Weird things I miss about living in in the UK

(55 Posts)
Internationaltraveller Sat 09-Mar-13 14:21:09

Okay, the following strange things I miss about living in London

1. People know how to queue
2. On any given day I could get a cappucino in less than 10 minutes from Eat/Pret/Starbucks etc.

I do like living where I am living but sometimes its just SLOW and everyone randomly gets on the bus, there is no queueing for it.

Anyone got anything to add?

Earlybird Sat 09-Mar-13 14:59:36

long, lazy, Sunday lunches with good conversation and a lovely glass of wine (or two).

SkiBunnnnny Sun 10-Mar-13 01:25:39

Being able to walk everywhere. Seeing mostly cars on the road as opposed to 90% giant trucks and SUVs

anonymosity Sun 10-Mar-13 01:27:57

It may sound odd, but here goes - the smell of the rain in the summer when its fallen on wooden fences which have become hot in the sun.

That's all blush

LoopDeLoops Sun 10-Mar-13 01:31:09

Yes to queues.

The thing I miss most is being close to France and Italy. I'd kill for a good salad.

TheCatInTheHairnet Sun 10-Mar-13 01:35:36

Pub gardens. Spending a happy Saturday afternoon with a couple of glasses of wine while the kids play. They do not exist here at all.
Walking everywhere.
The kids growing up with their cousins.
Not always understanding the school systems. That is something that particularly drives me mad. Even after 6 years, I still feel very unconfident going into a parent teacher conference.

TheCatInTheHairnet Sun 10-Mar-13 01:36:34

Anonymosity, that doesn't sound weird to me!! We have that here in NY and I love it!!

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 10-Mar-13 05:00:42

The Today programme and our papers.
Being able to walk about and not having to drive everywhere.

Mondrian Sun 10-Mar-13 05:55:15

Pub gardens on a nice sunny day.

Fav answer so far is loopdeloops "being close to France & Italy*

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 10-Mar-13 06:01:05

The smell of early morning (even in London, the early morning has a freshness to it that HK, er, doesn't)

People who are interested in politics/ state of the nation type debates- it's not as though everyone here lives in denial, but because we all hail from different countries, and the country we live in isn't a democracy, there's not much to discuss. Had a friend to stay last weekend and we spent 2 hrs discussing Cameron's referendum on the EU over some red wine. I was so happy.

Supermarkets that sell pre-prepared "naice" food like Duchy Originals meatballs and tonnes more stuff you can feed your kids without feeling guilty and without having to actually cook.

ScumbagCollegeDropout Sun 10-Mar-13 06:07:21

Pre-packaged lunch foods. I would kill for a M&S sandwhich right now.

Being able to buy wine when I like!
Agree with the 'naice' pre-made food, it would be nice to have the option at times.
Proper tea
Friendliness and service in shops


CountryMama Sun 10-Mar-13 06:22:14

Love this thread as I have lived abroad a lot but I'm currently in my dream location of devon!! (Soon to leave again).

I missed houses that didn't have compound walls around them and decent cheese!! (I made my mum bring me loads when she visited!!)

ScumbagCollegeDropout Sun 10-Mar-13 06:22:41

Oh and being able to buy alcohol with your weekly shop.

Whowouldfardelsbear Sun 10-Mar-13 06:25:21

The media - choice of newspapers and 'serious' current affairs programmes.

Primark (or just being able to buy cheap kids' clothes really).

British-style indian and chinese takeaways (if that makes sense!)

Seeing any building older than 150 years old.

recall Sun 10-Mar-13 06:33:37

I live in UK, and was just reading this, and I can't get my head around people not queuing. I was queuing in Mcdonalds once, and there was a crowd of exchange student types all milling around and not waiting in turn. I was getting really narked, and actually told a lad to get behind me. It was sad because he was clearly a nice person, and looked confused which then confused me and i felt mean. I mentioned it to my Mum and she explained.

How does it work then ? Don't people get cross ?

SkiBunnnnny Sun 10-Mar-13 13:03:28

Yes to buying wine in supermarkets too!

dikkertjedap Sun 10-Mar-13 18:01:44

Yes, I agree International, in addition I miss:

- good quality but still affordable wine
- much more choice in toy shops, household goods, clothes and often much better quality
- Free museums
- much better service in shops/restaurants etc.
- people are more civilised
- BBC is second to none once you have seen some of the continental stuff ...
- UK bookshops are simply wonderful, I use Amazon a lot, but nothing beats browsing and picking up a lovely book you had never even heard of ...

thanksamillion Sun 10-Mar-13 19:56:23

I miss country parks. I live in the countryside here but I miss there being marked footpaths and people just going out for a walk. If I take the DCs for a walk here people think I'm mad grin

frosch Mon 11-Mar-13 12:20:58

The sea! Walking by the sea, swimming in the sea, sea spray, sea air full of lovely negative ions, sea breezes and sea gulls.

