Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Missing England

Column from last week. Allyuh, sorry for the late post. And this was a real half ass attempt at a column too because these days my time - and my brain - is not my own. So, forgive me.

I’m bored today and as usual, a bit cold, so I thought up a fun activity to occupy my brain while doing the work I’m paid for occupies my hands. If I left England tomorrow, what would I miss? I know the more cynical among you (mainly those of you who read my column every week waiting to email me ancient death curses if I say anything bad about jolly old England) will be sarcastically muttering, “Not one blasted thing.” Not true. Despite my moanings there are a number of things about this country that I like that I would miss if I were magically transported back to my mother’s house, kind of like what may happen in a cheesy Disneyworld movie staring a young Haylie Mills or a well rested Lindsey Lohan. So what exactly would I miss?

Well, firstly, the shopping. Having been rechristened “Centipede” by my mother, I’ve exceeded her expectations and have managed to accumulate over four boxes of shoes since I’ve been here. I’ve been here for less than two years. I’m trying my hardest to prove that Sex and the City stereotype true, especially since I can’t prove true any of the others. Sigh. Oh to be like Samantha Jones, the originator of that classic quote, “Sex with an ex can be depressing. If it's good, you don't have it anymore; if it's bad, you just had sex with an ex.” It takes a special kind of woman to see two negatives in an all out positive situation. But that’s another column. And it’s not just shoes. There’s all the fabulous clothes that caters for so many different tastes. “So, madam, you’re looking for a dress constructed completely from magenta feather boas you say. I’m afraid our store no longer carries that design. However, you may check our competitor in Camden Town.”

I’d also miss the fact that nobody minds your business. It’s a nice change coming from a place like Trinidad where, if you gain one pound of premenstrual bloat, sprangers who spend their days begging outside your office will ask if you’re pregnant. The company I work for currently has three women pregnant out of wedlock for men of dubious existence. Nobody cares. Or if they do, they hide it well. They save the macoing for outside work hours, which is just as fine. The fact is, everybody’s so busy worrying about their own business that they really don’t give a fig about yours. I guess being macocious is a luxury and a side effect of a relatively easy life. I mean, think about it. If half your salary goes towards paying your rent and the majority of the rest goes towards transport, clothes and food, you really couldn’t give a flying fig who the neighbour’s daughter went out with last night. London is a place where you cannot afford to not mind your business. It’s kind of like the army – or prelims at Skinner park – you either shape up or ship out.

I’d miss autumn too. I would, really. On the one side you have the increasing depressing realization that autumn signals the impending arrival of winter. But the approaching cold weather makes for some spectacular sightseeing. A tree whose leaves are changing can be a beautiful thing. The drier the weather, the more spectacular the colours. It can be a somewhat hit and miss situation, the way some women get more beautiful with age – like Phylicia Rashad (Claire Huxtable) while others look like cast extras from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. You don’t really get to see it being in London but you can during a drive through the country side – or even some of the more residential areas, especially on a sunny day when the sky is that special, crisp blue you get only in autumn and winter. You almost don’t mind the cold. Almost.

I guess what I’d miss most of all though is the variety. From food to theatre to music, London proves itself to be the great metropole in that it somehow, someway, always manages to shift across and make a little space for almost everything and everyone. And despite the constant moanings about the vast numbers of immigrants flooding the country and the complaints against the huge strains on its resources, it still flings opens it’s arms and embraces new things more readily than the majority of other big cities. Or, at the very least, turns away and pretends it hasn’t seen.

17 comments:

ttfootball said...

Hottie I have to agree with you on the variety, its something I mentioned in my own similar post "5 questions from Lime", that I feel i might get bored back home. Its funny the things you get to appreciate and actually like after a while, that cold crisp blue sky? I totally feel ya.

saucydiva said...

I can def. see all that there is to experience, I mean I read my friends blog and he is always doing something new each weekend.either the theater, a museum, cruise on the thames, discovering some new restaurant and what I think is the most fabulous thing (from an outsider) about living in England is that it is the gateway to all of Europe!

