Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not a Tourist 4

It has now been 10 days, and we're settling in nicely. I have made notes on this blog editor throughout the week, so I can hit some of the fun and silly things and so I won't forget. So, without further ado...

Here is a (short) conversation between Alice and a waiter:
ALICE: Do you have hot sauce?
WAITER: No! Salt on the table.
Concise and to the point. It really needs no further explanation.

This week, we purchased the Cumberland Vegetarian Sausages instead of the Lincolnshire Vegetarian Sausages. I think I like the Lincolnshire ones better (slightly) but I'm not yet sure what the difference between them is.
I think the logical thing to do is to Pepsi-challenge REAL Lincolnshire vs Cumberland Sausages and see which one I like better in a proper taste-test. Alice will not follow (pescetarian) but it seems like my duty.
I wonder if locals could articulate the differences between the two. Maybe, maybe not. It might be "Oh, well _____ has a bit more pepper and ______ has a bit more _____."

I was pleased to notice that our (Sainsbury's) peanut butter jar has a warning on it saying "CONTAINS PEANUTS." It seems like this would be one of the cases where they should warn you if it does not contain peanuts. Speaking of which, we also bought a bag of peanuts and that did NOT warn us that it contained peanuts. Which really makes you wonder, doesn't it.
I posted this on Facebook and a friend (Mike H.) back in the USA confirmed that neither Jiff or Adams warns American consumers that their jar of peanut butter contains the deadly peanut. I sense a lawsuit.
(This is not to make light of anyone with a peanut allergy. My god!!! That is scary. It's one of those things where it seems like you could accidentally kill someone instantly and completely by accident. And I like peanuts and peanut butter enough that just being near me may be toxic. Scary!! You've been warned.)

Our 5 year Anniversary was last Friday, 8th of April. (See how i did 8/4 instead of 4/8 there!)
For this, I had packed one of my suits, a few dress shirts, ties, dress shoes, etc. in our air shipment so we could go have a nice romantic meal out. None of that has arrived yet, so I had to buy clothes for the evening...
The clothes I bought were just a little bit more British/European than the clothes they sell in America. I can't quite put my finger on why; just the shirt had a color and a pattern that looked a little bit more British. The shoes were shaped a little more British. The pants were tailored a little bit more British. Which all makes sense, since I'm in Britain.
Here's what I did notice:
For starters, everything is tailored for people who are a bit slimmer than the fat Americans. Fortunately, after my successful weight-loss last year, I am a bit slimmer than the fat American I used to be.
The cuffs are a bit bigger. They look more like faux french cuffs a bit more, and I bet if you look closely at British people on TV (tele) you will notice this. They just have a bit more flare or panache.
Same thing with the color of the shirt. And this one I really can't describe very well. It's just a shade more British than American shirts. I cannot say what that shade is. Alice was impressed overall though. Probably as much by the fact that I went out and bought myself nice clothes than the actual clothes themselves.
Which brings me to my long-term point: I'm going to end up looking British after a year or so when I have replaced many of my clothes. Whether this is the culture rubbing off, or just the only stuff I can find, and whether I still feel a little uncomfortable wearing it or not, it's going to happen.
While on my way to meet Alice wearing my new outfit, I felt a little uncomfortable just because it was a little bit out of my usual style. I figured (correctly) that I would be even more invisible than usual because I would look less like a tourist (I'm not a tourist, remember). I was given hope as I climbed the stairs out of the underground station and an older man in front of me, who was wearing a very conservative suit stepped up the stair and I could see he was wearing bright, BRIGHT blue socks. So... If he can do that, I can wear a shirt with a little extra euro-flare.

Which brings us to our Anniversary dinner. We went to a wonderfull little french restaurant in Putney, near our soon-to-be-home. It is called L'Auberge. It is run by a husband and wife, and it will be our go-to restaurant for special occasions and when Guests are in town.
This next line is incredibly high praise..

This is our London Pamplemousse.

That being said, L'Auberge (London) is almost nothing like Pamplemousse (Las Vegas) except that they are both excellent, delicious and beautiful french restaurants. There can't be very many people in the world who have been to both, but if anyone reading this has the opportunity to join the select group of us who have, I encourage you to do so!!
If you really really want to join a select group, you should also eat at Le Petit Prince in Paris.
(You're welcome.)

On to the Theatre:
We saw In a Forest Dark and Deep, the new Neil LaBute play. Featuring Matthew "Lost" Fox and Olivia "Dollhouse" Williams. (She is currently better known for the movie "An Education" but I know her from Dollhouse.) The play was excellent! I thought the script was very good and the actors gave great performances. I thought the directing could have been a little better, as there were a few scenes where both actors pretty much ended up on opposite sides of the stage facing out. And some areas of the really cool set were not used to their full potential. (And the set designer did not follow my "Design it and then spin it 30 degrees" philosophy. Which would have improved sight lines.) But overall it was a very good show and an enjoyable evening--even though the show itself was very dark and intense.

It's past 11pm, so you get one more thing and then I'm done:
Soft-serve ice cream tastes like Cool Whip. So much that I think it IS Cool Whip.
We went to the Shoreditch Flower Market today, and had Cool Whip cones which we thought were going to be ice cream cones.
But then Alice's very cool co-worker, Kignsley (who apparently didn't realize that no one in America is named Kingsley) took us to the Shoreditch House private club and we had a late lunch on the rooftop restaurant. It was jolly good!!! Or "awesome!"
And you have to say (read) "awesome" with the most annoying and nasal American accent you can muster. Because that's what we sound like to the people here.

Good night, then.

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