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My First 3 Months - Observations

My First 3 Months - Observations

Old Oct 27th 2005, 9:39 am
  #1  
turkeytickler
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Default My First 3 Months - Observations

Not trying to be positive or negative here - just want to give a factual (sometimes) account of my observations from my first 3 months here in Christchurch - some of it is a little tongue in cheek - no offence meant to anyone :-)

1. The weather has been wonderful - arrived in august to day after day of warm sun - 10:30pm here now - im sitting here in shorts and still hot
2. I miss central heating in the winter!
3. The country is car mad and has poor public transport for those unable to drive
4. The driving is the worst I have witnessed anywhere in the developed world - and i mean anywhere
5. People are even more obsessed by the price of petrol than us brits
6. People are even more obsessed by the weather than us brits
7. It is almost as cheap to eat out than to shop at the supermarkets (since the supermarkets are so expensive)
8. Decent beer is hard come by (Monteiths/Macs seems pretty good so far though)
9. Bad wine is hard come by - I tend to go for kiwi whites, aussi reds - a good rule of thumb for me
10. The government/politicians are even more self serving and worthless than the british equivalents
11. The TV is awful - the only stuff I can bear to watch is the british imports that I wouldnt have bothered with back home - I guess the NZ networks cant afford the decent stuff
12. Salaries are lower than in UK relative to the exchange rate
13. Expenses are higher than in UK relative to the exchange rate (except petrol)
14. Dont touch the sausages - they are out of date dog meat in disguise
15. BBQs arent BBQs here - they are outdoor frying pans
16. Grown men in sandals (you will NEVER make me say the J word!) or worse - barefoot, shorts and baseball caps is just wrong
17. Confectionary is expensive and like a trip back in time 20 years
18. Chocolate Croissants no not contain any chocolate
19. The people are articulate and the nicest most genuine you could meet - everywhere - your average shop assistant in the UK can only manage a grunt
20. The media/Souvenir industry is obsessed by mediocre national "icons" such as s(J)andals and marmite
21. The media is obsessed by incidental local news at the expense of world affairs
22. Its pretty easy to get a decent curry
23. Its pretty hard to get a decent chinese - so far i have found it impossible but i dont want to jump to any conclusions!
24. Having tried the best and the worst on both sides I can settle the argument for once and for all and categorically say that british fish and chips are better than NZ - by a mile.
25. I thought Christchurch was supposed to be the "English" City - maybe the 1sq mile of city centre is mildly reminiscent but the remainder is a good ole american grid and monument to the internal combustion engine. About as English as Detroit.
26. Magpies here hate cyclists
27. Motorists here hate cyclists (makes me feel like Im back home in England :-))
28. The roads here hate cyclists - broken glass and stones everywhere
29. The bicycle shops know about point 28 and inflate the price or tyres and inner tubes to cash in on this
30. OK youve probably guessed im a cyclist (and by necessity a driver btw) I feel uneasy about the car culture in this country - that is an argument for another forum - but it doesnt sit very well with the "100% Pure" green image the country conveys. Also - aparently ChCh has one of the highest levels of air pollution in the world!!
31. If you live anywhere near ChCh airport dont count on getting any sleep at night - that is when they test the engines.
32. Kaikoura crayfish is cheaper than lobster and nicer
33. New Zealand town centres are being killed by the shopping malls
 
Old Oct 27th 2005, 9:44 am
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

One other thing.... I LOVE the no smoking thing!! I can go for a beer in a pub and not come out smelling like an ashtray - love it!
 