Internationaltraveller Fri 15-Mar-13 02:11:22

Everyone just mills around waiting for the bus and then when it comes makes for the door.
I also miss the museum shops in all the fab museums I used to visit. I am now obsessed with them!
I can only buy wine from a wine shop and its wrapped up in a brown paper bag. makes me feel like an underage drinker.
I did discover some m&s custard creams at the British shop the other day. Don't really ever eat them, I just bought them because they were m&s.
I hate calling a loo a washroom!
there was also a brief window of time when I lived in London that I miss seeing. it's happens over the course of about a 2 week period when winter transitions into nice weather. Suddenly we can see people's legs and arms and beautiful skin, after months of everyone being all covered up. Everyone no longer in black - I sound strange but I love it!

Frogman Fri 15-Mar-13 02:31:40

I've just moved back to the UK and I feel such freedom again after living in the ME and Singapore.

I can walk again. There's not the oppressive humidity that has made it impossible to walk and there are places to walk.

I missed good food. I think the UK is way ahead of lots of countries with regards this now.

I missed a good newspaper and British TV

I missed good quality ready meals

I so, so missed the long summer nights, the green grass, blackbirds and thrushes, the seaside, the hills, the weather (yes!)

Internationaltraveller Sat 16-Mar-13 02:00:47

I did find a Sunday times - it cost 12 dollars and when I opened it there were no magazines in it sad THAT'S THE BEST PART

Internationaltraveller Sat 16-Mar-13 02:01:26

Yes, have tried the app, but it's not the same as an actual paper and all the interactive stuff just doesn't do it for me.

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Sat 16-Mar-13 02:06:54

Decent cheese
Pork pies and scotch eggs
Waitrose (for the lovely shopping experience)
Ditto John Lewis
The Sea (2 hour flight west and at least 4 hours east)
Small cars (I used to drive a Fiat 500 and now live in the land of huge SUVs and trucks)

Internationaltraveller Sat 16-Mar-13 02:07:50

Yes, what's up with the big trucks?

Astelia Sat 16-Mar-13 02:19:04

I like where I live but I miss all these:
real fires
country pubs

Internationaltraveller Sat 16-Mar-13 02:21:00

Lovely stuff astelia
Thanks for posting such positive reinforcements about the UK everyone.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Sat 16-Mar-13 02:35:13

I loved living in the tropics but eventually really missed the changing seasons.
And marmite grin

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Sat 16-Mar-13 06:05:08

Where are you International?

Rosa Sat 16-Mar-13 06:28:59

My family

Ooh yes. Proper sausages and pork pies!!

superfluouscurves Sat 16-Mar-13 11:31:58

Where are you BlameitontheBogey?

I am glued to the Today programme though Internet radio (in mainland Europe)

idlevice Sun 17-Mar-13 08:04:57

I moved back last year & am really enjoying rediscovering things I didn't even know I missed. Agree with papers/tv/radio, food, footpaths/places to walk & weather. Also crunchy grass after a frost, squirrels, snowdrops & bluebells, fields with or without cows/sheep & most weirdly, the lazy drone of a small plane overhead on a fine day.

thanksamillion Sun 17-Mar-13 18:28:40

Ahh idlevice I dream of pavements. When it rains here it's just mud everywhere, nothing stays clean and you just feel like staying in. The freedom to walk outside when it's raining and not get muddy feet..

Missymoomum Wed 20-Mar-13 06:57:45

I miss greenery, it's so brown here as it hardly ever rains. I miss decent, clean, bright and airy supermarkets and the choice of wonderful food you get in them. On a food note, i miss lovely cheeses, sausage rolls, proper sausages, meat joints, roast dinners, low fat options (currently trying to do Slimming World online and it's very hard as i can't get the no syn options), decent fruit and veg that aren't covered in terrifying pesticides and food that you can be sure is organic when it says it is, fresh milk and fish (again, food safety issues). I miss fresh air and being able to go for walks in the countryside and rolling hills and daffodils and other spring flowers. I miss shopping centres that have 'normal' shops in them and not full of ridiculously expensive designer shops. I miss John Lewis, Next, Boots, children's animal farms, feeding the ducks.

I'm feeling very very homesick at the moment, so i could go on and on..........

DolomitesDonkey Wed 20-Mar-13 07:18:57

Hate hate hate processed scotch eggs, sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, sausages etc. used to love them but now all I can taste is "filler agents" and grease. grin

But yes, country pubs, walks, drives. Would be considered quite crackers to simply go for a drive on a Sunday afternoon and see where it takes us.

Would like a newspaper will all the supplements without a 3 hour trip to get it!

Horse riding competitions which don't require being a member if a national organisation or passing an exam to join. My husband would like to play a round of golf without being asked for his golf exam papers.

Petrol stations with enough stock to do a weekly shop. wink

ripsishere Wed 20-Mar-13 07:30:58

I'd just like an English newspaper. bugger the supplements (although they would be nice).
You can't even get the daily mail here. Every other country I've lived in you could.

NinaNannar Wed 20-Mar-13 07:31:39

i have never and never do pub gardens on a summers day - cant think of anything worse, fag smoke, idiots being drunk

nope - its rose tinted!

