December 27, 2005 in Food & Diet

Different Country. Different Rules.

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Two solid days after Christmas is over and the Chinese Restaurant down the street is not yet open. What gives? Chinese Restaurants are always supposed to be open, even on Christmas and New Years. Damn! Things really are different over here. As such, a note to self. Should you decide to stay in London next Christmas, be sure to stock up on food. Things come to a stand still (even the trains/buses don’t run on Christmas day) and many restaurants and many local shops are just closed the week between Christmas and New Year.
So different are the rules over here that two of the largest high street retailers Mark & Spencer and John Lewis didn’t open their stores yesterday, the day after Christmas for shopping. They waited until today. How foolish. Considering that most retailers get into the black during this critical holiday shopping period, and that people usually have more money to spend and gifts to exchange after Christmas, you’d think they’d take every shopping day they can get. Oh well! My money went elsewhere yesterday as I fought the crowds on London’s premier 2-mile shopping strip, Oxford Street.
So what did I purchase? Well more clothes for my fat wardrobe from Selfridges, Debenhams, and Dorothy Perkins. I know! I know! It would be easier and cheaper to loose the weight I’ve gained since I moved over here. But right now, I’m just a little distracted trying to sort out another important area of my life. Plus all the holiday food really hasn’t helped. Hopefully in the New Year I’ll be able to get back to my former self. I really hate having two wardrobes and I really hate being fat. As such, this might actually mean signing up for a gym. It’s almost a year since I’ve done any real exercising.


  1. January 2, 2006 at 8:17 pm


    Andrew: I agree with you, for the most part. But considering that most people work a 40 hour week (M-F usually between 8-5pm), it would be good to see some stores (like drug stores) open a little later. Heck, even to 6/7pm would make me happy.
    As for public transportation, I think the trains and buses should have been running on Christmas, even if only on a weekend schedule. Considering that drunk driving is such a huge problem, thinking they would have been doing the community a service. Plus not everyone can afford to take taxis to go visit family and friends. Not when they are charging you double/tripple just because its Christmas.
    Enignma: Yeah, I probably have watched A Christmas Story one too many times. Interestingly enough, I didn’t get to see it this season.
    Random Action: It is possible. I am living proof. Plus I know quite a few others who have also gained weight since moving abroad. But as things are settling down for me, here’s hoping I’ll loose the weight in the New Year.

  2. January 1, 2006 at 9:59 pm


    It is not possible for an American to put on weight, when in Europe. It just can’t happen. It must be dress sizes or something. British food in particular has a poor reputation, so the idea that you are eating more of it is ridiculous. Surely?

  3. January 1, 2006 at 4:18 am


    hmm i think you’ve seen “a christmas story” way too much. but just to help you out.. Deck the halls with broughs of horry. farararara ra ra rara!
    have you seen an old people crossing sign yet?

  4. December 27, 2005 at 9:50 pm


    But that’s one of the joys of living in a foreign country, right? It is for me, anyway. We get so such to everything being open all the time, that we go to another place where busineses close at a reasonable time, like 6pm or are closed on Sunday or the whole weekend or some random time in the afternoon, that we bristle, because we are so groomed to get what we want when we want it. But when you live outside the US and business hours are a challenge, you have to change your behavior to adjust. You have to walk or ride your bike on Sunday because public transportation doesn’t run. You have to get your shopping done in the morning or during the week or whatever. But since these stores are closed or the buses don’t run, you have to find a different way to spend that. Myabe relaxing, for example, or with friends, or going for a walk, doing anything other than shopping. It takes some time to get used to the change, like all changes, but when you do get used to it, it’s great.

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