3/22/09

What the UK does better

  • Cellphones (Mobiles) - everything about them is better, the coverage, more flexibility, more choice, more advanced & cheaper
  • Parking at Shopping Malls - multi-storey car parks take up much less acreage
  • Recycling - special coloured bins are supplied to homes for different types of recyclables, this is non-existent in our area
  • Healthcare - the National Health Service is a god-send you should say thanks for daily if you're in the UK, believe me!
  • Taxes - the filing of taxes there is so much easier
  • Cheese - we have so many varieties, with much better flavour
  • Fresh Fish - due to being an island & a much smaller area, although I know this is in part due to my landlocked location!
  • National News - no censorship that's apparent, I was shocked when I first arrived at how censored your news is generally
  • Internet Services - much greater choice of providers & cheaper
  • Public Transport - we have it everywhere nationally; trains, buses & it's cheap
  • Irony - but then that may just be because it's a natural talent to most Brit's!
  • Integration of different nationalities and races - we are much more accepting of other cultures

31 comments:

Smocha said...

Oh how I miss the fabulous cheese.

Sarah said...

Oh I miss using my old mobile phone and I miss being able to get the bus. Also health service is free!
Good blog Sarah. I dont miss home but miss the good things that you listed!

Neil Tasker said...

God Sarah, you've been away too long! ;-)

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Interesting!
I've heard the US is way behind the curve on cell phones.
Something is going to have to give her on health care. THe number of people we have without insurance is a disgrace.
What little I've been around Brits, the irony thing is no contest. Most of us here don't even know what it is.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Sarah--part of your problem (as you know) is where you are living now.. You truly are isolated.

I have never heard anyone say anything good about National Healthcare. I am SO against it in this country--not to be against it (because something does need to be done), but because "OUR" government doesn't know how to run ANYTHING well. I cannot name one govt. agency in this country that is operated well.. How sad is that????!!!

I'd love some cheese from the UK.
Hugs,
Betsy

Winifred said...

That's a lovely posting Sarah. Nice to hear the comparison from someone who has experienced a different country.

Irony? Didn't even know we did it. Maybe it's inherent.

It's so nice to hear someone being positive about the UK. Shame we're not so positive about ourselves. If you saw the news here you'd think as a country we were in meltdown. The BBC News has cultivated it to a fine art! Sometimes I think they should be muffled. What on earth is censored in the USA. I thought your Constitution prohibited that kind of thing.

I have to say thank goodness for the NHS. I never take it for granted. Both my son and husband have had open heart surgery and it's such a relief to know you don't have to pay extra for it. My Mam told me what is was like before 1948 when you had to pay to see the doctor and I hope we never have to go back to that. It's strange that the richest country in the world doesn't have a good national health service. The standard of health care seems to be fantastic but only if you can afford to pay health insurance. Hopefully your new government will move towards change.

Thank goodness for cheese, I love it, all of it. As a non-meat eater I could live on it if only it wasn't so high in cholesterol. Oh just pass me another Simvastatin!

Almost American said...

Excellent list! Some things on it are definitely influenced by where you are in the US though!

I'm lucky enough to live somewhere where I can get good cheese (instead of the plastic rubbish that passes for cheese!) and we do have one local mall that has multi-storey parking (3 levels anyway!) Recycling is mandatory in my town, and I've just signed the kids' school up for a juice pouch and energy bar wrapper recycling program that will make us a few $ for the PTO. Maybe you could do that at your school? Take a look at terracycle.net and see what you think!

Rhea said...

Neat list. I never would have guessed some of those things.

Rob Inukshuk said...

Interesting list. Cell phones in canada are even worse, such a rip off, as is internet. We have multi stories, good cheese and fish, here in the city at least. Our provincial health care is almost up to NHS standards. Bus, subway and trains are good and we recycle. Irony doesn't always get blank stares and a more culturally diverse and accepting city you would be hard pressed to find!

I think your location might have more to do with some items on your list as it does on some more positive aspects of where you live that you wouldn't get in a big city or in the UK.

There's good and bad about all places, it's just a matter of personal preferences and acceptance that if it wasn't different there would be no point in going anywhere!

gigihawaii said...

