“The NHS lets people die” and other insane misunderstandings


I’m sure I’m not the only one who had heard the INSANE rumors flying around about the NHS…

As I write this post, I’m sitting in a waiting room waiting for my free every-three-years lady-screening. Not exactly my favorite past time, but at least I don’t have to pay for the stirrups.

As I’m waiting here, I was reminded how annoying (and sometimes impossible) it was to pay fort this kind of preventative medical stuff in the States.

After almost 7 years of living in the uk, I’m still nowhere near taking the NHS for granted. I freaking love the NHS…

But my main reason for this post is not to spark debate on if the NHS is pants or awesomeness.  It’s to you ask all you lovlies what kind of ridiculous questions you’ve been asked about socialized medicine.

Last week I got an email from a dear dear cousin of mine. It was short and to the point…

I wondered I’d you could tell me a little bit about your experiences with the UK health care system. Do they really let people die waiting in line to get treatment? Do they really practice euthanasia on old people? I’d really appreciate your views since you live there.

I was (needless to say) GOB-SMACKED to get an email like that – and I replied with my honest experience of the NHS and what I know to be true.

Has anyone else had any back-home-ers ask whoopty stuff like this??


Curious to know more? Why PeacefulYorkshire revels in free contraception on the NHS–Click here for another experience as an American lady in Britain.

When random British people (that you’ve only just met) tell you what is wrong with America

yahooavatar15Imagine meeting a British person for the first time. Imagine introducing yourself, answering all the questions that you get asked as a foreigner– like having to tell your “America to England” story for the zillionth time. Now, imagine randomly saying to this British person that you have only just met that people in Britain have  bad teeth. Real, real, bad teeth.That you have never been to a country where people have such bad teeth. That you saw this one 15 year old kid on the train and you COULDN”T believe he had such BAD TEETH. Now I am sure you are horrified about doing that, right? No, that would be so rude!  Plus could you imagine the wrath? It is hard enough making female friends in Britain!

Well, for whatever reason, some British people love to point out America’s flaws to me during our first meeting. Like today–a 6o-ish woman from Harrogate decided to tell me that she had NEVER SEEN so much obesity in her life as when she went to America. That she was on this train where she saw this 15 year old kid and he was SO FAT! That she couldn’t believe how many obese people were in America. That she couldn’t imagine how unhealthy THOSE FAT PEOPLE OVER IN AMERICA are.

Running through my head as Mrs. Harrogate ranted at me: Hello? have you seen all the white muffin tops pouring out of jeans in Leeds City Centre  lately, honey? There are fat people here too, and it seems its getting worse according to obesity reports!”

I wish I were brave enough to say that!  But instead, while smiling politely I said “It is just a different lifestyle there, isn’t it? You must excuse me while I go get some milk for my tea…”

Now then, lovely readers! Why would someone decide to tell me this to me, an American? Am I responsible for America’s obesity? Do I even LIVE IN AMERICA anymore? How would I be an expert about America’s weight issues? (I have enough of my own!). Sometimes I think that I have to defend America all the time, and I am so tired of it. Please tell me that you have to take the ‘blame bullet’ too?


P.S.  I don’t really think that all British people have bad teeth. That was used for example purposes only, and is used to represent a silly stereotype that people have of other countries.

P.S.S. I forgot to say that the afore mentioned lady from Harrogate had only visited Florida. And that was it!

P.S.S.S. On a ‘let’s blame America!’ related topic: Why are dinner parties with your British friends so much nicer now that Obama is in the White house? Click here

Caution: Asbestos – Two nations divided by a 'common' hazerdous chemical

yankeebeanI grew up in the mid-west of America, and proud of it!  It was a fine place to spend my formative years, even if I do say so myself.

One year, when I was in the 5th grade, it was discovered that asbestos had been used in the building of our school.  And ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.  We were relocated to another building, the old school was completely gutted and ‘treated’ and rebuilt and ‘de-asbestos-ed’.  Parents were in an uproar, wondering if their kids had inhaled the silent-but-deadly killer.  Many a memo went out to families in the district with updates and implications and safety information.

It was melee…

asbestosI then went on to do my A-levels in the South of England (equivalent to my Junior and Senior year of high school).  The FIRST DAY I was there, I saw these signs hanging all over the walls of the Common Room.

‘DO NOT DISTURB???’  I was 16 for God’s sake!  It was my very nature to leave a path of wreckage and destruction wherever I went!  What if we decided to play a game of human bowling using bike-helmets and GCSE students?  What if we flailed too flamboyantly while reenacting Billie’s dance from the Do You Have a Girlfriend video?  What if one of our ‘lock the Head of 6th Form in his office’ schemes got out of control?  I can see many a way that we might have disturbed the asbestos…

‘Do not disturb’, they say, like the asbestos had a heavy night and needs its rest…

It’s so (adorably?) English to say, ‘We’ll just leave it, it’ll be fine’ and so (blatantly?) American to say ‘Let’s rip the whole thing down and dance on the debris!  MWAA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!!’

Sorry, better keep my voice down.  Don’t wanna disturb the asbestos…