Old Oct 27th 2005, 10:18 am
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by turkeytickler
Not trying to be positive or negative here - just want to give a factual (sometimes) account of my observations from my first 3 months here in Christchurch - some of it is a little tongue in cheek - no offence meant to anyone :-)

1. The weather has been wonderful - arrived in august to day after day of warm sun - 10:30pm here now - im sitting here in shorts and still hot
2. I miss central heating in the winter!
3. The country is car mad and has poor public transport for those unable to drive
4. The driving is the worst I have witnessed anywhere in the developed world - and i mean anywhere
5. People are even more obsessed by the price of petrol than us brits
6. People are even more obsessed by the weather than us brits
7. It is almost as cheap to eat out than to shop at the supermarkets (since the supermarkets are so expensive)
8. Decent beer is hard come by (Monteiths/Macs seems pretty good so far though)
9. Bad wine is hard come by - I tend to go for kiwi whites, aussi reds - a good rule of thumb for me
10. The government/politicians are even more self serving and worthless than the british equivalents
11. The TV is awful - the only stuff I can bear to watch is the british imports that I wouldnt have bothered with back home - I guess the NZ networks cant afford the decent stuff
12. Salaries are lower than in UK relative to the exchange rate
13. Expenses are higher than in UK relative to the exchange rate (except petrol)
14. Dont touch the sausages - they are out of date dog meat in disguise
15. BBQs arent BBQs here - they are outdoor frying pans
16. Grown men in sandals (you will NEVER make me say the J word!) or worse - barefoot, shorts and baseball caps is just wrong
17. Confectionary is expensive and like a trip back in time 20 years
18. Chocolate Croissants no not contain any chocolate
19. The people are articulate and the nicest most genuine you could meet - everywhere - your average shop assistant in the UK can only manage a grunt
20. The media/Souvenir industry is obsessed by mediocre national "icons" such as s(J)andals and marmite
21. The media is obsessed by incidental local news at the expense of world affairs
22. Its pretty easy to get a decent curry
23. Its pretty hard to get a decent chinese - so far i have found it impossible but i dont want to jump to any conclusions!
24. Having tried the best and the worst on both sides I can settle the argument for once and for all and categorically say that british fish and chips are better than NZ - by a mile.
25. I thought Christchurch was supposed to be the "English" City - maybe the 1sq mile of city centre is mildly reminiscent but the remainder is a good ole american grid and monument to the internal combustion engine. About as English as Detroit.
26. Magpies here hate cyclists
27. Motorists here hate cyclists (makes me feel like Im back home in England :-))
28. The roads here hate cyclists - broken glass and stones everywhere
29. The bicycle shops know about point 28 and inflate the price or tyres and inner tubes to cash in on this
30. OK youve probably guessed im a cyclist (and by necessity a driver btw) I feel uneasy about the car culture in this country - that is an argument for another forum - but it doesnt sit very well with the "100% Pure" green image the country conveys. Also - aparently ChCh has one of the highest levels of air pollution in the world!!
31. If you live anywhere near ChCh airport dont count on getting any sleep at night - that is when they test the engines.
32. Kaikoura crayfish is cheaper than lobster and nicer
33. New Zealand town centres are being killed by the shopping malls

I can relate to some of this!! We've been here since June. Can add to a few of your points....

1. The weather is great at the moment although I did think for a while "will it ever stop raining?"... I've seen so much blue sky....more than Ive seen for years back home.
2. Yep CH would be nice.
3. All the cars have dents on them..... nobody seems to care about their car here.... mines been dented already by some old geezer backing into it!!
4. I agree the driving is bad.... dont ever expect anyone to acknowledge you or to stop for you etc....hint....if youre backing out of a car parking space they will carry on driving.... dont ever expect them to stop!! They wont!
5. People here moan a lot about the cost of petrol.....when I said how much it was in UK their eyes popped out!!
6. Dunno about that but I am!! I just love all this sun and blue sky!!
8. ermmm....we drink Export Gold
11. Just about getting used to the TV now. I can still watch Neighbours and Home and Away so I'm happy!!
14. Sausages....dont even mention them!! lol Sausages from our local butcher are ok but dont ever buy them from supermarkets!
15. We just bought a BBQ..... its huge!!!!
17. The chocolate here still tastes odd to me even after 4 months.
18. Dont they? Hey try the fresh chocolate muffins from WoolWorths....they are to die for!!
19. Have had some great service here in the shops!!
21. Ive noticed that too!!!
22. Where from??? I've been most disappointed with the ones I've had...I wont have one now....it was literally just stodgey rice with massive lumps of veggies and no sauce.
23. Yeah some of it is nice.
24. Youre right!!! Although we've found a little shop in Maraetai and his fish n chips is really good and pretty cheap too.
26. Magpies hate you walking down to the horse field and dive bomb you!
27. Motorists dont slow down for horse riders at all.

