I’ve lived in South Africa for well over 30 years now, and I love it there. I arrived when apartheid was alive, I lived through it’s end, and I now live in the aftermath. Sure it’s been good and it’s been bad, but putting that aside, it is an amazing country that everybody should visit at least once.
Now that said, I love the UK as much, if not more so… and I say that with no malice. It’s a bit like Capetonians who worship Table Mountain and have sea in their veins. Mine have no sea, but I’m pretty sure they are flowing with English Tea.
It’s funny actually, because no sooner had I booked my flight than my English accent became broader, something I only realised when I tried to buy a piece of winter clothing. A very apologetic sales assistant advised me that said item was only available during the South African winter. I bit my lip and tried not to giggle at being mistaken for a tourist.
So here I am then, loving the underground, the bus and all the walking. I’ve embraced my new piece of plastic, the Oyster card. And I’m as familiar with the District Line as I am with the newly named Nelson Mandela Boulevard, even if I will keep reverting back to it’s old name – the Eastern Boulevard.
But what’s really funny to me is my relationship with food. I’m gradually eating my way round the bakery section of Sainsbury’s … and several museums cafes…and many department store cafes too. I’m like a demented fool, I hone in on the counter and struggle to decide what to have. It’s torture, and then unadulterated pleasure within minutes of each other. Thank goodness for all the walking.
Yesterday was really fun though, we were at the Imperial War Museum and stopped for lunch…as one does…and had a macaroni and cheese served in war time style tin dishes. I think I smiled the whole way through it, and then I shared a carrot cake with my daughter, who was lucky I didn’t polish it all off.
Only a week left, and who knows how many Chelsea Buns I will consume before I leave. If it’s too many I’ll be back to Kew Gardens for a major walk, without a return trip to the cafe for a sandwich and err, um, figgy roll.
For those visiting London, the Imperial War Museum, the National Gallery and the Natural Science museum are all free, and well worth the visit. I know there are others, but those three I’ve visited this time.