Foreign Flubs #5

Monday, February 16, 2015

The other day after nearly getting sideswiped by a bus (LOOK RIGHT FIRST, ELLE), I realized that my last Foreign Flubs post was allllll the way back in November. Ideas for these posts are increasingly harder to think of, which means I'm really starting to get the swing of life as a Brit...or at least am succeeding at faking it.

1. America gets a bad rap for extreme commercialization when it comes to holidays, but I have to say England takes the cake. Christmas showed up in the shops the last week of September and my local Waitrose had an entire aisle dedicated to Easter ready two weeks ago. Restaurants advertise bookings for Mother's Day, Pancake Day kiosks are set up at every food shop (on the plus side, Nutella is on sale right now), and the colors of the flower stands change with the season. I'm not complaining through, pass me the limited edition Malteaster Bunny! Just don't tell anyone I didn't really care for the Cadbury Creme Eggs, although it may be due to the recent chaos that unfolded...

2. Coming to terms with the crushing reality of living on an island and the fact that most things have to be shipped to stores in the UK from overseas. My favorite Clinique moisturizer that I've used for nearly 8 years? About $20 more expensive here with the exchange rate. Owwie.

3. The Brits love a points system card. I feel like my mother now, because my wallet (or purse if you're a local) is now bursting with loyalty cards. I was organizing them while Facetiming my mom the other day and she got a chuckle out of my stack. Every place I shop at just has a great incentive program! My wallet is now home to to cards from Boots, Space NK, Waitrose, Nandos, and the Body Shop. Ya'know, just the necessities...

4. Along with the shopping theme, something we take for granted in the states are stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, etc. where you can knock out just about everything you need, and then some (looking at you, Target). Here, I have to go to a grocery store for food, somewhere else for toiletries, somewhere else for home-ware, somewhere else for clothing, you get the drift. To boot, only one random American candy speciality store (walls lined with Pop-Tarts and marshmallow fluff) carries my beloved Hershey's Syrup for making chocolate milk; cash-only, and 5 pounds a bottle. Zing.

5. Although this year's Superbowl has been and gone, I was amazed at the number of people here who stayed up to watch it. The game didn't start until 10:30 pm here, so I opted for a highlight reel the next day. Also, unless you found a live stream online, the networks here don't show the commercials thanks to a bunch of advertising law conflicts and media corporation cross overs. I'm not really a big NFL fan, so I don't feel like I missed much. It did rekindle my love for Missy Elliot though.

6. Speaking of sports, what I HAVE been watching is rugby with the Six Nations Tournament going on. Who'da thunk it? I'm slowly getting the hang of the rules thanks to my friends - but I secretly still think it looks like a mashup of American football and soccer. It's particularly entertaining how the game carries on even if a player is hurt or bleeding profusely. Go on England! (Bonus: Foreign sporting chants are great)

7. It's finally start getting darker later - no more 3pm sunsets and I am THRILLED. I am always a fan of longer days.

Bristol is home to some pretty great street art. I'm obsessed with #21 on that list, it really does look like that in real life!

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