5 February 2018: last of London
I picked up a lisp. Somewhere, somehow, I picked up a lisssp while talking Englissh… I hardly recognissse my own accent and I’ve only been here for a couple of daysss. How utterly bizarre. Have any non-native speakersss experienced thisss too?
It’s the end of my trip, so I just figure I’ll shake it when I’m back in Belgium. But it’s a little strange, but nothing to break my head over. I have bigger things to tend to. Like Afternoon Tea.
I’m not allowed to leave London without trying it. To me, it means tea in the afternoon. To the Brits, it’s a meal. Ish. They might just lynch me for calling it a meal. How very peasant of me.
I have the luck to be accompanied by Laura Greenwood, who is here to explain all the fuss about afternoon tea.
The place we’re visiting is very posh. Proper posh with a doorman and that classic vibe. Golden ornaments, carpeted floor, and too many staff. A friendly woman checks our coats and massive bags. Bringing my stuff in a grocery bag from a trashy store suddenly feels very out of place. Oops.
She accompanied us to our seats and I feel thoroughly outclassed in my primark clothes. But hey, head up high and smile.
I can’t wait for the afternoon tea and am excited to be served our tiered plates. It looks absolutely fabulous but also like food for ants. It doesn’t seem to be very much. But Laura assures me it will fill me up. For the record: she was right.
The ratio savoury to sweet is a little off for me, since I love savoury food. But those scones with clotted cream are utterly delicious.
Laura lets me know it’s pronounced “scon” like “gone” in a gentle but “don’t you dare pronounce it differently” tone. Which makes no sense. Again. I’m starting to sense a theme here. And why is pudding a synonym for a dessert? In Belgium, pudding is pudding, aka, a custard. It’s the same “tea is a meal thing” all over again.
Britain, I’ll never understand you. But you make some damn tasty things. Stuffed like a poodle (is that an expression? It is now.), we exit the posh hotel. That was it for Afternoon Tea.
Thoughts on afternoon tea:
1. Why is it named after a beverage if it’s food?
2. What is clotted cream? And why don’t we have it? It’s utterly delicious.
3. Why are champagne and prosecco the only types of alcohol you can drink early on in the day without being called an alcoholic?
4. Is it really necessary to fold the napkins when we visit the “powder room”
5. Why is there a bottle with water in the powder room? Why would I drink water here if they would serve it to me at my table?
UK, you have some weird traditions. But at least they’re tasty.
For now, it’s back to Belgium. I get almost squashed by a car and find myself caught at another, what I liked to call, Red Light Limbo.
The system of the red lights is so weird over here. At most of the crossings, you’ll get red lights from practically all sides. Both passengers and cars are standing still and it just makes no sense? And it takes at least half a minute for one of the lights to turn to green. Not that most passengers wait for that. They just run across the street, almost to mock the cars standing still. Crazy people. But then again, who has time to stand around. I sure don’t.
I hop on my last underground, making sure to mind the gap. The tube is crazy hot again, but it doesn’t seem so bad this time around. Maybe I’m getting used to it already.
I pass through customs and find myself in the travel space. I really am going home… After only a couple of days in London, I feel strangely at home already. And leaving isn’t nearly as fun as I expected it to be.
UK, you’re weird. But I will miss you and I’ll be back. You’re safe. For now.
What other country should I terrorise next?