I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags…I Think


Don’t get me wrong. I hate that song. Except for that time I jammed to it in my car. Several times.

But really, it was more of an advertising strategy. Besides, it’s relevant to the topic I’m going to be talking about today!

Anyway, before I say anything, I never thought I’d ever say this but England is SO HOT. Like literally, I don’t even have to wear a cardigan anymore. Sitting at home is like switching on the AC. And out in town, people walked around shirtless! Well people meaning men and not women. Sorry to crush your dreams.

Now you ask, what is it about that Thrift Shop song by Macklemore again? How is it relevant to any of your adventures in England? Well, it is relevant because I’ve discovered thrift shops here…which they call charity shops which are basically shops where they sell things people donate at a cheaper price and all collections go to charity. For example, some of the charity shops I went to supported the British Red Cross, Bluecross for animals, YMCA, British Heart Disease Fund etc and while it might not sound so glamorous, hold your horses because the stuff they sell there aren’t quite bad. In fact, they’re pretty much like carboot sales, except perhaps not so cheap but hey, it’s for charity. To prove the not-so-lameness of English charity shops, I got myself a Dorothy Perkins top, a pair of Topshop shorts and a H&M dress, all under 5 pounds each. All in good condition, and you’re donating to charity! The existence of these shops makes me contemplate ever stepping into another branded clothing store again. God bless England.

I also visited this shop called Poundland where everything they sell is 1 pound each and it reminds me much of you know, RM5 shops and that kind of stuff but this kind of shops were never enticing back home because the stuff they sell were crappy and brandless and not durable BUT in Poundland, most of the stuff were branded, so I had no qualms about whether spending a pound on these things was worthwhile or not. For instance, I got a box of Maltesers for 1 pound. This is the part where you laugh at me, because I just wrote all of that so vehemently to tell you I bought a box of chocolates for 1 pound. Well, screw you if you’re laughing at me…because Maltesers mean more to me than you’ll ever fathom. Ever.

I also went to Waterstones, which is a bookstore much like Borders except they don’t have Borders in England anymore since they went bankrupt. Borders, I mean, not England. They had a “buy one get second at half price” promotion so I got Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath because it was thanks to her that I knew about Waterstones in the first place anyway. I’m still not quite sure whether it’s a better buy here compared to Malaysia in terms of prices, but I know for sure it’ll be hard to find Maureen Johnson’s books in any bookstore back home so I don’t quite regret it. They also have loads of John Green’s books available there. God bless England #2.

One thing I found out about England after chatting with Aunty Sue is that recycling is compulsory here. Or you get threatened. And fined. No one really does recycling at Malaysia, and that’s a shame. Most choose to burn them (whoever I’m talking about, you know who you are) and that’s terrible and pisses me off so much. I wish I could threaten and fine them if they didn’t recycle too but alas, I am not part of the British council. Even if I am I wouldn’t have much authority over you back home anyway. Sigh, problematic neighbours. Back to the topic, they recycle everything here, even the grass you cut (so you don’t BURN them, I suppose). I know many might think that it’s just an extra chore but really, if you look at the whole picture, it helps everyone in the long run. God bless England #3.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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