Imagine one weekend you can be louging at a cafe in Paris or wondering the Sistine Chapel in Rome or cruising to Santorini Greece!

And flights leave London to Dubai, the Maldives and Asia which makes exploring the world oh so much easier than from tiny Trinidad and Tobago.

:D

I hope you take all the oppourtunities you have and use to the fullest!

Hottie Hottie said...

Wais yuh fren blog address?

Alexia said...

Ah yes the things we come to love outside of our beautiful island. I love everything that I have experience and still experiencing. The people, theater, the museum, shopping, work, college. It's all an adventure for me that I am grateful for. But I look forward to going back home, sitting under a big palm tree, looking at the big blue sky as the waves gently sweeps by and say to myself I have enjoyed, lived, learned, and saw the many wonders of being in a foreign country.

BTW Hottie, the hand a little better? Stress does that sometimes! Doh worry it all be good!

saucydiva said...

hottie I will have to email his url to you as it is "private' ;)

Hottie Hottie said...

Allyuh, thanks for asking. De hand plenty better now. Ah playing hero and using both hands today. Is not by choice nah since I have so much work and not enough time to do everything. The hand kinda started acting up this afternoon but he will have to cool heseelf.

Crankyputz said...

Just about everything I would miss if I ever left TO.....Well put.

Hottie Hottie said...

Thanks CP. Don't you ever miss Dubai (that's where you're from, right?)?

afrobella said...

I definitely have memories of driving around Port of Spain, Woodbrook and St. James with my friend Carys (who lives in Brighton), when we were both on Christmas vaca from our respective colleges in "foreign," looking desperately for something to do on a Monday or Tuesday night. Not even a decent bar or little bistro was open past 10. That was the first time I realized how spoiled I had become by life in Miami.

The weather here is similar enough to Trinidad's, but the shopping and stuff-to-do factor can't be beat! I've been here for 9 years now and don't really see myself living at home anytime soon. But don't get me wrong, home will always be home!

Island Spice said...

Hotts: I miss JAFFA CAKES!!! please please please bring some when yuh coming carnival time!!
I also miss winter clothes.. don't miss winter weather tho.:P
Yuh right bout di city.. gotta love London its truely any and all things to all people. I do miss it.. sometimes. ;)

Vami said...

awwwwww! I loved your blog. you've adjusted to life in London!

Hottie Hottie said...

Look how Vami have meh blushing...

Island Spice, I doh really like them nah - but then I doh really like cookies and thing. If you remind me I'll definitely bring you some. It's a pronmise!

Afrobella, my cousin lives in Mee Yarmy as I call it. I should go visit him as I keep promising. I've always heard it's gorgeous. English people don't seem to like it so that's recommendation enough in my book!

saucydiva said...

Hottie how is the hand today chick?

Hottie Hottie said...

It getting dey girl. Plenty better. But I feel I overdoing it - can't help it once I in work. Hope I doh end up breaking the damn thing! Oh God! Knock on wood yes.

Karabana said...

I dig your writing style HH, such a unique flair.
Ah yes, the S&TC gyrls w their shoes... remember Carrie's delicate pink feathered ones that Miranda broke her water on? Or her disaster fuzzy bedroom sex "slippers"... & Charlotte's foot whore sandals?

...but who would be a cast extra from RHPS? Loni Anderson?

T'Dad doesn't have the same type of variety?

saucydiva said...

Karabana what about the mugger that stole Carrie's shoes, that was a classic! Also, the foot fetish guy who was giving Charlotte free shoes..and Carrie's realisation that she had no savings, she was literally the old woman who lived in a shoe!

I love that show.

Karabana said...

"Also, the foot fetish guy who was giving Charlotte free shoes"
That was Charlotte's foot whore sandals!

I love it too, I still mourn losing it. :(