Americans are certainly the masters of excess — just visit the nearest steakhouse for proof of that — but something seems to hold them back from grasping enjoyment of the finer things in life that the rest of the world’s rich history allows. Jeff was dismayed to find not a single bottle of Pinot Noir in the local liquor store, though not particularly surprised in the country that considers Bud Light a beer. Perhaps I’m just bitter that a restaurant finally refused to serve me (the US drinking age being 21 with somewhat murky rules regarding drinking with one’s parents). I find American chocolate is similarly deficient* and was perplexed to see several Cadbury’s bars on sale. While I was previously willing to conceded that Dairy Milk may contain, while not nuanced flavour, at least some palatable value, this changed after I turned over the bar. Imagine my shock to discover that the reason this chocolate was so readily available is that it was manufactured by Hershey’s, with the permission of Cadbury. If the production could be licensed to such amateurs as Hershey’s, nothing I say can be more damning: you may draw your own conclusions.
There’s always one sight upon a return to Britain which really grounds you in the fact that you are home. This time, being as it was 7:30am, it was a couple of kids in uniform kicking a football (that’s what you call a soccer ball, for any new American readers) between them as they proscrastinated, dejectedly shuffling their way back to a new term at school. In a way I envied them. At least their school would be warm, unlike the freezing house to which our taxi was hurriedly bearing us. Four hours and a boiling shower later, it had returned to the sort of harsh climate which might plausibly support some unfortunate form of life. The Emperor Penguin, mayhaps.
I’ll be heading back to uni on Sunday so the ritual DVD cull has now begun, a digital Darwinist procedure in which only the fittest and most watchable discs will survive for selection. If you wish to influence this finely tuned system, check out The DVD List and let me know what you’d like me to bring.
* At least Wal-Mart have started stocking Lindt’s Lindor truffles. Perhaps there’s hope for the American tastebud yet.