Saturday, January 17, 2009


I was reading my new absolute favourite blog Belgian Waffle late into the night yesterday when I came across her description of the game "In England". This is not just germane to expats in Belgium. All English expats play it.

It consists of regarding your surroundings and saying, "In England this would be...". Basically it's a game of compare and contrast: sometimes the situation would be better at home, other times one is admiring of the foreign way of doing something. For example, in New York one might say, "In England you'd never get the bloody RMT Union to allow the Tube to run 24/7, it's so much more civilised here in Manhattan." or, conversely you might say, "In England, they'd never call a mess of congealed scrambled eggs an omelette".

It's the game that never tires.

Except many Americans LOATHE it. Because, of course, you can't criticise ANYTHING here. Sigh.

Sometimes I do long for the English attitude where, if you burned the Union Flag, no one would bat an eyelid. See - there's another example of 'In England', right off the bat.

Which also brings me to an email from an ex, Mr Avocado, who, upon reading the following line in yesterday's blog:
"*High class and shockingly priced deli/food store/home of deliciousness/purveyor of the $3 can of baked beans."

Again with the baked beans, LLG. Honestly. They’re for proles here. And old people. You have a reputation to uphold. I mean.

IN ENGLAND they are a meal of high culinary virtue eaten by everyone from the Queen to, well, me. Seriously, they are a national treasure. Eaten on toast with lots of butter or with chips (Fries) & sausages. And they do not cost $3. More like 60p/90C. They also taste & look different: less sugar and a special green tin, and are probably the most missed food by expats abroad.

Wikipedia explains it thus, "There are substantial differences between the Heinz baked beans sold in the UK and the nearest equivalent US product (Heinz Premium Vegetarian Beans). The US beans contain brown sugar where the British beans do not, and the US product contains 14g of sugar per tin compared to 7g for the British version (equating to 140 vs 90 calories). The US beans have a mushier texture and are darker in colour than their UK counterpart."

I was looking for a pic and just came across this blog entry from another expat extolling their virtue. Altho, granted, even the Europeans think it's weird how the English obsess about them. BA's euro-chic husband Marc is French/Danish and thinks they are the food of the devil.