In my last post I talked about the struggle, but I’d hate for anyone to think that I didn’t enjoy London. Of course I did! My little British heart is so happy. (Yes, I’m still convinced I’m actually from the UK because a gate agent thought I had dual citizenship.) Anyway, it was so much fun, and there were several funny moments…
1. Soya. When I got off the underground for the first time I followed a crowd of students to Kings College Strand, which makes me think of Columbia University. It’s beautiful! Anyway when in London I did like the Londoners do: I got a hot beverage at Pret à manger. Due to some confusion I ended up with a soya latte. Yes soy-ah. Not soy. I had no idea what it was, but I drank half of it before I decided to be wise and make sure it’s lactose-free. Like all introverted millennials, I googled it. Turns out it’s soy milk sold in the UK, and it’s perfect for lattes! It was actually foamy and only half the price of an almond milk latte in the states. s/o to my lactose intolerant friends: next time we meet up let’s get coffee in London.
2. Doors. While touring Westminster Abbey I found a door hidden away in a corridor. It didn’t look all that special, just like a prop from the set of Braveheart. Turns out it’s England’s oldest door. I wonder if Narnia is behind it – why didn’t I check!?
3. Grape juice. I also had the chance to join in communion at the abbey. They don’t serve grape juice.
4. Bagpipes or lightsabers? Once I stepped out of the abbey I was immediately affronted with the sound of bag pipes. Sure enough there was a street performer in a kilt, playing the theme music of Star Wars. Sir, the force is strong with you.
5. Trends. We all know London is a stylish place, especially on Regent Street. What you might not know is that the young are outdoing everyone else in trends. And by young I mean 10 years and under. I saw several little boys with man buns.
6. She Way Out. I now understand The 1975 on a profoundly deeper level. The exit signs in the underground say, WAY OUT.
Also, if you wanna find love then you know where the city is.
7. Hogwarts really does exist. Or at least some of the quirky terms J.K. Rowling uses throughout the books. A gate agent at check-in had to help me figure out a problem with my bags. After 10 stressful minutes on the phone she said, “Ah! Thank you.” *slams phone* “Sorted.” I hope my bags are in Slytherin, too.
8. Madam. Like everything else involving my flights, my special meal request wasn’t processed in enough time for it to be served to me on my flight from London to Dubai. I asked for the option that sounded safe, but they had just run out. The flight attendant felt so bad when he found out I have allergies that he had someone make a special meal just for me. (Reason #1 to fly with British Airways.) He came back a few minutes later and said, “Madam, do you eat prawns?” What?? He repeated, “Is it alright to top off your salad with prawns?” I just agreed. I figured it was some sort of obscure vegetable or root. When it arrived later it was this: Turns out prawns is the British English word for shrimp. First class status! (Reason #2 for BA.) “Madam” is Reason #3. I wish American servers would call their guests Sirs and Madams. Not that I necessarily like the formality, but probably more because the way he said it made me think of the classic Chick-fil-a line “It’s my pleasure.”