Can you believe it– I’ve already been here a month! On one hand, it feels like it has been forever since I set foot in London. But on the other hand, it’s really only been four weeks. I’ve done so much in the last 28 days that it all seems to blur together and render time completely irrelevant. When I’m doing things, I don’t really think of how much time has passed. But when I’m sitting here with my thoughts, the brevity of this trip becomes completely apparent. And even though this is a bit sad, how quickly things are flying by, I’m also really happy that I’m one month closer to being home. There are just some things about this place that can’t compare to home… and I’m going to tell you what they are.
1. Macaroni & Cheese IN A CAN
Yep, I’ve seen it! No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to find Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The only stuff I’ve been able to find is stupid canned mac & cheese by Heinz. Yeah, the ketchup brand! The first time I saw it I definitely felt like I had been dropped in a netherworld of opposites and complete chaos. That feeling still hasn’t disappeared completely… though I did cave and buy some canned mac & cheese today. Wish me luck.
2. The Extreme Lack of Sliced Cheese
Sure, sure, I can go to a deli (though I have yet to find one, at least within walking distance) and ask for sliced cheese. But why do that when I can buy Kraft Singles or its equivalent? Oh, wait! I know! Because they practically don’t exist! I have gone through some rather impressive sleuthing to even find the darned things and, even then, they come in packs of 10. A girl needs more than 10 pieces of cheese for a week’s worth of use!
3. British Starbucks & the Price of Coffee
Envision this for me, if you would: you go to Starbucks. You want a coffee, so you ask for a tall something-or-other. The price? $3.25. Sure, that’s a bit pricey, but hey. It’s Starbucks! Well, come over to the Greatest of Britains and Starbucks is the same price! Oh, yes, that’s right… in pounds! So, Americans, coffee is actually like $5 for the smallest of sizes! HOW IS THAT FAIR IN ANY WORLD? Then, can we talk about the fact that iced coffee isn’t even a thing here? Jen, on multiple occasions, has asked for an iced Pumpkin Spice Latte and received a blank stare. On many of these occasions, the barrista was able to tell the cashier that, yes, they could make iced coffee (pouring coffee over ice is a good method), but there was one time where that didn’t even happen. The cashier/barrista just put a bunch of pumpkin spice mix into a cup of ice, added about three sips of coffee, and put whipped cream on it. Needless to say, the drink was sugary and full of nasty. What the crap, Starbucks?
4. Coffee in GENERAL
I have an undying love for coffee that will never die. Can you believe I haven’t made one cup of coffee on my own? I practically refuse considering 1.) I don’t have a coffee maker to filter my coffee for me and 2.) any other option is instant coffee. I just can’t wrap my head around those little pebble-like objects disintegrating into my hot water and creating a great drink. Plus, I’ve been too afraid to see the price of creamer considering the price of everything else… and sugar? Oh, forget it! It’s just too much of a hassle to even think about making coffee, never mind actually carrying out the action.
5. Every Meal
Whenever I have to cook for myself, which is quite often as eating out is expensive, I feel like a total and absolute failure at life. Until a couple days ago, I couldn’t even make grilled cheese. Canned foods and quick-heat items are my best friends, but they don’t keep me full. Jen and I have collaborated on quite a few successful meals, but they’re annoying to execute! I give all of the props in the world to my parents and anyone who has ever made me a home-cooked meal. And let me tell you… I’ll be sorely missing food (and family) on Thanksgiving.
Trust me, there are many more things I need to add to this list but they will have their day. If nothing else, this trip has taught me to be grateful for everything I have at home. I give so much credit to my parents for buying groceries every week, cooking meals everyday, and just doing things everyday that keep me comfortable and happy. Though I do love it here as much as a person can love London, I happily await the day when I can come home and eat tacos or pork chops or Kraft Mac & Cheese. Only a couple more months!