Ok that will do for now...
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Old Oct 27th 2005, 10:20 am
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

re. point 11..... let me know if you want to know what happens in Neighbours.... we're 2 months ahead of you here...
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Old Oct 27th 2005, 10:45 am
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Thanks for the feedback - glad to see im not totally alone in my madness!

4. Agreed + people will pull out onto the road into spaces that dont exist. I have lost count of the times i have had to slam on the brakes when someone pulls out of a side street staight into me. it seems to be be norm here... Stopping distances seem to be an alien concept too. To be fair - absent minded/lazy/ignorant or whatever it is aside, i dont find drivers in NZ half as agressive as the UK - apart from the hoons of course but they are a global phenomenon

8. Yeah Export Gold is pretty good too if im in weak lager mode - Steinlager is goodif i have my drinking hat on. My blacklist so far contains;
Speights
CD
Tui
DB
All taste of nothing and have a slightly sweet underfermented quality about them.

15. I know the ones you mean - huge indeed and very cool - i might have me one of those for xmas if we decide to stay - i was referring to the gas powered ones that are basically a round hot plate! Really what is the point in that??!

18. Not from my local bakers they dont - shame because the bread is lush!

22. "Two Fat Indians" in Merival ChCh.... apart from that no idea - so "pretty easy" was probably a little bullish - more like "possible"! :-) - although I have some recipes if you are interested.... getting the ingredients in ChCh can be tough though...

26. Glad to hear magpies are not just singling out cyclists! Being dive bombed at 40kph on a hard road is no fun - maybe thats why its the law to wear a helmet here!! Out of interest - have you been hit by one? so far i have managed to swipe them off before they get me but i wonder whether thats luck?

27. Im a cyclist and (ex) horse rider (got allergic to the dust and had to stop) I always slow down for horses, whether in a car or on my bike. Why cant everyone pay a little courtesy to other vunerable road users - it costs a couple of seconds and makes a huge difference to the other person. :-(


A new one - the Warehouse! It ROCKS! I wonder if something like that would work in UK? The closest i can think of is the Big W - most people are a bit snobbish about it though...
 
Old Oct 27th 2005, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by turkeytickler
Not trying to be positive or negative here - just want to give a factual (sometimes) account of my observations from my first 3 months here in Christchurch - some of it is a little tongue in cheek - no offence meant to anyone :-)

