We’ve heard that Halloween is starting to become a thing over here. You couldn’t tell it from the advertising or store displays though. We saw something every now and then, like Halloween donuts, which, yeah, I’m not seeing the point either. All the pubs put up some cobwebby stuff and serve guest ales that are Halloween themed, such as Skellington Ale, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. We surmise that some of the reasoning for adopting this ‘holiday’ was to promote partying, but really, Brits don’t need any excuse more extensive than, “Is it Tuesday? Well, let’s go down to the pub!”
Much like Americans, but even more so, the British are apparently deathly afraid that they might be caught out without enough starches to get them through the day, the week, or even the next hour. We’ve possibly gone native on this issue a little too enthusiastically, I will admit. There have been some incidents where a curry that contained potatoes was consumed with rice on the side. We may, or may not, have had mashed potatoes with gravy on the side of a Mowbray pork pie. Although we have observed others, we have not succumbed to the desire to have a side order of chips to accompany the Yorkshire pudding, that came with the entree. And then there was the couple that had each ordered fish and chips, with a side order of chips, because you know, they just never serve enough chips with the fish, so you have to order extra to make sure you won’t suffer from a deep fried starch deficiency.
We’re coming to find that there’s much to like about the British tradition of a big Sunday lunch, and then an afternoon of walking around and/or sitting on the sofa with our feet up and the top button of the trousers unfastened. It’s trousers here, by the way, since pants means women’s panties. Mary has pointed out that I’ve made this mistake at least once so far, but I fall back on that old reliable excuse that I’m American and cannot be expected to know any better.
London, especially the City, and the people in it seem to be perpetually in a rush to go places and do things. Maybe it’s like this in other big cities, but much of my exposure to metropolii, other than vacations, has been limited to those on the West Coast. And let’s face it, it’s just not cool to move fast in LA. Even if you were so inclined, you can’t walk anywhere, fast or otherwise, and the 24/7 traffic jams on the freeways mean you’re never going to be moving with any rapidity there either, well not for more than a half mile at a time. It seems that on the West Coast, people save their hustle for cell phone conversations, and shopping. Here, everyone seems to be having a loud conversation on their mobiles, as they stride briskly to the Underground station, while snarfling down a sandwich from Pret-A-Manger, and grabbing a quick smoke in between bites. It’s exhausting just watching the people here. That’s why I like to do it from a window seat in the local pub, while sipping a pint. Cowabunga, dudes!