I enjoyed the fish and chips in the pubs in London. Has much changed since 1969 when I was there? Time to return!

Comedy Goddess said...

Clive Owen.

Case closed.

Mare said...

Sounds like we could take a lesson or two from the UK! Just curious...anything that the UK could learn from us?

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

CG - Daniel Craig too LOL!

Mare - yes, that you don't need CCTV camera's covering every square inch of the land! And how to appreciate life more and be have a positive outlook.

pamokc said...

100% agree. We have recycling bins in the city here but ... they didn't bring them to where we live now ... i need to call about that actually.

And I will agree to the yumminess that is called Clive Owen. **sigh**

Iota said...

And a decent cup of tea.

Karen said...

I have never been to the UK, but I think they do have it right over there.

And I think the main reason so many people over here are against national healthcare is because they don't understand it, and they have been brainwashed into thinking it is a bad thing.

Just like we have heard so many bad things about the Veterans Administration and how horrible the medical services are, but since we started using them for my husband's healthcare, we have had nothing but good service and good care, and we have been to at least three different facilities in different parts of the country.

I used to have health insurance and did not think a thing about going to the doctor whenever there was the least bit thing wrong. Now I only go when there is something seriously wrong because I can not afford to go.

Anyway, that is my rant for the day.

Star said...

Ha Ha yes, but you've missed SO much out, haven't you... What about our beautiful bacon? and tasty tomatoes, not big watery ones with no flavour!

What about the BBC and all the excellent programmes. My favourites are the who-dunnits. Don't you get fed up watching Law and Order all the time or Murder She Wrote. We have the following:
Silent Witness
Prime Suspect
The Commander
Poirot
Miss Marple
Murder Most English
Wallander
Inspector Lynley Mysteries
Midsomer Murders
Inspector Alleyn Mysteries
The Last Detective
Sherlock Holmes
Pie in the Sky
Wycliffe
Rosemary and Thyme
Cadfael
Raffles
Campion
Taggart
PD James Adam Dalgliesh series
Ruth Rendell one offs
Rumpole of the Bailey
and then there's the comedies...
and
HP sauce
Baked Beans
Heinz Salad Cream
Oxo cubes
Roast lamb and mint sauce
Cheese on Toast
Tuna in sunflower oil
Ground almonds
Fresh cream without sugar in it
Fresh bread without sugar in it
Fresh bread rolls
Advocaat
Alpen Muesli
Proper sausages
Bisto gravy powder
Proper chocolate
Creamy ice cream
Devon clotted cream
Jam that doesn't need to be refrigerated...
Trifle
I'd better stop there. Are you in tears yet?
I'm stocking up before I come over at the end of the month.
Blessings, Star

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Star - LOL!! Well I'm not a really a fan of murder/mysteries and so I don't watch Law & Order, CSI or Murder she wrote.

But I do miss Bacon, Sausages, Cheese, Lamb etc. I get my mum to send me OXO cubes, I can get Bisto for an arm & a leg and I can even get Bon Marmon jams & marmalade at my local store.

For those who have commented on the NHS, just the fact it's there for everyone as a fallback and avoidance of bankruptcy just to stay living, is a godsend.

Daryl said...

Its not quite fair to compare the UK to OK .. we here in NYC have lots of wonderful aromatic tasty cheeses ... and Murder She Wrote has been off air, except in re-runs, forever...

BUT I will give you, UK, props on healthcare but only in general terms as I keep hearing things like there are long waits for some procedures and seeing specialists ...

I am glad tho that OK is now home to you Sarah since it pushes the odds in my favor that you'll visit NY and we'll meet!

Silverback said...

I was half expecting a lot of adverse comments as comparisons between the countries can bring out nationalism in people.

Like some have said, living in OK doesn't give a representative view of the whole country.

Yes I miss a few UK things but love many things here too. That's how it should be. No one country is perfect no matter what their citizens may think. Just glad I can spend time in both.

Louise said...

Recycling and cheese... enough said!

Polish Punk Chick said...

You forgot old world charm and character in certain areas! We have no buildings dating back 500 years!

Polish Punk Chick said...

And Rob makes a good point- Oklahoma isn't known as the center of cosmopolitan culture in America...maybe if you moved to another area, you'd get some of the things you've been missing. I'm from the Midwest, so I can vouch for the dearth of certain things in the Dust Bowl, where you are.

pamokc said...

