What I’ve learned on vacation thus far


I am standing facing one end of London Bridge, double decker red bus approachingI promised not to write while I was away, and trust me, you won’t hear much from me, but I’m up early this morning so I thought I’d take advantage of the free time. Since I can’t eat for one hour following my morning chemo, I must do something to distract myself, right?

These are some important lessons I’ve learned from the road:

  1. A Jewish person, not a Brit, first created Fish and Chips. Way to go, ancestors!
  2. A London bagel is nothing like a New York bagel or a Montreal bagel. It has its own identity.
  3. Despite common preschool lore, London Bridge is not falling down.
  4. 15 degrees C in the UK is sweater, jacket, and long pants weather. In Calgary, the same temperature demands shorts and a t-shirt.
  5. You can’t take a bath in the Baths in Bath, which is fine, because I prefer showers.
  6. The safest way to cross the street is to follow the lead of the locals, who know which way the traffic is coming.
  7. J. and I can blend in fairly well as locals–no carrying the map or guide book in hand, walking with energy and purpose, hanging out at the pub with the after-work crowd, and displaying our most refined manners–until we open our mouths. And I’m not even referring to J.’s British accent.

On this note, have you ever heard J. try to speak “real” English? As we were preparing for this trip, J. dropped in the odd Britishism over dinner. Gems like a “Jolly good!” here and a “Cheerio!” there. Let’s just say that my beloved’s many talents and abilities and strengths do not extend to speaking in a foreign accent. J. has created her very own British dialect, a blend of country twang and city refinement, which she peppers into every other word. Before we departed on our trip, I forbid her from speaking her dialect with anyone of UK origin. Thankfully she has complied thus far, or I would be hanging my head in shame. Even without her bastardized accent, the locals are able to understand us (at least a lot better than I can understand them), and we are able to communicate somehow, despite our differences.

Now let’s hope she doesn’t pull out her Scottish brogue when we hit Edinburgh this weekend. (As an aside, I really want to call the city “Edinburgh”, and for the life of me I can’t understand why it’s pronounced “Edinborough”. My spelling sensibilities are offended. I thought, of all people, those of this region would have their spelling down; they’ve been around a lot longer than we have.)

This weekend, envision me eating haggis. There’s even a Kosher version, although that may be hard to come by at this time of year. J., the food wimp, is going to pass. It must have something to do with her not growing up with kishka, which she seems disinterested in trying as well. I guess she does have a second shortcoming after all: a staunch unwillingness to try unappetizing food. More for me, then, I guess.


8 thoughts on “What I’ve learned on vacation thus far

  1. AWESOME, you are across the pond, sounds like your having a great trip. We know the real reason for your trip is so J. and Queen Elizabeth can celebrate their birthdays together…..Enjoy you day and the rest of the trip!!!! xoxo


    • Thanks so much, Rose! I can always count on you for my first comment of the day. You must be right about J. wanting to celebrate her birthday with the Queen. The Queen does have a few years on her yet, though. We’re having a great time and we’ll wave when we fly over your way next week! XO


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