England: The Comeback Tour

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It’s very strange to be in a country where people speak English. You get off the plane and the signs are in English, the border guard speaks to you in English, you have to order your tea in English… A little taste of the culture shock in store whenever we move back to the US, I suppose. But waiting for us in the UK was a very special treat: My wonderful family, all the way from across the pond! It was their first time in London, so we spent our three days there hitting up all of the classics: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Abbey Road, Harrods, Oxford Street, Tower of London, afternoon tea… It was a whirlwind.

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London: 48 Hours of English (!)

I had forgotten how much I like London. The history, the culture, the pubs, the red double-decker buses… It’s such a fun city. It was also the first English-speaking city I’ve visited in nearly six months, and thus the first place in nearly six months that I could understand everything going on around me. In fact, a funny thing happened when we landed at Gatwick airport on Friday night. After waiting an hour and a half to go through the security line for non-EU or UK passport holders (blah), we made it to the food court and, ravenous, stopped at Costa to grab sandwiches. The cashier asked if I would like mine toasted, and Gui turned to me and asked if I would like it toasted. Then the cashier asked if we’d like to eat the food there or take it with us, and Gui turned to me and repeated the same question. That’s when I realized what was going on. “Gui,” I said, “he’s speaking English…” My adorable husband was translating for me (or so he thought). We had a good laugh, and the guy looked at us like we were a little crazy. Continue reading