Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Retail in England

My friend D reports that since the credit crunch has hit, you can now get good service in London. People in shops and restaurants are actually asking if they can help you. Remarkable.

One of the big issues in the media here is teen knife crime. It's hard to tell if it's actually any worse than normal, or if it's just the media's flavour of the month. Anyway, a lot of kids, especially in London, are getting stabbed. A clothing chain, T K Maxx, took advantage of the situation by selling a jacket that came with a built-in knife.

When I was in Clapham, I went to KFC. If you order a meal at KFC, they give you a pottle of baked beans. Baked beans? I hate them, so I asked if I could have the potato and gravy instead. I guess they don't do potato and gravy in England, because all I got was a pottle of gravy. How do you screw up KFC? Its genericness is its saving grace. In Thailand, they did it too. There you can get a corn icecream sundae.

On a whim, I bought some biscuits at Asda this weekend. They're called Jaffa Cakes. They're like a chocolate digestive with jam in the middle, and because they're Asda's home brand, they're only 27p per packet. That means I can eat nearly 4 packets per day, and still remain within my Savevember food budget (if I eat nothing else). Seriously, I don't know why no one has told me about these before: They're brilliant. I don't know why I spent yesterday evening writing about art and literature, when I could've been writing about Jaffa Cakes. They're considerably more interesting.

Okay, so this daft post is actually a cry for help. For some weeks I've wanted to get a couple of basic school exercise books. Nothing fancy, just those red stapled 1B5 or 1B8 books that cost 40 cents back home. I can't find them anywhere. I've been to WH Smith, Rymans, a stationery warehouse, Tescos, Asda: They all just have hard cover books with spiral bindings that cost several pounds. So what's the deal? Can you get cheap exercise books here, or do the kids all use those expensive versions? I can't work this one out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You need to visit a school James, they give the exercise books free to the kids at school. It's probably worth trying - I met my wife at a UK school (she was a parent, not a pupil!)

Jaffa cakes...what can I say. What about those biscuits with cows on them - they are my fav (and bourbons)! But Jaffa cakes are very popular. Keep an eye out at Morrisons and Asda, they often do those 2 for 1 deals. Then you could eat 8 packs a day.