Some Observations, Six Months In

* I don’t miss ice in my drinks. We really thought we would, as coming from Texas we put ice in our water all year long. Drinks from restaurants or drive throughs – half ice. (I hated that, I asked for no ice in the already cold liquid.) But at home we had an ice maker and used it constantly, and I wondered how we would handle living in a place without an ice maker and a tiny freezer. We moved in August – and even that month the water was cold from our taps! In winter the water is SO cold. No need for ice.

* I don’t miss drive through restaurants, which I’ve often heard mentioned by Americans (where basically every restaurant ever has a drive through, or a spot to park and do pick up.) Here there are places that offer “take away” but the only places with a drive through are American – McDonalds, Burger King (if they’re not in the city centre), KFC. People don’t eat in their cars here, definitely not while driving. 🙂 Which I think is great, and we didn’t often eat out in Texas anyway. (Being vegetarian in Texas meant not that many food options unless you’re cooking at home – which we did.) Though interesting, we do seem to eat out more here than in the states – there are so many incredible vegetarian foods available at places! For less money than eating drive through in the US we can sit down with curry and delicious sides for our whole family. (There are very nice, pricey restaurants here – we just don’t go there. And why, when there’s countless wonderful options to try for less? Next on my list is the Pakistani community centre, we’re already fans of the Indian community centre, both serving big vegetarian meals for under £4 ($5) Mon-Fri.

* Sometimes I miss corn tortillas, but I’ve been too lazy to try making my own. We’ve tried all their local options – nope, not the same. Maybe Chipotle down in London call tell us their supplier. They do have tortilla chips so I can make taco salad, just not enchiladas the same or soft tacos unless you use flour “wraps” as they call them.

* And I randomly missed sweet vidalia onion salad dressing this week. I need to explore their salad options more. They also don’t have ranch, but I can make my own.

* Still madly in love with their inexpensive groceries in general, but especially their produce and cheese (brie for £.99 a wedge??) They have normal sized baguettes then half size ones you finish baking at home so they’re crispy and warm – J and I each ate a half sized one today, half with butter and the other half we melted chocolate over. It was amazing. (We don’t eat them together – butter first, chocolate one for dessert.) J and I have unhealthy relationships to baguettes.

* I no longer do conversions in my head, I’m just thinking in pounds these days unless it’s debating using the American vs. UK credit card and which has the better exchange rate online.

* Amazon Prime UK. You just have to be careful to NOT order from a US seller lest you deal with the VAT/import/customs fee issue, ditto with any US website. But Amazon UK has a ton of private sellers in addition to their distribution centers here. But things like the new Snapchat books I wanted to check out – shipping overseas is inexpensive, but VAT/customs fees are NOT and you have to pay those before delivery and they can almost double the price of what you are paying.

* More to come, I’m just rambling…

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