Trivia Dump

I have been on the road for 3 months now. Over that time, I have collected a series of tidbits that don’t warrant their own post, but in aggregate, should be fun.

  • Non-Americans don’t like peanut butter. 2 points define a line but 3 points define a trend. 2 people in Ireland tried a PB&J and almost gagged. The woman from N.Z. was disgusted with it out of the jar but the peanut butter cookies didn’t go to waste. The Aussie wasn’t a fan at all, except for the cookies.

This reminds me of one of my father’s favorite stories.
Pete and I were maybe 8 and 9. Post-dinner, Dad was serving up some apple pie.

“Have some apple pie.”
“We don’t like it.”
“What?! It’s apple pie!”
“No, we don’t like it.”
“How can you not like apple pie?”
“No. We had it at Grandma’s. We didn’t like it.”
“Grandma’s. Boys, it’s APPLE PIE.”
“We don’t like it.”

So since then, “Had it at Grandma’s.” is used with due sarcasm from time to time.

It’s a PB&J, for godssake.

On the other hand,

  • Pate and Fois Gras are gross. They taste kinda meaty but the texture is yuck. Americans tend not to have things of such texture: run the meat through a grinder and sieve until it is the consistency of old sheetrock mud.
  • Escargot tastes like a mussel. I have only had one mussel in my life and wasn’t pleased. Of course, I didn’t look at the damn thing before I ate it.
  • When trying to make s’mores over here, keep in mind: no one has ever heard of graham crackers, let alone stock them.
  • Things that the UK gets right: Bacon sandwiches. A bunch of bacon stuffed in a soft roll and served. Yum.
  • Things that the UK does not get right: Sandwiches. You have never seen such measly excuses. One thin slice of meat, a wafer-thin slice of cucumber and 2 pieces of white bread.
  • Things that the UK does not get right, II: Sinks with separate faucets for hot and cold water. The McDLT of washing your hands.
  • Lesson learned at the Edinburgh Tattoo. If your military band is full of bagpipes, the other guy is about to get his ass kicked. If your military band has a glockenspiel. you are about to have your ass handed to you.
  • Wensleydale cheese is real! and it’s good!
  • French people really have berets and carry baguettes under their arms. Few things are better than a warm baguette and some good butter.
  • After a few weeks in the UK, when asked if you would like tea, you find yourself saying “Quite right!” while concurrently thinking “What did I just say?!”.
  • Shopping is hard when 1) In another language and 2) In metric.  Is this sugar or dishwasher detergent? Lumber in millimeters! Why does plywood come in 230x90cm?
  • On the other hand, building in metric is simple. 192cm is much easier that 6’3.5″.
  • Cooking in someone else’s kitchen, in metric, is hard. They don’t have teaspoons or tablespoons, but they have cafe spoons, but no measuring version of it (at least here we don’t). Ended up with a dessert naan.
  • Drive-thru bakeries!
  • It embarrassing saying “Pardon?” to the Irish and Scottish when you know they are speaking English.
  • Crossing the street in the UK always feels like your last act on earth. I have to look both ways 5 times like I am 5 years old. After 2 months of driving on the wrong side, it feels normal. Then returning to the ‘proper’ way in France and now it feels wrong. Look left, look right, look left again.
  • It’s great to be out in the world.

1 comment

  1. Don, you nabbed so many of my own experiences–especially crossing the street. I have to disagree about the faucets, though. Once we figured out the flippy sink stopper, I liked filling up the bowl to wash.

    Also, have you ordered a latte yet? Every time I got one, there was this cocoa/sugar creme brulee thing going on. That may just be Scottish, though, because I heard a Brit asking for one without cocoa.

    And finally:

    Favorite quote: Yet if a Digestive were ever to get a Ryvita into trouble, possibly at a wild party behind the cheese board, then the resulting progeny may well end growing up to look a lot like Graham Crackers.