The British Empire (Well…sort of): Day 9

So my calves were still sore this morning….so I decided to be nice to my body and put on my normal boots. I went straight to Gail’s (per usual) and this time I decided to try the ever delicious Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche:

Oh and I decided to also take some pictures while at Gail’s since I spend so much time there:

There’s Lucy being a good employee. She’s having people taste each of the three breads you see (left to right: Mult-seed sourdough, classic white and German rye…fyi, the German rye has been the fan favorite all week). After tasting, the people would vote on their favorite and whichever has the most votes will be the new flavor that Gail’s will be selling.

Hanging around with Lucy this week, people watching, it’s amazing to see how people would react…especially because at the end of the day Lucy would just give these loaves away (instead of chucking them in the trash). These loaves were made fresh every morning for the tasting so it would have been so wasteful to throw them out otherwise. But this establishment of Gail’s was in Hampstead, which is a very posh area of London (in other words, it’s like Carmel or Zionsville back in Indiana and therefore with the same snooty people who felt entitled *rolls eyes*) But the people got REALLY greedy (especially for the German Rye).

I could tell you stories that Lucy told me of the people who could not be bothered to wait until 3:15-3:30 (when Lucy was closing) in order to get the free bread. They came at all hours demanding the bread at that moment as if it were their divine right. I’ve had some of my own experiences as a lot of the clientele have mistaken me for Lucy a number of times:

Oh yes, I see the similarities….brown hair….brown eyes….uh…..yeah that’s all I got.

Anyway, today while Lucy disappeared briefly to use her connections to snag us some free frozen yogurt, I was approached by a woman from the pharmacy a crossed the street. This is how the conversation went:

Woman: Is it time?

Me: Time? You mean for the free rye?

Woman: Yes.

Me (looking at my phone for the time; it’s 2:45): Uh….you have to wait another 30 minute or so.

Woman: But you said at 3.


Me (saying this slowly to be sure she understands me): I never said such a thing as I do not work here. However, Lucy, who does work here, says that she won’t give away free loaves until at least 3:15….in about 30 minutes.

Woman: But it’s 3 now.

Me: Uh…no it’s not, it’s a quarter til 3.

Woman: Right, ten to three. I’ll be back later for the bread (she then scurries off….literally scurries)

*blink blink*

What the hell just happened there? She was lucky that she scurried off before I could really get annoyed and go all-American on her….as in raising my voice so that I could call her out on her idiocy in front of everyone. I would not have screamed but made it very clear to her and everyone around her to not put words in my mouth and call me a liar when I’ve never spoken to you in my life. Not cool! Oh well, she came later at the correct time and got her free loaf (well, she tried to get more that greedy wench!).

I had planned to go to the Doctor Who experience but the exhaustion of this trip really hit me and I realized that I was all sight-seeing-out. I’m quite done with sight seeing for now…I know, I know, it’s Doctor Who and I love the little man from Gallifrey but I’ll be just as content watching the episodes when I get home.

So I spent the rest of the day with Lucy….literally. I took more pictures:

This is Lucy and Alex….no, not my Alex…another more-English-less-Romanian Alex. He’s the shift manager at this Gail’s and is the reason why I got free tea everyday šŸ™‚ He and I bonded over our most favorite pastime: annoying the hell out of Lucy. *giggles*

Afterwards, Lucy and I walked around Hampstead where she had the audacity of taking me to a bookstore. For those of you not in the loop: Me + Bookstore = Me + less money. I love books. Looooooooove books. I live in a two bedroom apartment in Bloomington….one of those rooms is entirely dedicated to my books…just my books. It’s obscene. I had tried to avoid bookstores while on this trip…but the inevitable was bound to happen: I was going into one.

I was a good girl though, I only stuck with their 3 for the price of 2 deal and only. I bought the new Philip Pullman book (the writer of the His Dark Materials Trilogy, my all time favorite!!) “The Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ” as well as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” My third book was “One Day.” You may have heard of it as there is a film coming out based on the novel with Jim Sturgess and Ann Hathaway. I had to get it because it was about two young people who meet one day in Edinburgh and their romance that follows. It’s not quite the story I am personally going through (as I had six days, not one and I don’t plan on waiting another year before seeing Alex again…but you get my point). And the story opens on Rankeillor street *sigh* that’s where Lucy’s house in Edinburgh was. It was my save point throughout my adventures in Edinburgh (for all you gamers out there). But my book buying did not end there.

Lucy took me two stores down to a smaller little shop that sold all paperbacks for 3.50. There they had a book I’ve been dying the read for the last three years: “The Pillar of the Earth” by Ken Follett. I never bought it back in the states because I could not find it for less than 30 bucks….but here I got for 3 pound 50? Yes, please!!!!! It was then that I stopped buying books.

We made it back to Lucy’s house where we had dinner (Afghan food! Nom nom nom!) This is what I had:

This is Mantu which is like ravioli but filled with lamb and basil (epic nom!)

And this is meat filled Samosas….to you Peruvians out there, look familiar? Yeah, they look like empanadas (nom!)

After dinner, the four of us (Lucy, her parents Barry and Lorraine and myself) piled into their car and went to East London for a new comedy festival/burlesque show that was opening there. Lucy had gotten 6 free tickets so her friend Louise also joined us (and we tried to get Fia to go but she had already made plans with her friends).

The show the was great! There was a duo that was very similar to Flight of Conchords. But this duo had one of the guys in a spandex tiger outfit who tried to put the moves on Lucy’s mom. Brilliant!

There was another man with a crystal ball who put Gareth the Troll King’s magic to shame! (Labyrinth, people, did you get the reference?)

And then of course there was the ever glamorous Gateau

Le Gateau Chocolat - this is from his Facebook page.  Please like!
Le Gateau Chocolat – this is from his Facebook page. Click on the photo to go to his page and please like!

This man is amazing. A. Ma. Zing! He dresses in the most fabulous outfits and sings like an angel. He’s trained in opera with a beautiful baritone voice. Lucy took some amazing pictures from the show…once she e-mails them to me then I will post them for you all to enjoy šŸ™‚

I actually met him back in Edinburgh. It was the one night I didn’t have a date with Alex, I went out with Lucy to the Fringe parties (we knew people to sneak us into the VIP parties). This guy was there but in normal street clothes (as in he was dressed like a guy). There was a Ke$ha song playing and the two of us had our own private dance club going on in one pathways of the pubs. He was awesome šŸ™‚

Anyway, today was less sight-seeing than normal but it was quite a delightful adventure.

Until tomorrow!



Location:Starbucks, West Hampstead, London, England, U.K.

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