1. The weather has been wonderful - arrived in august to day after day of warm sun - 10:30pm here now - im sitting here in shorts and still hot
2. I miss central heating in the winter!
3. The country is car mad and has poor public transport for those unable to drive
4. The driving is the worst I have witnessed anywhere in the developed world - and i mean anywhere
5. People are even more obsessed by the price of petrol than us brits
6. People are even more obsessed by the weather than us brits
7. It is almost as cheap to eat out than to shop at the supermarkets (since the supermarkets are so expensive)
8. Decent beer is hard come by (Monteiths/Macs seems pretty good so far though)
9. Bad wine is hard come by - I tend to go for kiwi whites, aussi reds - a good rule of thumb for me
10. The government/politicians are even more self serving and worthless than the british equivalents
11. The TV is awful - the only stuff I can bear to watch is the british imports that I wouldnt have bothered with back home - I guess the NZ networks cant afford the decent stuff
12. Salaries are lower than in UK relative to the exchange rate
13. Expenses are higher than in UK relative to the exchange rate (except petrol)
14. Dont touch the sausages - they are out of date dog meat in disguise
15. BBQs arent BBQs here - they are outdoor frying pans
16. Grown men in sandals (you will NEVER make me say the J word!) or worse - barefoot, shorts and baseball caps is just wrong
17. Confectionary is expensive and like a trip back in time 20 years
18. Chocolate Croissants no not contain any chocolate
19. The people are articulate and the nicest most genuine you could meet - everywhere - your average shop assistant in the UK can only manage a grunt
20. The media/Souvenir industry is obsessed by mediocre national "icons" such as s(J)andals and marmite
21. The media is obsessed by incidental local news at the expense of world affairs
22. Its pretty easy to get a decent curry
23. Its pretty hard to get a decent chinese - so far i have found it impossible but i dont want to jump to any conclusions!
24. Having tried the best and the worst on both sides I can settle the argument for once and for all and categorically say that british fish and chips are better than NZ - by a mile.
25. I thought Christchurch was supposed to be the "English" City - maybe the 1sq mile of city centre is mildly reminiscent but the remainder is a good ole american grid and monument to the internal combustion engine. About as English as Detroit.
26. Magpies here hate cyclists
27. Motorists here hate cyclists (makes me feel like Im back home in England :-))
28. The roads here hate cyclists - broken glass and stones everywhere
29. The bicycle shops know about point 28 and inflate the price or tyres and inner tubes to cash in on this
30. OK youve probably guessed im a cyclist (and by necessity a driver btw) I feel uneasy about the car culture in this country - that is an argument for another forum - but it doesnt sit very well with the "100% Pure" green image the country conveys. Also - aparently ChCh has one of the highest levels of air pollution in the world!!
31. If you live anywhere near ChCh airport dont count on getting any sleep at night - that is when they test the engines.
32. Kaikoura crayfish is cheaper than lobster and nicer
33. New Zealand town centres are being killed by the shopping malls
Excellent post...thanks for the heads up on the Cycling...plan to do a lot when i get there....or at least i was planning
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Old Oct 27th 2005, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by turkeytickler
Not trying to be positive or negative here - just want to give a factual (sometimes) account of my observations from my first 3 months here in Christchurch - some of it is a little tongue in cheek - no offence meant to anyone :-)

1. The weather has been wonderful - arrived in august to day after day of warm sun - 10:30pm here now - im sitting here in shorts and still hot
2. I miss central heating in the winter!
3. The country is car mad and has poor public transport for those unable to drive
4. The driving is the worst I have witnessed anywhere in the developed world - and i mean anywhere
5. People are even more obsessed by the price of petrol than us brits
6. People are even more obsessed by the weather than us brits
7. It is almost as cheap to eat out than to shop at the supermarkets (since the supermarkets are so expensive)
8. Decent beer is hard come by (Monteiths/Macs seems pretty good so far though)
9. Bad wine is hard come by - I tend to go for kiwi whites, aussi reds - a good rule of thumb for me
10. The government/politicians are even more self serving and worthless than the british equivalents
11. The TV is awful - the only stuff I can bear to watch is the british imports that I wouldnt have bothered with back home - I guess the NZ networks cant afford the decent stuff
12. Salaries are lower than in UK relative to the exchange rate
13. Expenses are higher than in UK relative to the exchange rate (except petrol)
14. Dont touch the sausages - they are out of date dog meat in disguise
15. BBQs arent BBQs here - they are outdoor frying pans
16. Grown men in sandals (you will NEVER make me say the J word!) or worse - barefoot, shorts and baseball caps is just wrong
17. Confectionary is expensive and like a trip back in time 20 years
18. Chocolate Croissants no not contain any chocolate
19. The people are articulate and the nicest most genuine you could meet - everywhere - your average shop assistant in the UK can only manage a grunt
20. The media/Souvenir industry is obsessed by mediocre national "icons" such as s(J)andals and marmite
21. The media is obsessed by incidental local news at the expense of world affairs
22. Its pretty easy to get a decent curry
23. Its pretty hard to get a decent chinese - so far i have found it impossible but i dont want to jump to any conclusions!
24. Having tried the best and the worst on both sides I can settle the argument for once and for all and categorically say that british fish and chips are better than NZ - by a mile.
25. I thought Christchurch was supposed to be the "English" City - maybe the 1sq mile of city centre is mildly reminiscent but the remainder is a good ole american grid and monument to the internal combustion engine. About as English as Detroit.
26. Magpies here hate cyclists
27. Motorists here hate cyclists (makes me feel like Im back home in England :-))
28. The roads here hate cyclists - broken glass and stones everywhere
29. The bicycle shops know about point 28 and inflate the price or tyres and inner tubes to cash in on this
30. OK youve probably guessed im a cyclist (and by necessity a driver btw) I feel uneasy about the car culture in this country - that is an argument for another forum - but it doesnt sit very well with the "100% Pure" green image the country conveys. Also - aparently ChCh has one of the highest levels of air pollution in the world!!
31. If you live anywhere near ChCh airport dont count on getting any sleep at night - that is when they test the engines.
32. Kaikoura crayfish is cheaper than lobster and nicer
33. New Zealand town centres are being killed by the shopping malls
Great Post, very interesting reading. Must admit it gave me more than a few chuckles though. Cant or should I say wont disagree with your observations but do have a couple of questions for you. Why would you want everything to be & taste just like home? Wouldnt that defeat the purpose of moving to another country??
Your still in the early stages so once you can stop comparing things life will get easier.

