Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The cheese just ain't the same

I've started to find that I'm getting excited about really strange things.

When my mum was over visiting she bought me Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit. I've spent so much time on these two games (and before you ask 35. My damn Wii Fit age is 35. Stupid frickin balance board)
And it's not just me. The missus has been playing a lot more Wii and even beating me on some Mario Kart time trials.
I love these two games and they are great presents.
But I'm trying to get a point across here, bare with me.
The best present I got that week was not the games but in fact a block of cheese.

Cheese over here just isn't the same.

It's all expensive and I just want a decent block of English Mature Cheddar. But it's so hard to come by.
They do have a lot of sliced cheese or grated cheese. But just not a lot of choice on affordable blocks of cheese.
So I've not had a cheese and (Branston) pickle sandwich in weeks. I'm missing them.

Another great thing that I've bought and I'm happy about is a pineapple. I'm so pleased I've bought a pineapple.
I've never bought a whole pineapple before. I've bought half of one or tinned rings, but never a whole pineapple.
I feel like my life has moved on a lot now.

But the greatest thing I have bought in the last few days, in fact for some time, was a double socket scart adapter.
A simple adapter for the TV that lets me plug in my Wii and my DVD in to the TV at the same time. The TV only has one scart plug/AV channel. This causes some unnecessary time wasting.
Before yesterday if I wanted to play some Mario Kart I'd have to turn the TV around, check what scart was plugged in the TV and swap them around if needed.
If after playing some Mario Kart and then wanting to watch some Seinfeld I still have no clue what they are saying on Spanish TV so I don't watch that) then I have to turn the TV around. Unplug the Wii. Plug in the DVD and then turn the TV back round the right way.
And vice verse if swapping from the DVD to the Wii.
But now, thanks to the special magical properties of a little black box I now have both the Wii and DVD plugged in to the TV and to use one all I have to do is switch it on. I don't even need to turn the channel.

And I wouldn't give up my Mario Kart Wii or Wii Fit for any amount of blocks of cheese.


Olly said...

It's taken me 5 years to find somewhere to find a sensibly priced lump of Cheddar in Japan, and it's not especially mature.

You can't buy Branston here at all, I've had to have it sent over for Sandwich purposes. It makes you wonder though really...go into any foreign food store and you can hardly walk for tripping over vile American "tea", Australian chocolate and Canadian Maple Syrup, but it is almost impossible to find anything from the UK. If ever anything was exportable, it's Branston Pickle. Makes you wonder about British companies really...

I added you on Mario Kart? Do you get a message automatically about that or do I need to send you my Friend Code?

Robbie said...

@Olly I have to step forward and admit finding Branston Pickle isn't hard here. There is a massive expat community so there are also a few English mini markets that stock Branston Pickle. I think even one of the larger supermercados stock it too, it just costs twice as much over here. And seeing as I am still earning €20 a day I've still not persuaded myself to fork out €10 for a great tasting sandiwch (plus don't get me started on their half size bread.)
I think I might treat myself though when I get my first sale and make some dolares.

re:Mario Kart. I've had a little look and there is nothing showing up in my Mario Kart Channel. I haven't had any messages (althoguh I'm sure the missus said something about me having a message when we walked through the dor yesterday but now I think I might be dreaming.)
So I think I'll need to enter in your FC manually. Email it me at 'itsmoirob[at]gmail[dot]com'

Dom said...

Good God man, how old is your TV? And what is this SCART you talk of? HDMI is where it is at :D

Olly said...

Fair enough, will mail it next time I fire up the internet cable/wii stuff.

You're lucky you can at least buy the Branston if absolutely necessary, even if pricey! You would have thought the Japanese would love it - they go mental for pickles and stuff, but nothing. They're really missing a trick not selling it here.

The bread is a joke here too. All white (you wouldnt mind that), but a single slice is about 1 inch/ 1.5 inch thick - literally - sandwiches become a real mouthful. Only the british can make real sandwiches. The more I travel, the more I am convinced of this

Robbie said...

@Dom This TV is VERY OLD. So old the screen CURVES! And like I've already said it has only one Scart socket. Not even RGB sockets.
Since we arrived it's the one thing I want to change.
Plus HDMI is wasted on me. I have no Blu-Ray and basic terrestial TV. Unless I buy a PS3 to go along with the TV would it be worth it.

@Olly Cool. Will be good to try out Ghost Races other then the missus.
When I spotted the Branston in the regular supermarket my eyes lit up.
But the bread here isn't thick, it's just tiny. It's like 1/3 the size of British bread. Almost like palm sized bread.
I can't even have decenct beans on toast as it's so small.

commis chef said...

I've nearly run out of my back-up supply of Branston Pickle. Must be time to go back and restock. I can't find cheddar here at all, but being in France I'm still spoilt for choice in that respect. I do long for a deliciously simple cheddar cheese and pickle sandwich though.

Happily, I've been able to find Heinz baked beans here, (though this is bizarre considering how we are mocked for eating them!) but they cost a euro each and they're not always in stock, so when I see them I buy a few.

When I first got here I was amazed by all the different veggies, and even the ones that are the same are completely different shapes. And they actually have a lot of flavour. They've got tomatoes the size of small melons and in really bizarre shapes, and courgettes that are little round balls, and white asparagus.

But it's impossible to buy parsnips. My roasts suffered as a result. French people reckon they're only fit for horses.

They don't know they're born!

Robbie said...

@Chef I've heard that the Spanish cheese is supposed to be nice. But I've tried it and just didn't fall in love. Although the sliced "sandwich cheese" (almost like dairy-lea slices is very nice)
But the cheddar we have is lovely. And I am still rationing it.
We've bought loads of baked beans here. And we didn't even have to go to a Special English stocked store, just the regualr Spanish ones.
But we have found a store nearby were we are going to start buying all our fresh fruit and veg from. So maybe there might be some strange food stuffs in there?

TC said...

I live in the States (Wisconsin, America's Dairyland to be precise) and when I was living in Spain several years ago now, that was hard for me to get used to. Cheese is soooo different!