Lessons learned part 3

So November is at an end, and the start of the new month sees a liberal coating of snow on the streets of Brooklyn. It could be a sign of things to come, given that the temperatures are set to drop lower and lower over the next week as snow becomes a part of our everyday existence.

With another month as a Brit Out Of Water completed, it’s time to take a look at some of the salutory lessons I’ve learned over the last thirty days in the country ranked 29th in children’s science education according to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development*:

• Every grocery store in the United States has at least fifty different gratedshredded cheeses to choose from. This compares to possibly two (and even then only in the most advanced supermarkets) in the UK. I’m not sure whether this is because American have more everyday uses for grated cheese, or because they hate grating it themselves with a barely describable passion. It’s just a shame they don’t spend as much time on making their good cheeses as they do on their grated stuff. Thankfully I can get Cheshire cheese at Stinky’s in Brooklyn so, when it comes down to it, who cares?

• Americans have invented a new word for getting off a plane. Forget disembarking and its fancy four syllable ways. Instead, say hello to ‘deplaning’. Short, sweet, and to the point. Not really English, but that’s beside the point.

• This country must be the only place on earth where primetime television on a major TV network on a Sunday night contains (at least) two hours of back-to-back cartoons. Admittedly it’s Fox, and the shows are The Simpsons, King Of The Hill, Family Guy and American Dad, but come on people, have you not heard of Lovejoy, Last Of The Summer Wine and Songs Of Praise??

• My least favourite phrase in the world right now might well be “I’ll just get you a waiter”. Please, can’t you just take my order?

• Every pay packet seems to have seven hundred different taxes removed before it reaches me. If they add any more, I will be paying the US government to work within a year or so.

• People want a first-class public transport system, but they’re not prepared to pay for it. I may well be the only person in New York who thinks that a rise in subway prices is acceptable. I mean, two dollars for a journey anywhere in the system sounds like a bargain to me. New Yorkers – if you’re complaining now, just you wait until they bring in a London-style congestion charge for driving into Manhattan…

I’ve now had well over 4,500 hits on the site (thanks again, Mum and Dad!), and it’s good to see more and more people leaving comments. And thank you to those of you who’ve passed on details of Brit Out Of Water to their friends – it’s really appreciated. Finally, before this turns into a Gwyneth Paltrow-style Oscar speech, thanks to Fuel My Blog, who gave me their Blog Of The Day award today. Given that the only other thing I’ve ever won was a bubble gum pen for coming third in a competition in Whizzer & Chips, I’m very honoured.


*Britain only came 14th in the same table, so I’m in no position to crow. Well, a better position than Americans, but you know what I mean.

3 thoughts on “Lessons learned part 3

  1. Diane

    As a fellow Man U supporter, I was pleased to discover your blog (via FuelMyBlog) and I have enjoyed reading it very much. I have fueled you and added you to my Technorati favourites etc etc. And in the words of dear Arnie ‘I’ll be back”…

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