This may come as a surprise to some…. but not me! The pub has been named as the thing most expats miss about Britain, after the British countryside and British humor. According to a recent survey of Lloyds TSB International, 41% of the 1,034 expats interviewed noted that they missed the pub. The participants were asked to pick the top three things they missed most about home, and a ‘traditional English’ watering hole, topped the list!
A few years ago, the results from an identical survey were very different. Top of the list was missing family and friends and being able to easily contact loved ones. These days however, the tidal wave of social networking, Facebook, Twitter and Skype, to name a few, has meant that living abroad does not mean being isolated from loved ones. In fact, in my experience, I actually communicate more with my relatives and friends now I live abroad than when I lived in England. I thoroughly enjoy my ‘Skype dates’, with my mates and family. Online photo sharing and status updates ensure I am never ‘out of the loop’, so to say, in fact sometimes when bored I am more clued up on what my friends and family are up to than when I lived in the same country as them!
Hence, upon reading these survey results I was in complete agreement! Many a Sunday, during my time in Slovakia I have longed to call a mate and meet for a good old English roast and a pint. The gravy, yorkshire puds and beer would flow while the rugby played in the background. Of course the rugby would not really be watched and the conversation would mainly focus on what happened in Eastenders or X Factor that week! Yet, it is a tradition the English enjoy and look forward to as their weekly ‘time out!. Husbands use it as an excuse to escape the ‘wife and kids’, women use as a chance to meet up with girl friends and be able to drink copious amounts of beer without being accused of being ‘un-ladylike’, due to the fact, ‘it’s Sunday at the pub!!!’
The ‘Sunday Rules’, in England are most certainly at the top of my list of ‘things I miss back home’.
Unsurprisingly, the least missed aspects of life in the UK are politics and the weather…to which i say….here here!
Nicholas Boys Smith of Lloyds TSB International said in regards to the survey, “Many expats have an element of the adventurer about them, but they still long for certain aspects of British life that some people here might take for granted.”
This is true! I never would have expected to miss the things I miss now after years away from England.
Bearing this in mind, there are always alternatives! Bratislava has some fantastic pubs, right up there with some of my favourite in London. The English comedy and stand up nights are becoming increasingly popular with the expat community here, and short of not serving a Sunday roast, I have no complaints!
Though, saying this, I would perhaps occasionally trade in my right arm for a Carvery, a pint of good British ale and the sound on the television of a group of men with cauliflower ears beating the hell out of each other and throwing an egg shaped ball over a tall bar!
Long Live England…..and Long Live The Pub!