Cindy
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Old Oct 27th 2005, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by shepslady
Great Post, very interesting reading. Must admit it gave me more than a few chuckles though. Cant or should I say wont disagree with your observations but do have a couple of questions for you. Why would you want everything to be & taste just like home? Wouldnt that defeat the purpose of moving to another country??
Your still in the early stages so once you can stop comparing things life will get easier.

Cindy
Hello you! Hope you enjoyed son #2 visiting!

Your ears must have been burning - I asked where you were only last night??

But really wanted to say LOVE THE TICKER!
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Old Oct 27th 2005, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by uk+kiwi
Hello you! Hope you enjoyed son #2 visiting!

Your ears must have been burning - I asked where you were only last night??

But really wanted to say LOVE THE TICKER!

I know its off the subject but will respond anyhow.....Son #2 is still with me & Im loving every minute of it. Hes staying with us until Jan 4 when he will return to the UK for a while. This will be my first Christmas away from home with one of my sons with me so dont have to tell you how much I am looking forward to that. Hubby is not a shopper so it will be wonderful to have my son go christmas shopping with me instead of having to face it alone.

Funny you mention my ears burning because they actually bothered me last night & I thought I might be in for some ear infection....seem fine today so im going to blame you for it

Yep ticker is kind of neat & this is the one time of the year that tends to bring out the child in me. I know there are some people out there who wont want to be reminded but this lady cant wait for the silly season to get underway

Cheers
Cindy
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Old Oct 27th 2005, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by shepslady
Great Post, very interesting reading. Must admit it gave me more than a few chuckles though. Cant or should I say wont disagree with your observations but do have a couple of questions for you. Why would you want everything to be & taste just like home? Wouldnt that defeat the purpose of moving to another country??
Your still in the early stages so once you can stop comparing things life will get easier.

Cindy
Oh I can totally agree with turkeytickler here, and it's nothing to do with stuff from home - bring on the curries! Curries shouldn't taste different wherever you go, they're the staff of life! Went to a foodcourt the other day, saw a curry one, thought 'whoopee, tikka masalla for lunch' - it was Watties tomato soup with chicken pieces in it. And it was cold. Wonder if you can barbie a curry? That would be fusion cooking at its best wouldn't it!

Great ticker by the way Cindy, not give any thought to Christmas yet, even though the shops are starting to fill up. I'm going to ask for a curry cookery book in my stocking.

