Wednesday, September 01, 2004

What will you miss?

People keep asking me: what will you miss when you're in the US?

The classic British expat answers seem to be: chocolate Hob-Nobs, Quick-Brew tea, Heinz baked beans, and Marmite. Oh, and beer.

Well, one out of four: the Marmite's coming with me. And I'll miss British chocolate; US chocolate always seems wimpier, less chocolatey and more sugary, and somehow greasier to eat. KitKat Chunky in particular I'll miss; the US has a version (KitKat BigKat) but it's just not the same.

But looking back wistfully at things that used to be seems to me the wrong way of embracing the experience of living abroad. Like Brits who go to Spain but spend all their time seeking out the Daily Mirror, Tetley bitter, and egg-and-chips: why bother going if you're going to try to recreate Little Britain when you're there?

I'm actively looking forward to exploring all that American supermarkets have to offer. Especially as it's the Bay Area I'm going to. Californian fruit and veg. Mexican food -- 20 sorts of tortilla, rather than the 2 we get here. Microbrewery beer. Frozen pink lemonade concentrate!

Plus Trader Joes. And farmers' markets. And -- well, at $5 a pop, who needs Hob-Nobs anyway?