No offense, London

26 Apr

Our recent trip to Europe was so full of weather-related glitches that we ended up staying in London much longer than planned.

Almost two weeks in London. Boo-hoo, poor thing, you’re thinking. But restlessness and an impending feeling of “been there, done that” (since we had lived in England for a year in the ’80s) got me into list-making mode. Here it is from my little travel journal —

We’ve been so long in London that:
— we don’t recognize blue sky and sunshine.
— we now pronounce it “scawn,” not “scohn.”
— we feel less like tourists when all the French, Germans, Italians and Chinese show up.
— we are getting into the groove of saying “the UK,” instead of simply “England.”
— we have contributed to the profits of Marks & Spencer by eating so many dinners out of their refrigerated sandwich and salad section.
— we will forever snub American-brewed tea.
— we will stop mimicking a British accent because our ears tells us how badly we are doing it.
— we can navigate the Tube in central London like natives.
— we enjoy making fun of those venerated but stuffy BBC newscasters.
— we can tell a five pence from a 20 pence and a one-pound coin from a two-pound.
— we have been invigorating our vocabulary with loftier word choices and apt use of adverbs — quite! — and it’s all quite BRILLIANT. Quite.
— we have enthused about celeriac and mash soup at Pret a Manger, a trendy London chain.
— we have taken in the polyglot of ethnic faces and languages in central London and are more blase about it.
— we have had visions of Prague, Berlin, Paris and all the other sights we had to skip.

But hey, London, we still love you, and we saw lots of things we had never seen before. And although it sounds trivial, we always had our life-affirming fix of afternoon tea — with scawns.

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