When we finally arrived in Gatwick Airport, I was tired, sore, hungry and disheveled. And to be honest, I am still tired, sore, hungry but slightly less disheveled.
Entering London was not glamorous. The volcano made the long plane ride even longer and the London skyline isn’t one that fills you with awe. London sort of creeps up as suburbia merges into urban streets. But just when you’re about to write London off as just another city, you glimpse the Thames.
I made a squeak of excitement as we zoomed by Big Ben, Parliament and the London Eye. And inside, I quietly rejoiced; here was proof that London isn’t just another American city with gray skies and a horrifyingly similar assortment of fast food chains.
When we got of the bus, more differences became obvious, particularly with food. The large super market closed at five, the eggs are not refrigerated and I completely stumped our waitress at dinner when I asked for an ice tea.
“You mean cold tea?” This idea was clearly hard for her to grasp. Who on earth wanted a cold tea when it is always served hot? Only a lunatic.
“No ice tea, please.”
“Like…like a mixed drink?” She waved her arms about, begging for clarification.
At this point, I decided to put the poor girl out of her misery and changed my order to chamomile tea which was promptly served with creamer and sugar.
So typically British.