Love this thread turkeytickler, been making me giggle. My bike gets delivered tomorrow, and as I've never had a bike in my life (all together now ...) I'll have nothing to compare the standards here. Think of me with my stabilisers over the weekend won't you!
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Old Oct 27th 2005, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Excellent thread makes really good reading. Myself and the kids love horse riding can anyone tell me what prices are like for buying a horse or for riding lessons for the kids christchurch area.

Cindy really pleased your having a great time with your son, so nice he is with you for Christmas. I love Christmas too, brings out the kid in me and to see my little ones faces Xmas morning priceless!

If anyone wants some good curry recipes got plenty I can e-mail.


Helen
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Old Oct 28th 2005, 12:07 am
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by jrsuk73
Excellent thread makes really good reading. Myself and the kids love horse riding can anyone tell me what prices are like for buying a horse or for riding lessons for the kids christchurch area.

Cindy really pleased your having a great time with your son, so nice he is with you for Christmas. I love Christmas too, brings out the kid in me and to see my little ones faces Xmas morning priceless!

If anyone wants some good curry recipes got plenty I can e-mail.


Helen
wouldnt have a good beef vindaloo (sp?) would you???
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Old Oct 28th 2005, 12:47 am
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

This thing about Indian food tasting different outside of the UK always makes me laugh - not nastily or anything I hasten to add Indians, in India, don't know what a Tikka Masala is - it was developed especially for the English market. Honestly. So, the same probably goes for the actual curry taste. Different spices added to a basic sauce? Does that make sense? The Indians here are mainly Fijian Indians (or so I'm told anyway) so their cuisine would have to be different. We've found the Indian meals to be 'nice' here, not as hot as we'd like and quite expensive too but nothing distasteful about them. An Indian meal shouldn't be called 'nice' It's the most exciting food on the planet IMO I'll just make my own in future I think.
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Old Oct 28th 2005, 2:30 am
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by Batty
This thing about Indian food tasting different outside of the UK always makes me laugh - not nastily or anything I hasten to add Indians, in India, don't know what a Tikka Masala is - it was developed especially for the English market. Honestly. So, the same probably goes for the actual curry taste. Different spices added to a basic sauce? Does that make sense? The Indians here are mainly Fijian Indians (or so I'm told anyway) so their cuisine would have to be different. We've found the Indian meals to be 'nice' here, not as hot as we'd like and quite expensive too but nothing distasteful about them. An Indian meal shouldn't be called 'nice' It's the most exciting food on the planet IMO I'll just make my own in future I think.
Couldnt agree more Basically it really all comes down to what one is used too. My son has just spent the last 8 months living in the UK & while he found a lot of things very different he says they were ok. His opinion of UK chinese takeaways for example he describes as absolute shite compared to what he was used to in NZ but after a while he got used to it & said he started to enjoy them because it was all that was on offer. He loved the cod sold in the chippies but still missed kiwi style fish & chips & he is addicted to mushy peas that was a surprise to me because we tried some my brother in law made us & he hated them. Guess the original english ones are better huh? Goes to prove the old saying when in Rome huh?
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Old Oct 28th 2005, 7:54 am
  #15  
turkeytickler
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Default Re: My First 3 Months - Observations

Originally Posted by Batty
This thing about Indian food tasting different outside of the UK always makes me laugh - not nastily or anything I hasten to add Indians, in India, don't know what a Tikka Masala is - it was developed especially for the English market. Honestly. So, the same probably goes for the actual curry taste. Different spices added to a basic sauce? Does that make sense? The Indians here are mainly Fijian Indians (or so I'm told anyway) so their cuisine would have to be different. We've found the Indian meals to be 'nice' here, not as hot as we'd like and quite expensive too but nothing distasteful about them. An Indian meal shouldn't be called 'nice' It's the most exciting food on the planet IMO I'll just make my own in future I think.
The UK is full of indian and bangladeshi communities and the cuisine found there is far from "anglicised".
 

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