The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, June 09, 2006

reasons not to envy

Yes I'm still on my travels, currently in Salisbury wrestling with a foreign computer and blogger doing strange things. But here are a few reasons not be jealous that I am in exotic foreign climes and you are not (despite the fact that the weather here is beautiful right now, it's England, it won't last).

1. No one is likely to mistake you for an Australian. And thus serve you Fosters when what you really really wanted was something actually local and not skippy piss.

2. You probably don't feel totally disconnected and isolated from your family, friends, workmates, the politics of your own country, and the Super 16. Thank goodness for email, that makes me feel slightly better, as Mum is regularly updating me on the movements of family and did mention that the Crusaders beat the 'Canes.

3. It's highly probable that you have a choice from more than two pairs of pants to wear on any given day.

4. When you go to have a shower you won't have to assess it beforehand for water pressure, water heat, or whether or not there is a door.

5. If you want to have macaroni cheese for dinner, as cooked by your family for at least one generation, all you have to do is amass the ingredients and start cooking. Having to eat out constantly means you are totally at the mercy of the local cuisine, which in the UK means pub food. I can feel my arteries hardening bite by bite.

6. Put simply - money. £1 = NZ$3 and €1 = NZ$2 (roughly). I've been on unpaid leave now for over a month and when I get back there will be no days off until Labour Day (in November) and no actual annual leave until next year.

But all up I'm having a fab time. Just thought the above might make you feel a wee bit better about being in NZ in winter, possibly even in Palmerston North. Don't say I never do anything for you.


stef said...

Don't be so sure on the Mac and Cheese thing. I don't have an oven, and regular cheddar cheese costs $15NZ for a small pack of the pre-grated bega stuff. However kraft mac and cheese bought from the local grey market store is fan-bloody-tastic!

I'm also more likely to get mistaken for being German, or Russian!

Psycho Milt said...

You just have to be blonde to be German. My wife had a mofo bleach job when we were in Turkey, and the salesmen shouted at us in German the whole time.

I'm sure you weren't using those arteries anyway Span. Pub food puts hairs on your chest (OK, not a good metaphor) but even more important, it doesn't cause you to do things like leave the pub. As you might guess, I've seen too many empty pint glasses this evening...

Joe Hendren said...

If you get sick of eating out I found it quite easy to self cater so long as you were staying in hostels with a kitchen (something I always look for)

A shop called Farmfoods is a good source of cheap easy to prepare meals, eg curries in a box etc. You can also get a whole chicken for 2-3 quid, but check hostel has an oven dish first :)

After a couple of months in London I ended up going to Pizza Hutt all you can eat - and completely gorged myself on salads - I think my bod was trying to tell me something. I quite liked the irony of eating healthy food at a fast food joint!

stef said...

Yup, Tall blue-eyed blonde = german. Though with the creeps tall blue-eyed blonde = russian and russian = hooker.

Pub food also ensures that hangover isn't too bad the next morning.

Idiot/Savant said...

I get through winters in Palmerston North by fleeing to Wellington whenever possible. As for macaroni cheese, I've never cooked it (except under my usual definition of "cooking", which is doing all the bits that involve a wok or feta) - but I do have a recipe I want to try sometime. It involves cream, and cheddar, and gruye, and parmesan, and pancetta, and paprika, and looks more like straight macaroni in a thick cheese sauce than your traditional slab of cheese-coated maggots. I'll think of you suffering under British "cuisine" while I'm eating it.

span said...

Hostels with kitchens have been few and far between - we bought some pasta in Cinque Terre to cook up next time we were in a hostel with self-catering facilities, but had no joy through the rest of Italy, Slovenia, Germany, France and Spain. In the end we had to throw it out as we weren't sure we'd be allowed to bring it into the UK and we were right on the edge of Ryanair's weight limits.

In the UK the problem has been more trying to get into hostels - despite being YHA members we've only managed to get into two (one of which was booked ahead). Even trying to book ahead (and not for the weekend either) isn't working, so we are having to shell out for B&Bs and Guest Houses, which don't have kitchens either.

I know what you mean about craving salad Joe, many people who have seen me eat, carefully avoiding the veg, might not believe it though!

Yes Stef I think that is a definite advantage of being brunette, no one has yet assumed my sexual services are for sale. Although someone did think I was an American yesterday *shudder*

Only ten more sleeps now until home.

span said...

Oh and by the way, Palmerston North has a definite up-side - you can bicycle around it with ease. On this trip I've enjoyed cycling around a few flat cities and I really wish it was something Auckland's hills and traffic madness didn't make impossible for someone of my low fitness and dodgy balancing abilities.

stef said...

Span, these days I've turned a 180 degree on Americans and for this I blame the American Military.

First they tempted me with their nice western products that ended up in the grey market stores. I didn't want to, but once in a while a girl just wants some good mac and cheese.

Then I got to go on base and enjoy my first real hamburger since arriving in Asia. It was so good I felt my resolve wavering.

Then I started dating them. And it was all over, I sure dig them yanks. My best friend is American. 80% of the guys I've dated here have been American. I feel dirty, but it's so good.