BBCs - Basic British Comforts for your year abroad
BBCs by markhillary
This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 30th August 2011 and has been read 8666 times.
Heading out abroad, to a gorgeous sunset as you take off from the tarmac, unto the world of the kooky, the eccentric, the known unknowns and the unknowns knowns...This is the start of a new adventure, your heart cries. As you hit the ground running, find your new flat without (too much) trouble and set up camp a la [insert nationality], you’ll feel as though life has just begun. There will be a time - morning, lunch, early evening - when you’ll want to reach out for...Oh no, crap, you didn’t bring it with you. After reading lists and lists about what to cut out of your packing (15 jumpers too much?!), you might have forgotten the BBC (ahem, British Basic Comforts). Make sure you wrap these up in cotton wool, you’ll need them once you’re out in the wild:1. Tea
This might seem obvious. Some people have worried about not having a kettle out on their year abroad...This does not defeat the tea-brewer. Nay, there will be gas. There will be a saucepan. Or on the worst case scenario, there will be a microwave. A cup of tea fixes EVERYTHING. Everything. Your new mates might call you Queeny or make fun of you as a human teapot, but you know it makes sense. And don’t you dare think you can get the same stuff abroad - you can’t.
2. Your favourite boxset DVDs
Whether your heart still skips a beat when Darcy rustles up to the screen (the original, of course) or your idea of a fun night in is laughing like a geeky teen to Red Dwarf, so be it. How much does a DVD weigh anyway? You can’t get these abroad and even if you can, postage is not fun. Nor is trying to locate a lost parcel. Trust us, even if you’re having the time of your life, there will come the day when you could do with a bit of Only Fools and Horses.
3. Something from home
Home home, not student home. Pick up a piece of your family home and take it with you - Grandma’s doilly, your favourite photo of your pet dog, Mum’s cooking spoon or your old teddy bear (we won’t tell anyone), it’ll make all the difference in your foreign room. Some people take entire photo albums, you might want to just take one memorable piece of your life back in the UK, to remind you that although your new abode may be foreign, you’ve still got a link to life back home.
4. Your favourite condiments
Some of you may be quite keen on Marmite, others on Branston pickle, others still on a good old jar of Patak’s curry paste, maybe even a bottle of HP for that upcoming bacon sarnie...You won’t be able to get these abroad, unless you fancy paying extortionate prices over the internet, so it’s best to take a (couple) of jars of the stuff, just in case you get peckish, with a piece of cheddar. You might want to pack some Baked Beans, too, whilst you're at it.
5. An address book
This is quite self-explanatory. You’re off abroad, you saw something that reminded you of someone back home (a funny sign, cute little café, weird Erasmus person) and you want to share it with a loved one. Oh, but you can’t, because you left all your numbers/email addresses/snail mail addresses back home - not when you bring a trusty address book. Might seem a little old fashioned, might seem a little weird but there’ll come a time and a place when you’ll wish you had all that info with you, without having to ask for it once you’re out there.
6. Chocolate and biscuits
People tell you you can get Cadbury’s abroad, and yes, sometimes you can. It’s got the same name, the same wrapper and it even looks the same. Chances are, you’ll have forked out even less for the stuff than you would back home. Take a bite. And another. Where’s the sugar? Where’s the stick-to-your-teeth sweetness? It’s not the same. Packaging fools even the hard-ass chocoholics. Take a stash of your favourite goodies and hide them, but hide them well. Fox biscuits and Rich Teas are not the norm abroad. Remember Rolos? It’s not guaranteed you’ll find that busty blond or local tombeur. Make sure you share with only the very, very special.
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