Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some pros and cons

Things I miss from the UK:
1. The world service. To rectify this i need an am radio tuned into 1030 MHz. ÷łAt the moment I know only of an arab FM channel that broadcasts the world service for 1 hour a day. Despite having signed up for all available BBC podcasts (save the archers, and womans hour) this only provides me with about 45 minutes of radio. Not only that but its inevitably a day late.

2. Queuing. I never thought I would say I miss a good english queue, but here its a fight for survival. People will miss the bus if they dont elbow their way forward. It actually caused me slight convulsions of disbelief a few days ago when I foundmyself part of an eastern european scrum for the bus.

3. Acceptability of (over) drinkning. Not that I often partook in the binge drinking culture of the UK (events at Chase and Jimmy's aside), but it was quite nice to go for a pint after work with my mates. Not only that but the beer was more than a few percent.

4. Pork products (as explained in previous blogs): Bacon, salami, Prosciutto, Jambon, Serrano, belly pork, ribs, etc.

5. Shaun and Carlos. No explanation needed.

Things I dont miss from the UK.

1. Quality of living. England is EXPENSIVE. Not only that but the quality of life is relaitvely low. Buying nice food is expensive. Here its cheap. For 10 quid i can buy nice shopping for a week.

2. Going out. In the durham going out is usually a mix of 50 year-old unsophisticated (and frankly embarassing) binge drinkers with far too much unnecesarry flesh on display, and poncy students who think they own the world. The crowd here is calm, relaxed, trendy, and cool. And night life continues past 11.

3. Aggression. Besides the fact that israel is in a state of perpetual war, Israeli people are completely un-aggressive. No one screams at you, theres no shouting from drunkards, no street brawls (like i witnessed daily outside the angel). When people get drunk they laugh, instead of fighting and causing stress

4. The plumbing. Despite being arid and located in a dessert, Israel has mixer taps. Not scalding my face when I wash up at night is a refreshing reintroduction to the modern world.

5. Compitent public transport. Depsite being less than 1/4 of the size of britain, its refreshing to have public transport which functions totally effectively. The buses run on a schedule (of sorts) and are fast and cheap. The trains are comfortable, seldom delayed and also good value for money.


Anonymous Jim2 said...

I think its telling that everything you have said England is good for, actually cause a lot of consternation in this land (apart from Carlos and Shaun, of course).

People and Media are constantly moaning about the quality of the BBC. I still insist that Radio 4 is probably the best radio station in the world.

I find it hard to see a queue as a positive thing, especially if the morons in front of you have got to the checkout/service counter without any of the moeny/documents prepared beforehand.

Binge Drinking- I see what you mean, but this has people moaning about it on a weekly basis on Jeremy Vine.

Pork products- So very hard to find really good products in this country (links nicely with your first point in 'Things I don't miss').

In other words, the only things you miss from the UK are the things that are generally seen as negative things over here!!!

1:19 PM

Blogger I_am_nil said...

Well, sort of... The Uk has a great tradition of self imposed criticism. For example, everyone likes to bash the NHS as if it were some super bug infected pinata, yet the UK has some of the best freely available healthcare on earth (just compare it to other major european countires like germany and italy, where the healthcare is relatively abysmal). Same goes for the Beeb.

Your comments on the queueing are quite telling ("morons who get to the checkout without preparing beforehand"). It shows that in britian the queue rules are highly respected. Here NOT ONLY is there no queue, but when people get to the head of the line they havent had the time to prepare since they were too busy using their arms to elbow themselves forwards...

12:15 PM


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