On Thursday I made my way to Paddington Station and took the train to Windsor. My mother told me that we went there when I was five, so I arrived in town curious to find out whether my childhood memories would come flooding back. They didn’t. It was just as well, though, because I love to explore new places.
The Tuesday before the beginning of Lent is a big deal in many cultures. Brazil has parties and parades for Carnival, Louisiana has beads and Bourbon Street for Mardi Gras, and Britain has…well…pancake races for Shrove Tuesday.
When I first learned about the peculiar tradition of Shrove Tuesday pancake races I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping for something more ostensibly festive, or at least less of a hassle on the part of the participants. Why couldn’t people just spend the day drinking and dancing instead of slaving over a skillet and running a relay race carrying a giant crepe? Leave it to the English to take an otherwise celebratory holiday and turn it into something less fun. Typical!
Today I set out on a day trip from London to Cambridge. I’ve been to Oxford three times in my life, but have largely–albeit unintentionally–ignored its rival to the northeast. I traveled this morning from King’s Cross Station to rectify the imbalance.
One of my favorite things about San Francisco was the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. On sunny Saturday mornings the Ferry Building and its outskirts were packed with stalls selling everything from local artisan cheeses and fresh crusty bread to warm crimson strawberries and brilliant orange tangerines.
Yesterday I took a day trip from London to Oxford to visit a friend that is studying there. It was my second trip to Oxford to see her (the last one being in the midst of a terrible snowstorm in 2003), so we had time to enjoy the town without feeling pressured to see and do everything.
When I was five years old my family took a trip to London. One day my mother decided to take my brother and me to the London Zoo, so we spent the morning at the grocery store getting picnic food together. We chose sandwiches, chips, and cookies, and then headed to the beverage aisle for sodas. I remember staring up at the tall wall of cans, which were arranged by flavor. For some reason none of them had labels, so we just guessed what they were by their color. My brother chose a purple can for ‘grape’ and I chose a brown can for ‘root beer.’
The last stop on my round-the-world trip was Tokyo, Japan. As the title of this post implies, it was a bit difficult to bridge the language gap there. Not many signs were posted in English and few people spoke my native tongue, but my boyfriend and I didn’t let that stop us from enjoying our time there.