Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tea Time

When you live abroad you can't help but notice the difference between your host culture and your home culture. The comparisons can be made everywhere, even when you are not trying. Granted, as far as expats go, I have adjusted to living abroad fairly well. I think because I made the decision that I was going to love living in England before I moved here, so I think it may have been a bit easier for me. That being said, there are things that make me still shake my head and say (usually in my head) "What the hell?"

Lately, the biggest difference I have noticed is that my English friends eat dinner a LOT later than I do. To me, dinner time is five o'clock pm, six a the latest. From twitter conversations, I have noticed that most of my friends on this side of the pond eat anywhere from seven to ten in the evening (of course feeding the children earlier and getting them off to bed)(of course there are always exceptions to the rule and a few who eat at "normal" times). I just don't know how they do it. At four I am generally hungry enough to start thinking about what is for dinner, or looking through cookbooks (yes, I will just randomly look through cookbooks), by four thirty I am usually cooking. Dinner is on the table by five.

Is it really a cultural difference though? Am I imagining this perceived difference? Is it really more of a circumstantial event? Well, last night I took an impromptu twitter poll, and the results were inconclusive. Best answers however were, "When the beer stops" and "Whenever my husband cooks it".

So I ask you this: What side of the Atlantic are you on and what time do you eat dinner/tea?