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JP in Fuerteventura

What Things Do I and Don’t I Miss About The UK

This is a rough transcript of my video about things I miss about the UK. You can watch the video or read the article – aren’t I kind giving you a choice!

I’m going to talk about the things I miss about the UK and what I don’t miss living
here in Fuerteventura as opposed to living in the UK.

I was going to record this while I was walking the dogs but typically the wind has really got up again so if I did that you wouldn’t be able to hear what I was saying above the wind noise. Mind you, that might be a bonus!

The dogs are here in the car so they’ll probably start whinging because they want their walk but we’ll carry on regardless. I think we’ve adapted pretty well living here. There’s not much we actually get people to bring out with them when they come over from UK. There are just a few things like loose tea because we like our pot of tea and Sue likes a M&S Earl Grey tea bags. She used to be able to buy them here but that shop has closed so she now gets people to bring those. She also likes mint Imperials but you can’t buy those here.

Some other people we know here really seem to miss loads of things. They get people to bring back English bacon, English sausages and all sorts of other things over with them. We substitute them with local things in the main and these are different yes but ok nevertheless.

The things I miss about the UK

1. Green

One of the things I do miss about the UK is the green countryside and the forests. I’d love to  take the dogs for a nice walk through a forest like I used to with my previous dogs in the UK. Here you don’t see green very often.

2. Good Beer

This is bit odd for someone who doesn’t drink. Here the beer is rubbish quite frankly, which is one of the reasons why I gave up drinking five years ago. If you could get decent draught real ale I probably would have the odd pint but you can’t unfortunately.

The dogs are starting to whinge now.

3. Fast Internet

I guess is pretty obvious really from things I’ve said in other videos. Fast internet! The internet here is stone-aged and I would love to have quick reliable internet like we used to . We had Virgin fibre optics in the UK which was fast and I don’t think we ever lost the connection. You never know, one day they might catch up.

4. Decent Shops

Shopping is a a bit of a pain here at times because there aren’t that many really good shops like there are in the UK. As an example if you’re doing DIY or decorating in the UK you can go
somewhere like a big B&Q and know you are going to get everything you need. But here there’s a sort of a DIY shop called Ideal, and that’s the biggest, but it is a tiny shop in comparison to the warehouse type shops you get in the UK. The rest (called Ferreterias) are just tiny little places so if you want something specific you have to travel around from shop to shop and probably not get it anyway. So it would be nice to have some good specialist shops here.

5. Fish and Chips

Last, but not least, is takeaways. We really miss at times being able to just go and get fish and chips or good Chinese takeaway. it’s not something we tended to do very much in the UK. Probably in a month we had one fish and chip meal and one Chinese takeaway meal. But here, although you can buy fish and chips to take away from some of the restaurants, it’s not quite the same and you’re paying restaurant prices too so you may as well eat it there and save the washing up. I think there is a fish and chip shop in Caleta de Fuste but that’s a 35 minute drive from here so they’d be cold by the time I got back.

The things I don’t miss about the UK

1. Traffic James

Well one of the things has got to be traffic jams.  I used to get so frustrated in the UK as you couldn’t go anywhere, particularly on a motorway and even more particularly at the weekends (which is when I did most of my travelling) without getting stuck in a traffic jam and not just one normally.

Mind you, traffic jams tend to be much worse in the UK than in most parts of Europe for some reason. In 2011, I was racing in Holland and having my car transported so I didn’t have to tow it on the trailer. Because of this Sue and I decided to make a holiday of it and after we finished racing we drove around on what we called our Grand Tour. We drove through Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco and France, staying in hotels along the way. We drove a total of 2500 miles in that two weeks without getting stuck in one traffic jam. We got off the ferry at Dover and within 15 miles we were stuck in a long traffic jam on the M2!

Here traffic jams just don’t happen.

2. Cold and Wet

I don’t miss the cold and the wet. I’ve always been a bit of a chilly mortal and a bit of a fair weather person. If the weather is bad I don’t do anything and let’s face it it is bad often in the UK. At least most of the time the weather is good here so I can’t go out and do things whenever I feel like it pretty much. And we never get days of nothing but drizzle here. When we do get rain it tends to be short and sharp and then it’s gone.

3. Bad Coffee

I don’t miss the bad and the expensive coffee in the UK.  Coffee in cafes and restaurants tends to be pretty poor in the UK or you go to the likes of Costa and pay through the nose for it. Here it costs between 1.20€ to 1.50€ and it’s always good. I even paid just 1.00€ for a good coffee in a bar last week.

4. Short Dark Days

Another of the things I don’t miss are the short dark days of winter that you get in the UK, when it’s dark by half-past three. In the winter we still have around 9 hours of proper daylight here in Fuerteventura where it doesn’t get dark until 5:30pm on the shortest days. It is true that in the summer the days are a bit shorter here than they are in UK, because we’re further south, but who actually needs 19 hours of daylight anyway?

5. Rip-off Britain

Last but not least is the general high prices there are in the UK. I know it is a well used phrase but rip-off Britain does exist. Just about everything costs more in UK than it does here and frankly there’s no reason why it should. Many things here should cost more because they have to be imported.

Obviously taxes are much cheaper here – particularly indirect taxes. We don’t have VAT but instead there’s a small amount of purchase tax on things. There is no duty on petrol and cigarettes, not that I smoke, or on alcohol. Everything is generally cheaper and there is not much I can think of that is more expensive.

You may want to read more about the Cost Of Living in Fuerteventura.

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