This Englishman abroad has fallen in love not with the way of life, although given time perhaps i might adapt, but with one of it`s citizens. Fallen in love? Tell me more, i hear you say, patience read the blog through, no scrolling down................I said no scrolling.
Back home before i left the biggest talking point seemed to be fuel prices so let`s have a look at what
could be if our wonderful government didn`t take the cut, currently circa 80p, they do in tax from a litre of road fuel. As can be seen in the picture above, remember these are gallons, we`ll take the diesel fuel as we are boaters and round it up to $3.80. At an exchange rate of £1 = $1.52 that American gallon is £2.50. In the UK my rough calculation shows a gallon to be £6.18 (£1.34lit) and also it seems a US gallon is greater than a UK one.
So just to sum up £2.50 against £6.18. Anyone with time on their hands and a mathematical brain can do the figures accurately and i will post it on the next blog.
The sheer size of this country means views from the passenger seat below are the norm in Washington State. This is State Highway 195 running from Lewiston to Spokane a distance of 106miles. What you
see is what you get with just the town of Colfax to pass through the route passes a few farms in a landscape of Wheat, Lentils and Chick Peas. The trees in the picture were a treat just to remind me of home, the right hand side of the picture is the norm here stretching as far as the eye can see.
|A typical rest area on State highways some provide free coffee|
What do we Brits miss most when abroad? Well one thing might be a bacon sarnie or at least the bacon, yes they do have bread here, that is the making of a good sandwich. Now as i am in the care of
my lovely Jaqueline i do not have to put up with what the Americans call bacon (left in picture) because she has sourced some British bacon (right in picture) from the food Co-Op in nearby (9 miles) Moscow. Here in Pullman i am in Washington State but just the short distance to Moscow takes you into Idaho State. Why i mention this is that in the UK we have a 20% vat to pay on most things nationwide but here sales tax as it`s called varies between states.
Nearby or at least adjoining states differ;
Idaho 6% Utah 4.7% (food 2.75%) Washington 6.5% Montana 0%. Check out this from Washington States tax laws.
Since Jan. 1, 2004, purchases of certain foods and food ingredients have been exempt from sales tax. However, prepared foods, dietary supplements and soft drinks remain taxable. And when doughnuts are sold with eating utensils, the food product is taxable. Eating utensils include plates, forks, napkins, etc., but do not include containers or packaging used to transport the item.
Now as most of you are aware this trip is not as a tourist but to stay with Jaqueline and sort out our future together so the pictures and text are an Englishman living an American life. Now our Asda is under the American arm of Walmart so a trip around the aisles was of interest.
In the picture above is what looks like our check out in the UK, you load the goods on and a belt takes it towards the cashier. So far like for like but this is where it changes. Notice the plastic bags at the end, these are on a revolving stand and as the goods are scanned the cashier packs the goods instead of firing them down to you in an attempt to pile them up quicker than you can pack them, i`m sure some of our cashiers do it to relieve the boredom. The store itself was pretty much as we are used to
with a few different products but the Gun section was a shock. Jaqueline said IF she wanted a gun all that was needed was to produce some ID and fill out a form; wait 5 days for checks to be made and collect the gun.
This property on the South Hill in Spokane is on the market for $350,000 (£234,000). The sales details i picked up from the display box outside states 4 Bedrooms and 1.75 Bathrooms. Before you
ask, one of the bathrooms is not in-complete; what they mean is the .75 is in fact what we call a downstairs loo or to be American, a powder room.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a similar service to our Royal Mail, the little truck pictured
would be used around the City to transport the post and delivery man from section to section and parked up while he walked his route. The big difference here is outside City limits the post will be delivered by a sub contractor using his/her car with Orange flashing lights on the roof. Forget letterboxes UK style, here each property has a mail/post box usually on the edge of the property. In the picture below i have pictured the boxes at the end of Jaqueline`s drive and the Red flags have a role to play. Now back in the UK we would have a local post box to send our letters but here if you have a letter to send you put the Red flag up and the post man will collect it, and even if he is not delivering a stop will be made and he will put the flag down afterwards.
Ok the bit you`ve been waiting for: scroll down now.
Yes Jaqueline accepted my proposal of Marriage and we decided not on Mega Bucks posh Diamond rings but their symbolic value. Much planning to be done to not only satisfy Immigration but more important our families both sides of the Pond. The main thing is we will be on board NB Valerie together in the very near future.