Sunday, June 19, 2011

Left versus Right

I've been meaning to post about this for a while, but after two seperate comments from friends when I was back in the US recently, I knew I had to get this up tout de suite!

We Americans eat differently than the Brits.  And, after living here for 3 years, I'm starting to come around to the way the Brits do it more & more often (hence the friends' comments).  What do I mean, you ask?  Simples.

Americans, when faced with needing to use a knife with their meal, will put the knife in their right hand and fork in the left.  We'll cut our food, and then switch hands and use the fork in the right hand to eat with.  Back and forth and back and forth.
Not the Brits.  Once the knife goes in the right hand, it stays there.  And, even more interestingly is that unlike Americans who will use the fork in a scooping motion, the Brits don't flip the fork over; rather, they use the knife to scoot food onto the back of the fork tines and then eat.

To wit:

Brit Eater

American Eater

What really brought this home for me was last night:  Simon & I took a dinner cruise on the Thames-and there appeared to be a fairly even split of Brits & Americans on the boat (based on the accents I heard).  Once we settled in to dinner & I was looking around, it was even more apparent as I observed the different styles of fork/knife usage.
After 3 years of being in London, I'm starting to notice that I'm adopting this style of eating too (hence the friends' comments when I was in the US).  Not all the time, but half the time at least.  It kinda makes sense:  the back & forth kife/fork switching really is unnecessary.

Though, I can't help but wonder how the 'American-style' came to pass..

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lesson Learned

After 3 years, and close to a dozen trips back to the West Coast of the US, I think I have finally cracked the nut on this jet lag thing!

To wit:  I flew in to San Francisco this past Sunday, and by Wednesday (a mere 3 full days later!) felt completely human-in fact, I was feeling pretty good on Tuesday-except for the falling asleep at 10pm part.

What's different from this trip, you ask?  I think it comes down to one thing:  keeping it simples.  Normally, my return trips to the US, whether for work or personal or a combo of two mean that by the 2nd day in the US, I'm working a full day AND going out with friends in the evening-or simply running 'life admin' errands all day long from the moment I'm awake (usually at 5am the first few days.  sigh), until I hit a wall around 8pm.

This time, as I was staying in Sunnyvale, CA-and knew NO ONE within a 50 mile radius, I simply woke up each morning, went to the gym, went to work, went out for dinner, and went back to the hotel.  That's it.  No burning the candle at both ends.  No running myself crazy.  Just a very simple schedule.  Yes, I was awake at 5am on the 1st three days, but as I eased into my routine, staying awake until 10pm-and even midnight on Wednesday were both possible and pain-free!

It sounds silly, but I think this is a complete milestone in how I'm able to cope with the 8 hour time difference from London to the West Coast (London/East Coast has never been a problem)!  It just pains me to think about what 'could have been' the past 3 years. :)  I'll have to test this theory again the next time I'm back in the US.

Fingers crossed I may have just stumbled across my 'jetl ag miracle cure'!