July 02, 2012

Simple Things

[This is an article I wrote for the school newspaper. Please bear in mind that it is aimed at young teenagers, whose first language is not English.]

There are several things I miss about being at home in England. The first is something English people drink a lot of. In fact it’s been the most popular drink in England for over two hundred years. 98% of people drink it with milk, and around 30% of people, including me, drink it with sugar. Can you guess what it is? Did you guess coffee? You guessed wrong! The most popular drink in England is tea! Not green tea, but black tea, which in England, we simply call ‘tea’.

In England, when you take a break at work, it is often called a ‘tea break’; this is because when most people take a break, they drink some tea.

This is the thing I miss most about England because tea, or black tea as it is called in Korea, is very difficult to find here. One time, I was in a store and I noticed that they had some black tea, and I bought all the black tea they had in the store, about six months’ worth of tea. I was very happy to have some tea.

In England, the average person drinks about 2.2 kilograms of tea per year. If you compare this with the USA, they only drink about 0.2 kg per person per year, as Americans prefer to drink coffee. They are missing the benefits of a relaxing cup of tea.

As you can see, the English like their tea! In fact, England is the seventh biggest consumer of tea in the world. We had tea shops over one hundred years ago, which are much like today’s coffee shops, except they sold only tea and snacks. It is customary to have a sandwich or a scone (a type of heavy cake) with your tea in a tea shop. Tea shops are very polite places, and it is normal to see ladies sitting alone drinking tea in a tea shop, but they would not go to a coffee shop or restaurant alone.

The other thing I miss most about England is chips. Chips in England are like what you would call French fries, except they are much bigger and softer, and made from real potatoes. The potatoes are peeled, and cut very thickly, then cooked in oil or fat. Fat makes the chips taste better, but you can cook them in vegetable oil too. The most famous food in England is fish and chips, but it is not ‘haut cuisine’, it is very ordinary food, which English people love, maybe like kimchi and rice in Korea – that is, it is everyday ordinary food, nothing special or exciting. Some days I wish I could just go to the ‘chippy’ (slang for a shop that sells cooked fish and chips) then go home and eat them with a nice cup of tea, with milk and sugar of course!

I like Korean food, but I really miss some simple English things like chips and tea.