in the Czech Republic. It was cool, but nowhere as glorious as the British ones.
Harrods
 Where else can you buy a rare fossil, a bottle of beer for your dog, a gold nugget, and then eat a $24 hot dog for lunch? Also, their 4th floor which houses the live animals is the absolute best. (Yes, I have not been there in over a year and could still lead you to the animals blindfolded from any given entrance to the store.) I could literally spend all day oggling the bunnies behind the glass windows there. Sadly, that is about as close as I will ever come to actually owning a bunny.
Sitting on the Left Side of the Car
Really only exciting if you don't drive. Which I don't do. 
The fact that no matter where you are, you somehow are never more than 5-10 minutes away from a really cool pub.

The lack of a language barrier. For the most part.
There was that one time when I walked up and down every single aisle of the Coop looking for brown sugar and could not find it anywhere and finally had to ask someone for help, only to discover that it's called Demerara in England and was about 2.5 centimeters away from my nose. Awesome.
The cute mailboxes
A lot prettier than the Deutsche Post ones

The magazines
Whenever I went to England, I would always load up on Cosmo, Glamour, and Marie Claire. Right after we got engaged, I had a carryon bag filled with pretty much every single wedding magazine published in the UK. It made for a very fun plane ride.
Cath Kidston
Got this bag when I discovered the Cath Kidston store in Heathrow after my flight got delayed by 24 hours.

Her fun prints never fail to put a smile on my face. Love.
Roundabouts
They are all over the place in England as a way of controlling speeders. Your GPS directions will actually say things like "at roundabout take 2nd exit to roundabout." Roundabouts became a sort of inside joke with us after that and now I smile whenever the GPS says we have to go through a roundabout. Which happens considerably less than 20 times a day. Disappointing.
Yo! Sushi

The place that introduced us to conveyor belt sushi. Our favorite location was by far the St. Pancras one.

There were about 200 other things on the list but I'm going to do y'all a favor and end it right here before y'all die of boredom. I will proceed to look through our old England pictures and look up plane ticket prices for a weekend in October. Because really, what else would I be doing at 2:46am? (Have I mentioned that insomnia is a side effect of my blood pressure meds? An increased dose apparently means increased insomnia?)

9 comments:

  1. I'm in love with England too...and could absolutely lead you to the animals in Harrods blind folded. :-)

    I miss the GOOD Cadbury chocolate. I mean, I like Hershey's chocolate, but it's cheating to put the Cadbury name on Hershey's chocolate her in the US.

    Marks & Sparks. Love that place...no good reason, but love it none the less! Same thing with Boots!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ahhhh! your making me miss it more! I was just talking to my mom and she thinks I should get my masters overseas somewhere. maybe England :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. My small town in TN has an obsession with round abouts. There have always been round abouts here but recently they have built four or five new ones.

    My husband lived in England for a semester while studying abroad. I read him the part about Harrod's and he said "If we ever get to go to England I want to take you to this place and that place and we can do this and that." I got to go to England for two weeks when I was 15 but we didn't get to do any of the fun stuff I always hear people talking about it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. swoon. i so love england and especially london - although i've only been there twice - and both times with boys who have broken my heart.

    hmmmmm. i guess it says a lot about a city that i can hate on those i visited it with but still love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love england too! Maybe that is why I married a Brit!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Umm, sooo, we're planning on going there after the hubs get back, so I'll definitely be asking you for ideas or where to stay or go while we're there, because we have no idea!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post seriously made me cry. I miss England soooooooooooooo much. Oh look, i just found my birth certificate - OH LOOK I'M 14 AND PARENTLESS JUST SAYING.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I looooveee England, I studied abroad in London in college and I am still obsessed, I love Tesco and the Oyster card brngs back so many memories of taking the tube to school.

    ReplyDelete