Now wait just a darn minute! I take offense at anyone who doesn't think that Oklahoma is the cultural and geographical center of the universe, because it is!

And in the US, no one can be turned away from medical treatment because of no money in the pocket. Turn up at any emergency room and you will see just that. However, is it abuse of the system?

With a trend toward people CHOOSING to not buy health insurance, then they are the ones gambling. Just tried to help someone find insurance with the high risk pool because of a heart condition. 30+ YO man making good money CHOSE not to have health insurance. Able bodied people are expected to take care of their affairs. Now if this guy had lost his job or made under a certain amount of money, then state benefits kick in.

The UK system is still not free exactly, taxpayers pay for it. ANd people can and do have private insurance to go over and above the NHS services. I think part of the problem is sheer size, distance and population and it is unfair to compare UK vs. US on health care.

And Oklahoma IS the center of the universe. I'm sure of it!

Janet said...

A lot of the differences you notice between here and the UK are the result of living in a rural area Sarah. Many of the things you mentioned were never a problem in California.

Cell phones, however, were much more prolific in the UK long before they became essential appendages here.

I agree that the British National Health Service is a god send. In the US even when you have health insurance, visits to the doctor are by no stretch of the imagination "free". They always result in further expenses as the insurance invariably only covers a percentage of the treatment. And prescription charges, well I won't even go there!

I also have dental insurance, but a recent visit to the periodontist cost me $1030.00, of which the insurance paid the magnificent sum of $81.00.

Kat said...

My mobile service here is rubbish. Must just be Vodaphone.

Lynn said...

Interesting list. I'll only comment on one thing: censorship. This one is a bit shocking. We are rather proud of the fact that our news is not censored.

Often what the media chooses to report is quite odd. The problem is that they're all trying to get the highest ratings so they report the things that they think most people want to hear which sometimes means leaving out more important things.

Whether they're biased or not and which way they're biased is something that is constantly being argued but it's likely that they're not only reporting what people want to hear, they're also reporting only what they think people should hear. But that's not the government; that's just the newspapers, TV networks or whatever.

Daffodilly said...

You have hit it on the head here..I could not agree more. Well done.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

A good list... particularly about the cell phones, public transport and the NHS. When I lived in the UK I moaned about the NHS and how it was crumbling. Now I'm here and I see how private medicine works I am appalled. Just the simple fact that people in the US can order their prescriptions over the internet from the UK and europe at a fraction of the cost here in the US shows how much the American people are being ripped off.

God forbid I should become seriously ill here. This is the wealthiest country on the planet and could easily afford universal healthcare.

But over all, you've got to admit, this is still agroovy country to live in ;) (While we're healthy, of course!)

Tresa said...

Sarah
I'm a Brit Gal who has been in the states much longer than you. We all like the things we grew up with or are used to as it's human nature. I still miss many things about England after all of these years because it's just in my blood. I find your comments about America a bit funny because it is very obvious that you have not traveled to other parts of the U.S. REMEMBER this is a land of 300 million, it takes three days to travel it's width and three Britains would fit in the state of California alone. That means there are so many different types of life styles and people. Certain areas of the U.S are more remote and in other places you can find ANYTHING your heart desires and much more! In England things are much more the same all over just because of the smaller land mass. I say funny because as a child my Mother would always complain about how things were not the same in the U.S as in Britain. When we would visit Britain she would fight to the death anyone who made a derogatory comment about the U.S. and say how much better our life style was now. Human nature had struck again.
Both places share so much in common as well as having many differences. I love both countries and have enjoyed learning about both of my cultures. Actually, as my mother was born in Germany, raised in Austria with relatives in Switzerland I have many cultures and people to learn about, enjoy and haggle with.
I am a woman without a country on sad days and happily, a woman with many countries on most days. Wouldn't it be lovely to take the best from all countries and make a new one? I guess then we would still complain "it's just not the same as the old place." LOL...

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Tresa - I have been to other places in the US like NYC, LA, AZ etc and I know there are differences to where I live. But to be honest I still think the UK does the things better that I listed. LIke you I enjoy having a foot in both countries.