Friday, 23 July 2010

How to live in the absence of digestives

Stevie had to go back to Derby for a few days for work. I was quite excited by this and prepared a list of things for him to buy while he was there. Number 1 of course was travel adapters. We have been unplugging the tv so that we can use the hoover, and stopping the charging of the laptop in order to boil the kettle. Our need for travel adapters is vast given that we brought everything with us. I have secret fears about travel adapters. I think it stems from the days of - what were they called?- 3 point plugs?? I'm sure my mum instilled in me that these were the most dangerous things on the planet. Travel adapters have a similar cachet about them, and if I didn't have better things to lie awake at night worrying about, then I certainly could spend many a happy hour pondering whether there may be a chance that we'll all burn in our beds some dark night in November when we're least expecting it.

I also hate the way that you can hardly ever get them to go into the wall properly and they're always just hanging out a little. Paranoid Fiona is sure that one day the hoover that has sucked up more food in its lifetime than Orla has will be responsible for some kind of electrocution accident involving either of my children, or more likely me, showing them the perils of sockets and electricity.

I won't go into the other 'delights' that were on the list, except to say that it featured an extensive list of childrens DVD's especially selected from the Asda website by Orla and myself. I put my foot down when it came to Barney though. Even if it's episodes I've not seen before I just can't take any more of those obnoxious children with their upheld hands gesturing every emotion.

Stevie got back last night and unveiled his booty. I think we all squealed with excitement. I bombarded Stevie with questions: "So what was it like?", "Did the supermarkets seem massive?", "What did you think of all the choice on offer?", "Did it seem like too much?" "Did everything seem dead cheap?", oh and, "Did you feel like you'd missed it?". I think I successfully added to the impression that Stevie is getting that I am losing my mind. "Fiona," he said "It's only been 6 weeks since you were in Tesco. What do you think has changed since you left?".

I don't think we are too bad when it comes to adapting to German products. Admittedly, the one thing that we found we really miss is Robinsons Apple & Blackcurrant and I make regular trips to 'Broken English' to stock up. Aside from that though, there's not really much I miss. (Yeah, ok, so I moan about the lack of choice and everything, but really, I'm not hankering after anything else in 'Broken English'.

I do seem to be building up a little database in my head of which shops and supermarkets sell which British (and American) items, just in case. I've also got a new hobby, which is reading the discussion boards on Toytown Berlin where poor homesick souls ask where they can find things like brown sauce or god forbid, Coors Light. I find the food-related topics less vicious than say, the work or apartment related topics, but in general, the expat community comes across as a terrible angry mob, ready to shout at you for your desirous thoughts about digestives. One day, dear readers, this could be me!


  1. Oh how depressing - we Brits are generally not very good at being Abroad are we? Glad to hear you are settling in though.

  2. Dear Amaranthine, oh no, it's not depressing - just funny. It's not just Brits, it's Canadians and American's and Italians and everyone in the angry mob. I am thinking it's a weird kind of oneupmanship where by the angry person displays that they have integrated with German life and tries to display that you (digestive eater) is a lesser being because you want something you are familiar with.

    Though it has to be said, I have had an evening of Prosecco and Smarties... least said, soonest mended, eh?

  3. Well wouldn't you know it! I got a newspaper article in the post today with the news that Amazon UK and DE are both now selling groceries online. No dedicated delivery time slots like with Tesco or whatever, but all the Digestives and Cheerios you could eat (for a price).

  4. You know, if you're there for any length of time it would be much cheaper, easier and safer changing the actual plugs on your appliances. We did for our couple of years in Scotland, and then we changed them all back when we moved back. Especially with children this will reduce risks considerably, and it's not difficult to do at all. You just have to buy good quality earthed plugs.

    I will step off my soap box now. Goodbye.

  5. Oh, I hadn't even thought of that! Thanks!


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