Monday, November 3, 2008


I have been paying close attention to everything around me since arriving in London. I have taken mental notes as well as writing in my journal as I see or hear things that make me laugh or cringe... enjoy!

The British are absolutely obsessed with the American election. It is all over the papers and news. We were at the Churchill Arms (Chris's favorite pub) and Chris went to the bar to order our beers. The Brit next to him commented on Chris choice in beer, Chris spoke to him and the gent asked Chris what part of America he was from and... get this... he asked him who he voted for in the election! A perfect stranger at the pub! Chris was stuck at the bar with the man for almost 10 minutes with the guy telling him all about how Obama would likely be assassinated by a well organised group of elderly gentlemen! WOW... I must say that this was a first! Chris came back to the table and was at an utter loss for words. They say that the British are stand-offish and reserved but clearly this particular Brit did not get the memo! PS... I hope no one gets assassinated by anyone... what a terrible thing to think, I feel bad just writing about it!

We went for lunch yesterday at a restaurant around the corner... pretty much the only place we found that was open and serving more than felafel! While Chris was placing our order, I over heard an older British lady's mobile (aka cell) phone call from the table next to ours. It was Sunday around 2:30 pm and the sun had been out most of the day. I was in heaven... my neighbor was not. She said in to the phone, "All this sun has got me tuckered out." I felt energized by the faint rays of sun on my cheeks and was enjoying wearing my sun glasses for the 1st time in days. There was no rain and I could have even gone out without my jacket... and my British neighbor was tuckered out!

We have been on the tube about 3 hours out of each day and hardly anyone speaks English! I have heard French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian (or something similar), and German as well as several other languages that I could not immediately identify. London appears to be inhabited by foreigners! Us included.

I don't know who speaks English. However, I am certain that the British and Americans do NOT speak the same language! Some words that I don't think I will ever become accustom to are as follows: scheme used to mean plan, ie A long distance calling scheme; loo in lue of bathroom, toilet or restroom; ring used in place of call, ie I will ring on the mobile later; mobile (with a long i) instead for cell or cell phone; space... this may not make sense to anyone but I will try... when I order coffee I ask for "room for cream," I don't like the coffee to be filled to the rim because I need to add cream... well, in London they say space... I don't like it; and finally, sorry. Now I think sorry means the same thing but Brits say it constantly. They bump you, sorry, they cut you off, sorry, you bump them, sorry, you ask them to repeat themselves, sorry, you curse them and tell them to go to hell, sorry... they say sorry after everything!

London style leaves a bit to be desired. I have seen everything in Notting Hill and Bayswater but mostly the women my age and a little younger seem to dress like homeless, heroine addicts. Picture the Olsen sisters circa last year and that is what everyone wears, super over-sized sweaters, tights, cut-off jean shorts, furry boots and floppy, knit hats. Hair is generally a mess and looks unwashed, unbrushed... unthought about.
I went to see Chris at his office on Friday and all the women were wearing black! No color. Black skirt, black coat, black tights and black shoes... I don't know which is worse: homeless, heroine addict or mourning, boring business women! I think I will just stick to my own personal style!

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