Well, my six month tourist visa has expired, and I am back in the U.S. temporarily. I hate not being with the rest of my family who have stayed in the UK. It is SO strange to be back “home”. Two of the first things I noticed right away, that really struck me: everything truly does look much larger here than in England, and related to that, there is so much space on the roads both for the cars and between towns. Everything is big in the Big Old U.S.A. I’d gotten quite used to the English scale which is really and truly much smaller.
My first day in New York, we went to a Whole Foods shop. There was another moment of reverse culture shock. Now this is a funny one for me – previously on every trip I’ve made to England, the prices have felt quite high, but for this half a year I’ve been extremely pleasantly surprised to find that prices of most things seem actually a good deal better than in New York. Take, for example, organic produce. At Tesco’s in Beverley I can buy a head of organic celery for only one pound (just over a dollar). At Whole Foods, it was $3.49. Huge difference. Many other organic foods have a similar price gap.
One thing that made me gasp with delight was to see the section of probiotic foods. Ah, now that is something that there is very little of in the part of England I’ve been in. I don’t think I’ve seen ANY “true” sauerkraut for sale in any shops, though I’m sure some must be somewhere. Look at this grand variety of choices at the same Whole Foods market:
I bought a nice little box of miso and have been having a cup of miso soup every day since. Yum, yum, yum. I would have bought some sauerkraut, too, but it was ridiculously expensive! I usually make my own anyway, unless I go to the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store where they make it and so sell it for slightly better. I didn’t get to the Farm Store yet but might in the coming weeks. They make excellent products.
That’s all I’ll manage for the moment about my UK/US impressions. I’m waiting for a new visa to come through to allow me to return to England, and while I’m “home”, I’m working hard on several projects. Hopefully I’ll get to see some dear friends, as well.