Snacks: a last holdout against globalization

I just spent two weeks in Scotland and England with my mum. It was lots of fun, but I was a little disappointed in how similar everything was to home.

When I was in Europe in 2003, the fashion was so far ahead I could only point and laugh, and there were always some obvious local specialties. In Holland, every pub had Heineken and Grolsch on tap, as you’d expect. Bars in Granada served free tapas with every drink; bars in Barcelona didn’t.

On this trip, we had to hunt and hunt to find anything we couldn’t get in Vancouver. There were more people dressed fashionably, but the frontiers of fashion were set in approximately the same places as they are here.

I made my mum take a highway exit twice so that I could get another fleeting glimpse of some highland cattle, because they were so hard to find. Despite spotting millions of sheep in the countryside, we were hard pressed to find any non-tourist shops selling local woolens. Do Scottish people ignore their huge wool harvest, or do they just wear the dumb tourist sweaters? It was frustrating.

Right after my mum and I had been sort of lamenting that globalization had made travel more boring, we stopped to buy some snacks for the trip to the next place. I remembered all the weird chips and candy I’d hoarded in Eastern Europe, and made a trip down the “crisps and biscuits” aisle.


Walker's Lamb and Mint Flavour Crisps

Nobby's Nuts

The green V logo in the corner of the next one means “suitable for vegetarians.”

Bacon Streakies

Besides the snack differences, the UK might be the world headquarters for design that uses an object to replace a letter in its own name. Every mention of Italy used the boot for the L; every fish shop’s name was spelled with a fish… every package of bacon streakies had a little bacon streaky for an I. So there’s that.

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