Wednesday, October 01, 2008

London's wicked, init?

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Before I start this post, I have to make a public apology:

Dear Mom- I’m sorry I left France and didn’t even tell you where I was going. Next time I do travel that requires use of my passport I will at least email you to tell you first so that you won’t have to find out about my travel plans on my blog and then call me all indignant because I told 1000 strangers where I was going but didn’t tell you because I am a horrible daughter and I love complete strangers more than you eventhough you gave birth to me after 48 hours of labor with no epidural or something. So what I’m really really trying to say is, I’m really f*ckin’ sorry, K? *giggle snort*

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So, London.

As soon as my butt muscle healed, FrenchBoy and I hopped on a plane to London. But before I get to that, let me rant a hot minute about the crap airline that is Ryanair. Ryanair maybe be cheap, but you get what you pay for. Their level of organization is for shit. In fact I had a realization on the flight home-- In the future I will not be entrusting my life to any airline that runs their business so horribly and hires morons to work for them. In the future I will be spending the extra money to take the train or to fly out of Luxembourg on Luxair. Screw Ryanair already. (End Rant)

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So, London.

OK, one more interruption and then I’ll get on with it. I have a confession to make. For the past, say, 10 years, I have been harboring, a not so secret distain for the British accent. Whenever I would hear it, the skin on the back of my neck bristle like a cat and I would have the urge to punch someone, anyone, in the teef. If a character in a perfectly good film turned out to have a British accent I would instantly start hoping that the plotline of the film somehow involved said character's gruesome demise. And I love movies that have magic in them, but I refused to see the Harry Potter movies cuz the accent sent me into convulsions. At one point it got so bad that any good mental health professional might have suggested I had a true phobia. And moving to France did nothing to help matters because as you know, the French find it perfectly normal to hate all things British. In fact the French strongly support the sport of “Making fun of the British” as an up-and-coming category for the 2012 Olympic games to be held in London. So, it is with great pleasure that I announce: I have been cured of my British accent phobia.

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So, London.

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London freakin’ rocks. Honestly I didn’t really know what to expect and I didn’t do much planning, but we arrived and just hit the ground running. And as a couple who plan all their trips around food, art, and shopping, London is about as good as it gets. We only brought a carry-on bag and one medium suitcase. Big mistake. We pillaged and plundered every shopping district in London from Sloane Street to Camden market. It was a very bloody feeding frenzy. There was just so much interesting and totally affordable fashion in my size even.
For the record, French Prêt-à-porter ("off the rack") fashion is surprisingly predictable and really quite shitty. The average French person may be well dressed but boringly so from head to toe. Like little cloned frogs. London was the exact opposite. Even those with ridiculously bad taste were at least creative with their tacky get-ups.
(Note to women in London: Tights are NOT pants. They are meant to be worn under skirts to keep your legs warm. I repeat---They are not pants. I can see your knickers through them and it aint pretty. What are you thinking? Run into M&S and buy thyself a pair of pants already!)
Knicker viewing aside, it was so refreshing to have so many choices! Even FrenchBoy, who normally has to be dragged kicking and screaming into a store just to buy new socks, got into the act. I went into the changing room and when I came out he had picked out a whole outfit on his own! In total we came away with 4 pairs of shoes, 2 coats, 2 sweaters, 2 hats, 2 scarves, 1 pleather purse, a Dunhill wallet/moneyclip, a crystal champagne bucket, and 2 boxes of codeine which much to my absolute delight is sold over the counter!

Also, I am in the honeymoon stages of Shoe-Love with my new Terra Plana "Maple" boots that I bought at a tiny boutique called Stella at Camden Market. It was love at first site. Almost as good as cheap codeine.

'terra


Other highlights from our trip:
  • Watching a guy eat porridge. (From the grimaces on our faces you would have thought we were watching someone eat a bowl of worms on Fear Factor.)
  • Getting served champagne at Ferragamo because I faked them into believing I was gonna buy a 2000€ python skin purse.
  • Totally righteous brownie and ice cream eating at Harvey Nichols.

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So, London. I like.

We’re heading back the first week in December for FrenchBoy’s birthday. I’m already dreaming about fish & chips and Brick Lane. Next time we’ll bring a bigger suitcase and stretchy pants.

9 comments:

ieishah said...

i was so excited to read your post because having attended grad school for 2 years in england. i left with a master's in english lit and a phd (player hater's degree, of course) in british everything. guess you got seduced by all the camden market and carnaby street shopping . . . harvey nichols is a revelation . . . the tate modern and all that. i get it. i guess. i'm disappointed but i forgive you. just please, never start talking about how great primark is. or using the word 'dodgy'. that's really too british.

lolaakinmade.com said...

Sounds like a great getaway.
The brownie looks gooood!

Leah said...

Looks like jolly good fun, cheerio! Yes, I know real British people don't speak like that. Are you sure you didn't hate the accent because of bad American actors pretending to be British? Anyhoo, looks like you had a blast. I'm just wondering: what's the lemondade-looking drink that you and FB had with your fish&chips? It looks refreshing.

Travel said...

Great to hear you are back and had a wonderful time in my ancestorial homeland, English accents remind me of my grandmother.

DG

Tricia said...

In a very English accent... only one I have... So relieved that you enjoyed London. Fab books. Happy to show you around Brick Lane when you come to visit! Fab boots!

tonton_flaneur said...

Oh my Gawd...I laughed so hard when I read about your "disdain" for the English accent!! I'm glad eating fish and chips in London helped to cure you of that, but it never worked for me! LOL!! Of course my father was French so it must be genetic..LOL! The sound of that accent still makes my skin crawl and gives me the urge to throw some tea in the harbor or something!! Great post..."Brilliant" as the Brits would say!

Papadesdeux said...

Maybe it is just the age factor again, but I'd go for the train over the plane any day. Can't say too much about the accent since my own makes me cringe. But I LOVE the boots. OK, silly me, I look lousy in heels anyway.

Madame K said...

ieishah- dissappointed about what? That I didn't buy everyone souvenirs? Next time. *wink*

Leah-- We were drinking Ginger Beer! And it was soooo good!

Papadesdeux- I'm with you. I'm starting to hate planes.

kwerekwere said...

i know i'm new to reading your site and all, but...

RP accents aren't that bad. honest. so i'm glad you've gotten over them.

now, if you had gone to, say, beermingum or wulverrr-ampton, then i would continue to sympathize with you. but the one thing that living in the west midlands [ie birmingham and wolverhampton] has left me able to do is be able to read chaucerian english. because that's what they speak up there. [troofax!]

i sort of miss london. [i started to learn to speak yoruba in london, which is actually useful given where i live in cape town.] but given that i'm paid in dollars and rand, i'm not going to be there anytime soon, sadly. *le sigh*

next time you cross the channel, spend a couple of extra hours on the train and go to birmingham for a proper balti. london baltis are kind of bland. for all the things i miss from the west midlands, chicken tikka baltis are at the top of the list.

[the thing i miss about london? semi-decriminalized cannabis. but i'll talk about that in my blog at some point and leave it out of yours. lol]