So, I decided to try corn dogs, that fatal American tradition. U.K. friends, I plead ignorance to what a corn dog was before I tried it, but I knew I wanted to partake.
This is what a corn dog is: A corn dog is a hot dog sausage coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and deep-fried in oil, although some are baked.
Sadly, it was delicious and addictive and now sits around my middle like a lardy ring. I recommend just one, not the one and a half I chose to indulge in. A piece of America on a stick. All hail the corn dog.
Sept. 13, 2012: School drop-off/pickup line
Another U.S. phenomenon: the school pickup line. School gates? No. Walking to school? No chance. Meet other parents? Hell, don’t even think about it!
Everyone drives to school here and the school pickup line is a well-ordered military operation with strict rules that must be adhered to in order to ensure that it all goes smoothly (which it does unless there is a U.K. mother in the line).
So here’s how it works.
Drop-off — You drive into the school grounds. There is a man in a yellow vest with batons who waves you through in the right direction. You drive very, very slowly. You join your relevant queue. There are teachers and older children standing by. You do not get out of the car (I have been told that you can do drop-off in your pj’s and pickup in whatever you like, since no one sees you). You pause the car, and the teacher or older child on duty opens the door. Out gets your child with his or her rucksack. You wave bye-bye, and the child walks into the classroom. “Have a great day,” says the teacher or older child, and they shut the car door. And off you drive (slowly), joining the exit queue.
Pickup -- It’s the same deal, except this time everyone gets there 45 minutes before pickup time actually commences so that they can join the queue. You slowly make your way up the queue. Your child appears. The teacher opens the door. Your child gets in. They shut the door and off you go.
You do not engage in conversation with anyone. If you are me, however, you get out of the car whilst waiting in the pickup queue and attempt to sunbathe. Everyone else stays in their air-conditioned cars.
And that is that.
It works, but it seems a shame that there is no meeting, talking, engagement. I may just have to break the rules.
Sept. 19, 2012: Pulled pork
Is it wrong to eat this every day? I suspect so, but we love it.
Oct. 3, 2012: Waivers and birthdays
This is nuts -- I have just had to sign a waiver for Harry to attend a friend’s birthday party!! Seriously, this is how it works: no liability to the parents or venue should Harry have a tumble and injure his toe/face/arm, etc. They are all hot on the legal stuff here.
Birthday parties are hot to trot here, too. Apparently, over the summer there was a lot of competition in the 11-14 girls’ birthday age range, with one girl having ponies trotting round her garden at her party and another had a ZOO delivered!!!!! Really? Who cleared up? That’s what I want to know.
So, no triangle sandwiches, no cheese and pineapple on sticks in the USA – oh no, I expect sushi or a platter of sliders for the kids’ lunch with these events, a celebrity appearance and a party bag containing Chanel.
Oct. 15, 2012: The world of coupons
Coupons here are big. There are coupons for everything. I know this, because I got totally chastised by a server at the checkout when I did my “big shop” for not having coupons.