JezzWarren.com

I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

gary

Commissary

After spending a short time on the RAF base in Lakenheath one thing instantly caught my attention, a large plain looking building with just the words Commissary on it. For those of you who do not know, a commissary is the equivalent to a grocery store on a military base. So I already liked this place based on name alone and it was here where I would go to get some treats to take back home with me. Unlike supermarkets here, isles were just dedicated to a certain product such as cereals, candy and the choices were endless.

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Some of these sort of products we here in the UK and can get them in larger Waitrose stores, Harrods food hall and online specialist sweet stores, so this was an opportunity to stock up on those items that over here in the UK we are ripped off with import duties and retailer mark ups.

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tootsie roll

Luckily my visit coincided with an American tradition of Halloween and candy, what we know as sweets, where plenty and mainly in large bumper bags. My mother is partial to Hershey chocolate and the variety meant I had to get one of each choice and as Gary said “it’s your mother you should get her the choice”. Wayne had heard in a song about Tootsie Roll and wanted to try them and I wanted cereals and in particular ‘Lucky charms’ something that over here is about £7 a box, but on base it is closer to $1.99 a box.
As much as this was about getting to know my new friend Gary, the trip to the Commissary was defiantly a highlight and an insight to the joys of American eating, all be it most of my purchases were candy and cereals.

apple jacks and lucky charms

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is an American chain of fast-food restaurants based in Irvine, California. A subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., they serve a variety of Tex-Mex foods including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, other specialty items, and a variety of "value menu" items. Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year in more than 6,500 restaurants mostly in the U.S., however the United Kingdom has not missed out on its Tex-Mex delights as in 1986, a location was opened in London on Coventry Street (between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus) followed by a second location in Earls Court near the Earl's Court tube station. Taco Bell sites in the UK in operation at the Strategic Air Command and United States Air Force bases at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath and whilst visiting Gary I got to try a taste of Taco Bell.

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Toll Change

One of the biggest advantages of going to see my new friend Gary is where he lives, it means that on route in both directions I can visit my mum and sister, whether it be for a sleep over or for a few hours to break in the journey.
No matter when I visit, the biggest hold up is that of Darford crossing, something soon to be a lot easier as the barriers will be removed and like the congestion charge, you will be able to pay by text, account (with a reduced rate) or a one off payment online. The big downside to the new and hopefully less congested Dartford crossing is a rise in toll fees, yet again the driver is hit with another increased fee. I think when the fees come into play I will open an account and then that way my fee for crossing will be a lot less, even with the increase in effect and as credit does not expire it means I can top up once a year for those journey to my mum and sisters or to see Gary.

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