DolomitesDonkey Wed 20-Mar-13 08:23:50

Oh to be a fag-smoking drunken idiot again. wink

itshothere Thu 21-Mar-13 16:52:18

Family mostly, especially when there is an occasion or event you can't attend sad. Real fish and chips, and battered pork sausages. TV programs, it's getting better here though must admit grin. Funny (humorous) work colleagues (was in the nhs). Sarcasm, someone else said that, but I miss the banter. Mmmm think that's it for now?

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 22-Mar-13 09:22:31

Being able to afford a joint of beef.
Fresh lamb - where the heck is it in Germany/France and Switzerland. Wales is closer than NZ!!
Reading the paper from cover to cover on a Sunday.
Going shopping on a Sunday because you have space and time to browse.
Sh*t white bread
Sausages made with sawdust not 100% meat Wurst
Random mindless banter with the checkout operator in the supermarket.

mummytime Fri 22-Mar-13 09:42:32

Ninanannar as you have never done pubs on a Sunday, you wouldn't realise that the naice ones have little smoking, and no one is drunk. It's sitting in the sun (when the UK gets it), eating a leisurely meal (pubs are more about food than alcohol), and kids having some freedom to play so giving adults more time to chat.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 22-Mar-13 10:05:01

Wally Pssst - Makro is where it's hidden! And, almost at UK prices although it's Irish lamb and not Welsh.

My family
YY to queing at a bus stop- here it's just everyone for themselves
Spring, it's never going to stop snowing here
Ethnic/Nationality diversity- I'm so fucking sick and tired of people staring at me like I'm a scary monster.
Open mindedness
Choice in supermarkets
Free family friendly activities
Food- curry, chinese etc. Veggie friendly food other then cereal smile
Smooth roads
Shopping centres (there are some here but too far away)
Being able to buy cheap anything, especially books

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 22-Mar-13 16:29:57

Dontbugme - Where are you??

Agree there are some amazing pub gardens for families in the UK - last time we were over we went to one in Tilford Woods (where they filmed bits of "Gladiator") with a beautiful shady garden and a climbing frame, playhouse etc. Great healthy kids menu and fab service.

Think more "gastro-pub" than "sticky carpet".

I don't really know where you are Nina but the country pubs in our old haunting ground were very family orientated and quite upmarket, I never saw any drunken idiots there tbh.

NinaNannar Fri 22-Mar-13 17:25:04

I know what a pub is you loon.
I'd not choose to spend Sunday there.

riverboat Mon 25-Mar-13 00:19:18

Mature cheddar
British sausages
Take away curries
Pubs, esp food-serving ones on a Sunday afternoon
Regional accents
Politeness and self effacingness
Piss taking and ribbing
Sunday newspapers with supplements
High street shops, especially the near-constant sales and cheapy places
Being able to fully understand all the conversations you hear around you and make inferences about the people involved
British telly
London: parks, buses, the diversity of all the different parts of it, the massive range of amenities even in the outer zones
Fish and chips: the smell more than anything
Smiling old ladies
Feeling like you belong and are at home

I live in France now, just outside Paris

I did live in Manhattan, where I was barely ever homesick, and now I live in the NJ suburbs, which feel much more American and foreign.

I miss:
the papers, (mainly on a Sunday, as that is when we would read them all day)
People to talk politics with.
Radio 4&2, in my car not podcasts.
Good tea
biscuits, not cookies
Ribena and other types of squash.
Pubs, and friends who want to go to pubs.
An assumption of atheism/secularism.
Good Telly. Individual series are very good here, but the general stuff is not.
Banter. People are extremely nice here, which I like, but the sheer amount of sincerity seems cheesy. Sarcasm and banter are so like home!

I can get very cheap books, clothes, etc, which is great, but I miss UK style.

Oh, and definitely sausages, bacon cut the right way, and that much cheese choice. grin

Oh, and being that close to mainland Europe. My siblings leave their children with our parents and take occasional long weekend breaks in Paris or Prague or Rome. Being an expat means our chances of even a visit to Toronto would involve taking two small children. Not romantic! grin

ooh yes, pork pies, preferably with egg.
pub gardens next to a river
strawberry laces
being able to go to Normandy/Paris for the weekend

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:05:13

I never liked pork pies. Something about the jelly bit...

However, I do miss cornish pasties and sausage rolls. I don't think I actually ate very many of either when I lived in the UK, but now every time I go back I find myself irresistably drawn to Greggs and those greasy pastry delights...

In Paris we may have some of the best sugary pastry delights in the whole word, but their savoury bakes really aren't up to scratch. Can't get a decent sausage roll for love nor money, and I've never even seen anything remotely approaching the wonders of a pasty in any of the hundreds of bakery's I've been to...

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:06:01

Urgh, baker ie s. Please excuse my grammar.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 27-Mar-13 20:38:07

I hated pork pies when I left. Then I went home for a training course and for the lunch buffet they were serving the little M&S ones with pickle on the top.

Goodness me I destroyed them, much to the amusement of my German colleagues.

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