13 little reasons to love America

Posted on July 19, 2009 by peacefulyorkshire


  • Bath and Body Works (Jo Malone, the Body Shop, and Boots are just not the same).
  • Butter Rum Life Savers.
  • Wet and Wild cosmetics (always thought that name was a bit dodgy, even at age12!).
  • Crazy fitness trends like ‘Singles Yoga’ classes and ‘The Shred’ that you can sample.
  • Unashamed self-help shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil.
  • Ordering huge healthy salads at restaurants that are meant to be the main course to offset the next item
  • Girl Scout cookies, especially those Samoas. Thin Mints!
  • Men in baseball caps. I never thought I would write that one!
  • Drive-thru everything (prescriptions, donuts, Starbucks, dry cleaning, banking, wedding chapels…)
  • Beyonce and her bootylicious dancing, and Sasha Fierce persona.
  • American top 40 (shame about Casey Kasem retiring though).
  • American feminism including publications like  Bust, Ms. and Bitch.
  • Tar-jay designer gear at normal human being prices.

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Pingback: 13 Little Reasons to love Britain | She's Not From Yorkshire

  2. Steve Shawcross August 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I used to work in a restaurant and we had buckets of ice behind the bar, should customers request it.

    We also had a draft (“draught” in the UK) soda, simply high pressure CO2 pumped into the water supply for the dispenser, when activated. We didn’t charge for this (or tap water). Same with lemonade; the syrup would be pumped through from the cellar and mixed with said gas on the way– although we charged for this– cover the cost of buying lemonade syrup.

    Also in the restaurant we had optics for cordial orange, blackcurrent and apple juice– only 15p a shot– topped up with (free!) tap water. Many rip-off restuarants charge for tap-water, and draught soda– be warned!

    Most people here prefer to drink soft drinks from cans or bottles, because it’s generally considered fresher (in terms of taste)– so thus it is sold. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some silly HSE rules to prevent practices, which work well in American restaurants, being implented here.

    • yankeebean August 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm

      I’m unashamed to admit that I LOVE fountain pop, no matter what country I’m in – I think it’s usually because restaurants tend to ‘up’ the syrup level so I get a sweeter experience. Guess I’m not sweet enough already :)

  3. Expat In The City August 15, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    YES! SONIC! They had the best ICE in their drinks too..
    Ice in general is usually missed, and what about fountain or “draft” soda or “fizzy drinks”
    Everything is always out of can or bottle, and this baffles me, the cost of a fountain drink is about 15pence for the restaurant and they usually charge about $2, hence why in Amercia free refills occur, here the bottle and or can cost way more for the restaurant to purchase – Restaurants make a fortune on beverages.. is there just not the resources or what!?

  4. yankeebean August 14, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Chik-fil-A!! That reminds me of Sonic, any Sonic lovers out there?

    My kingdom for a Cherry Lime-ade!!


  5. Steve Shawcross August 13, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Aye, trolleys (shopping carts) in this country are notoriously rubbish– why do all four wheels need to pivot? We’re not taking them over mountain terrain… only get as far as the local canal! American trolleys/carts are much better deisgned :)

    “Also being in England/Europe I thought I would be eating the best panninni’s “.

    Please be careful not to fall into a common American trap of seeing Europe as one homogeneous cultural lump– bear in mind it is a continent made up of many different countries and therefore cultures :) I’m afraid Paninni isn’t really a delicacy here in the UK; just in the same way you shouldn’t expect to get a decent chippy tea in Italy, or nice piaella in Finland ;)

    “consistent shopping (Tesco and Asda NEVER have the same things on their shelves week after week. Things just disappear or there will be big empty spaces where the chicken was just the other day. Makes no sense)”

    This is an annoying (but presumably effective) tactic is to get customers looking around the supermarket for the desired item, so that we notice other things as we go around– with the idea that we purchase them. Clever eh? Bloody annoying more like.

    I take the point about American optimism, however we are optimistic here too– just more pragmtically and cautiously so :) If things go right, then great; but if things go wrong, then we’re not disappointed… then we can sing our alternative national anthem, “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” ;)

    Despite our highly developed sense of humour, I concede we are not as optimistic as you Americans– it is often a breathe of fresh air for us! :)

