I’ve been in China now for 8 months and there are many home comforts I miss. One of the earliest things I learnt was that there are no decent teabags in China unless you’re willing to fork out for Twinings which, since I’m a true Yorkshire lass, I know isn’t as good as Yorkshire tea. I also learnt that Chinese women don’t use tampons so instead of the chocolate and cards I used to get sent when I was in Australia, now I’m in China Mum sends me tampons and teabags.
I could probably compose some pretty good poetry on how much I miss normal bread. By normal I mean not weirdly sweet. All bread here was a strange sweetness to which really ruins the classic dish of beans on toast (which isn’t helped by the lack of Heinz beans). When us foreigners get together and talk about what food we miss, an occasion which happens surprisingly often, bread is always my number one, especially since I’ve started to become sensitive to dairy so can’t have cheese. I’ve told dad this and now I guess I’m telling the world: I am not leaving Manchester Airport without raiding the Greggs there!
I’m not overly into makeup and brought enough to last me the year, although I did buy a mascara in Chengdu. What I do miss is Boots. Just the basics range of makeup wipes and moisturiser. Again Mum the hero sent me some in the post, and Thailand had Boots!! So I could stock up when there on skincare and paracetamol, another thing I miss greatly.
Crisps was probably the food item I missed most when I was in Australia, specifically prawn cocktail crisps since they were nowhere to be found. I miss crisps now but not as intensely as when I was away last time. China has zero crisp flavored which are the same as back home, so I’m not lulled into a false sense of security in my hunt for home comforts. What they do have are flavored such as cucumber, lime and onion rings which taste like French fries. Troydale folks- prepare to do a taste test!!
Speaking of Troydale, I miss cider, cheap vodka and cheap white wine. I was once led to believe I was going to have a nice glass of white wine when we were with a Chinese family (check that alliteration!) but to my dismay they brought me baiju, a spirit tasting of liquorice and death which burns more than sambuca. Now I’m more comfortable here I absolutely refuse to drink it, even if it comes across as being rude. As a result of the cheap beer here though (£8 for a keg at our local bbq) I’m starting to worry about a beer belly being my souvenir!
Not bad for 8 quid!
Would you like a flake with that?
I can talk about how much I miss Greggs, Munchies, Frankie and Benny’s, Grill’d, Wagon Wheels, Club biscuits, garlic bread, paracetamol, sandwiches, roast dinners, proper puddings, teabags and tampons for hours on end, but some times all I miss is tuna pasta with Mum or curling up on the sofa and watching a movie with Dad
P.S. Please don’t send anymore teabags, I have well over 100 now and I’m home in just over 2 months!