America: The Best Things I've Seen #2

Free Refills.

Dear Europe, You’re being taken advantage of.

A glass of coke or some other similar soft drink costs somewhere around a few pennies, yet restaurants will regularly change over £2 per glass for the stuff. And if you order from a pub you might be looking at closer to £3.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Similarly, dining out.

We Brits are being taken advantage of.

In this green and pleasant land I can buy a reasonable, balanced and satisfying meal for less than $10. That’s around £7, or just over an hour’s work on minimum wage. All things considered, dining our might not be that much more expensive than eating at home, when you think about how much time it takes to buy and prepare food.

Dining out and free refills unite to give the American public a great social experience.

You see, when dining out becomes attainable for the majority of people it’s then very easy to decide to go to lunch with people. Almost on a whim. There’s usually no awkward ‘I can’t afford this’ moment and everyone gets to have a good time.

For example it’s not unusual after church for one group of people or more to then walk downtown and go to one of the cafés or stands to get food. In my opinion, this is a fantastic way to end a morning of church.

But in the Motherland, Church seems to end oftentimes with a hurried cup of tea before everyone scurries away for Sunday Lunch. And then you might not see your Christian family for another week. This is a little sad to me (and of course singleness hardly helps).

Occasionally there might be a church organised lunch but it’s not really the same as a spontaneous trip to a favourite eatery. I will sorely miss the most strenuous activity on a Sunday afternoon being the decision of where we ought to buy lunch.

With free refills one can sit and talk for hours and still feel welcome in the eatery.

Truth be told I think that the after church lunches were some of the most blessed times of connection for me, nourishing to my soul and very real encounters with Jesus.

I will miss getting lunch after church.

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2 Comments

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  1. The closest thing I’ve seen to that in the UK is a Toby Carvery. ‘Bottomless soft drinks’ and fairly reasonably priced grub.

    p.s. we have church lunch together every week, I agree that those times are the most nurturing and nourishing spiritually (if not always culinarily) ((and you’d be welcome to join us there too)).

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  2. Haha, i can understand your sentiments and feelings for these “free” things… at the same time, i think the cheap food and bottomless carbonated sugary beverages have led to what we call here Obesity… MWAHHAAH. Ever since I was put on a diet by my doctor’s orders, or risk heart disease, i was forced to look at my eating habits in a different light. While i can understand the community aspect of eating after church, there’s also the fact that the English control how much of this cheap food is “given away”…but.. i just read statistics about how england is like 58% overeweight and USA is only 30%… so maybe i’m just stupid.

    All in all, we do have the commodity of free refills, but it’s a double edged sword mate. Choose wisely 🙂

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