  6. Expat In The City August 13, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I love seeing these lists and knowing that I’m not CRAZY for the constant things I miss about America. I always say I need to embrace Manchester more and it works for a while, but then I find myself frustrated again.
    I definitely have to agree on the Target – “Tar Jay” post.
    I also miss Taco Bell – I feel so guilty saying this but along with Taco Bell, Chipotle, and pretty much Mexican food at that.. Barburrito and Chiquito do not even come close!
    Also being in England / Europe I thought I would be eating the best panninni’s ever but I’m constantly disappointed .. forget tuna with sweetcorn give me Jimmy Johns!
    And what about MILKSHAKES? I’m sorry but a thick creamy milkshake, not this flavored milk nonsense! (and macdonald’s doesn’t count either!)
    Last food one – CRAB RANGOONS. I actually live in China Town and was so thrilled to be a doorstep away from friend rice and crab rangoon goodness.. Apparently deep fat fried crab and cream cheese was to cater to Americans, damn.
    I have googled and called places all over the UK willing to take a train or rent a car for some of these things I find myself missing so much, I even considered a cheap Ryan Air flight to Madrid for a crunchwrap supreme…
    Now a days we just ask relatives to pack light and bring us over Kraft Mac n Cheese or blocks of Velveeta, Mt.Dew, Hershey’s syrup, Mrs. Buttersworth Syrup, ranch dressing, the list goes on. It’s stuff we probably wouldn’t even eat much of back home but the fact that we can’t get it here makes us crave it more!
    For me, next to food and the obvious friends and family, I miss the weather, gravel roads, ice cold beer (bud light in the summer!)
    I know some day when I move back to America I’ll be blogging about how much I miss the Saturday morning markets, or walking everywhere and most definitely how much I miss saying I live in Europe!

  7. peacefulyorkshire July 24, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Yes, like many things, the aisles in America are bigger, which is why Yankee bean, you might not be able to master steering UK shopping trolleys effectively. Well, not yet at least. You just need more practice. Just use that as an excuse to do more shopping so you can practice your UK trolley turns and pirouettes with grace. Oh and don’t forget the bloomin’ pound coin to use as your trolley deposit! heh heh

    Hope-How could have forgotten Chick Fil- A? Of course!

    Caroline– thanks for your Mint Viscounts suggestion :)

  8. yankeebean July 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I remain inept at steering UK shopping carts effectively… the fact that all 4 wheels pivot instead of only the front two causes unpredictable cart behaviour :)

    Of course, the other reason is that I’m not very coordinated. The fact that I was always the kid that got hit with the baseball or stomach-punched by the kick-ball supports the second theory.

  9. Iota July 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Target. And being able to wheel a cart around without manoevring and bumping into other people the whole time. The sheer space of the aisles…

  10. Hope G July 22, 2009 at 7:52 am

    hhhmm…I miss alot of things, but try not to think about them too much really. My list would include:

    Dollar General
    Hobby Lobby
    Yard Sales
    Chocolates Chips/baking mixes that make more than 6 cookies
    consistent shopping (Tesco and Asda NEVER have the same things on their shelves week after week. Things just disappear or there will be big empty spaces where the chicken was just the other day. Makes no sense)

    I am sure there are other things, but that is my whinge for the day. Truth of the matter is, there are far more things that I LIKE about the UK..so it sort of balances out..lol

  11. Caroline July 21, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your blog for a few months now — keep up the good work! If you are missing Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, I can highly recommend Mint Viscounts (available at Tesco and Costcutter shops). Give them a try!

  12. Michelloui July 21, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Fun list! I miss loads and I dont even remember it all until I get there. I try to not think about it much but when I am back home I start hoarding all the things that I think will ‘recreate’ what I feel at home–little things for the home, food, scents, anything and everything… sadly it never translates. So, what I try to do instead is just think of all the things I love about Britain and immerse myself in them. Otherwise I would get very homesick and sad.

  13. Rachel July 21, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Tar-jay — love it! You had me giggling!

  14. peacefulyorkshire July 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Hi “WasAmerican” welcome to our blog!
    Boots is nice and all, but what I love about Bath and Body Works is all the different scents, every time I go back home to the states there is always something new to try, as well as all my old faves…
    Must be a good kickback memory to my teenage years.. hehe

    Christine, the Cineworld thing sounds great, too bad we don’t have one where I live in Yorkshire;(

  15. Christine July 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I so agree with Bath and Body Works!! I really miss it. Also the drive-thru is a big miss.

    But honestly the one thing I miss the most (other than family/friends of course) is Wal-Mart. I miss the one stop shopping and as we know Asda is NOT Wal-Mart. It is owned by the same people but it is not any where near the same.

    As far as the movie theater Andy and I have the Unlimited Pass to Cineworld. You can see if there is a Cineworld near you by going here: http://www.cineworld.co.uk We just pay £13.50/month each and you can go see any movie, whenever you want and as many times as you want. Well worth the cost! That is only 2 movies a month for the cost. We go see almost all of them. lol

  16. Wasamerican July 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    You prefer Bath and Body Works to Boots? Are you mad? Boots is the thing I miss most when I go home, and I have to take a suitcase full of Protect and Perfect for all my friends (yes, I know its available in parts of the US, but not where I come from)

  17. notfromaroundhere July 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Target always tops my list. There is just no equivalent store anyplace else!

  18. yankeebean July 19, 2009 at 8:24 am

    The weird thing is that I would write a totally different list about the things I miss…

    I do miss drive-thru, stuff, though…

    but I also love being able to walk everywhere. The two probably naturally belong in different cultures :)

    You know one thing I really miss? Discount movie theatres… I had a theatre near my house that only cost about 3 bucks a ticket and they only showed movies that had already been out for about 2 weeks.

    Chipotle is still pretty high on this list, too. I’m going back in September – roll on burritos!!

  19. yankeebean July 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    The Cineworld thing sounds AWESOME… I’m gonna check it out right now…

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