Just back from my long weekend in England and I feel rough as hell. Never mind. I’d like you all to keep reading and so I guess I’d better keep posting. So, here are…
Some observations following a weekend back in England and my expat shopping list
Half of the furniture in my sister’s place is identical to that Czechman and I have in Prague. Ah, the magic of Ikea.
I flew home from Stansted at 6.25am, which meant I had to check in at 4.30am. Urrgh. I went to buy something for breakfast from Pret A Manger. You Czechs use English to name something if you want to sex up a brand (e.g ‘Coffee Heaven’); we English folks use French to achieve the same effect.
I heard the man in front of me ask for ‘a skinny capp to go’. The Pret employee trying to take his order looked most confused. What could the customer be after?
A skinny cappuccino to take away. Jesus. Has everyone decided to start speaking American in the two months I’ve been away, I ask myself…
An expat shopping list
- Double duvet cover. Apparently Czech couples usually have their own individual duvets even if they share the same bed. The result is I can’t seem to find any double duvet covers (100% cotton of course) here in Prague that I like. Czechman keeps threatening to introduce the single duvet system as I am apparently always stealing his half.
- Multiple copies of The Guardian. Of course you can get it in Prague but it’s three times the price and it never has the shiny bits on a Friday or Saturday.
- Vegetable bouillon. The stock cubes in Czechland all seem to have nasty additives.
- Indian spices in nice little glass jars: turmeric, cumin, garam masala and mustard seeds. I’ll be able to make proper chana dal now. Curry, not fish and chips, is the modern English national dish.
- Let’s Knit magazine. Yes, I like knitting. Sometimes if I’m in a bad mood I will cheer myself up by spending hours looking through my extensive collection of knitting patterns and magazines. Don’t tell anyone.
- Charity shop finds. The charity shop (or thrift store as it is known in the States) is a brilliant place to find new or nearly new clothes for next to nothing. This time I picked up two little cardigans, both of which still had the labels on, for a grand total of 300kc (£10). I suppose though, it’s only possible to pick up bargains in this way because British people are more likely to buy something, wear it once and decide they don’t like it or worse still, never wear it at all and leave it languishing at the back of the wardrobe. Typical spoilt Western behaviour.
- Cheddar cheese. I wanted to bring back some really strong Mature Cheddar as I’m sorry to say the cheese here doesn’t seem to have any real flavour. I hate expats who whine about Czech food, really I do, but you have to admit the cheese is a little on the bland side. Apart from the smoked stuff, which is fine but a little on the salty side. Anyway, I didn’t bother in the end; I was worried it wouldn’t survive the journey.
- Birthday present for Czechman. I failed miserably on this front. A book? No, he already has plenty of those. A CD? Hmm, I know he likes Coldplay but that’s not something I’m sure I want to encourage. A new T-shirt perhaps? Maybe, but Czechman is very picky about clothes and thinks that whatever I choose for him makes him look too metrosexual. So, I give up. Any suggestions welcome.