I’ve now taken at least five trips to England, most of which I’ve spent some nice time touring, devouring chocolate, and enjoying the culture.
There are some things that England has gotten right. There are also some things that England has gotten wrong. And in the spirit of fixing the world, I’ve decided to make a couple lists to get us started in the healing process.
All in good fun.
WHAT ENGLAND HAS RIGHT (AND AMERICA HAS WRONG):
1) Chocolate. Need I say more? No, but I will. Cadbury dairy milk bars and buttons. Galaxy caramel. Aero mint. Bueno. Maltesers. Bounty. Lots more, too, those are just my favorites. Seriously, the English chocolatiers make ours look like big-time amateurs.
2) Shopping carts. They have carts whose wheels move in all directions. They climb escalators. They can easily dart in and out of aisle traffic. Sure, they take some getting used to, but they’re much better than our clunky stationary-wheeled ones.
3) Cars. In England, there aren’t a lot of SUVs and Pickup trucks. And by not a lot, I mean that there are pretty much none. Almost everyone gets by with little compact cars, usually much more compact than our compact cars here in the states. I just like it better because I tend to love Mother Earth.
5) Parking spaces. Instead of 50 handicap parking spaces, they have parking spaces that are marked for parents with children, and they’re all up at the front with the spaces for the elderly and the handicapped.
6) Cheese. Their cheddar is lighter-colored and tastes infinitely better and fresher.
7) Small businesses. So much of England is run on small businesses. Every neighborhood has tons of little shops, and people actually use them. Their super stores are far smaller than ours and usually very hard to find. Sure things are a bit more expensive that way, but I’m a big fan of supporting locals when possible.
8) Pound coins. Now, I know we have dollar coins in America, but few people ever use them. The U.S.A. needs to get rid of the dollar bill and replace it with only dollar coins. It works better and saves a lot of money long-term for tax payers.
WHAT ENGLAND HAS WRONG (AND AMERICA HAS RIGHT):
1) Sausage. Whatever the hell it is the English call most of their sausage… it ain’t sausage. It’s more like tubes filled with undercooked tasteless meat paste. And they eat it all the time. Gross.
2) Gas prices. We did the math. It was something like $9/gallon in England. That’s just ridiculous. Not that America necessarily has it right, but $3.80 is sure a lot more right than $9 is.
3) Customer service. In America, customer service is usually pretty important. Not in England. They’ll tell you exactly what they think about you and then get offended if you want to shop elsewhere.
4) All-you-can-eat-buffets. I’m not a fan of buffets in general, but if you’re going to engorge yourself with all you can eat food, it should be all you can eat. England has buffets, and then they have all-you-can-eat restaurants. The buffets are simply a row or two of food under a hot plate. You can load your plate as high as you like, but one trip only. The all-you can eat places are a little crazy with the way they make you clean your plate before they’ll bring you more food. We went to Chinese food with like 14 people and they refused to bring us main dishes unless we ate the last piece of chicken first. Then, when we tried to order our main dishes, they stopped us half-way and told us they’d see how we do with that first.
5) Salad. I’m sorry, but dandelion leaves with no dressing is never good. I don’t care what the entree is.
6) Internet. A lot of England is so old and so hard-wired with old technology that the Internet is sketchy at best. Things I needed to do that usually would take ten minutes would take two or three hours instead. Not cool when you make your living on the World Wide Web.
7) Plugs. The plugs on English electronics look like they should be powering an entire room. They’re the size of grapefruits, and they run a lot higher voltage than our outlets here. Seems like a big waste of energy to me.
8) Candy. The English may own chocolate, but they fail miserably at the rest of candy. Hard candies. Chewy candies. You name it. As much as I want tea-flavored Skittles (or whatever the hell the one pack of Skittles I picked up was)… I don’t.
I’d go on and on for both sides, but I fear I’m already stirring a very big tea pot just by writing what I already have, so I’ll just say, “Good day, mate.”
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Have you experienced first hand the difference between England and America? What missed the lists?