G’Bye London

*This post was written Sunday, but my electrical adapters weren’t working, so my computer died before I could post it.*

Bonjour eaters!

Can you tell from my greeting that I’m not in London anymore?

I try to be transparent like that.

But yes, as I’m writing this I’m on a train speeding away from my ah-maze-ing London life and towards a week of springtime in Paris.

I certainly have mixed emotions about my UK departure. On the one hand, I absolutely loved London and British people and all their culture. On the other hand, it never felt like it was really real life, like I had another life somewhere that was just paused.

But whether in the years to come I refer to this time as “the time I lived in London” or the longest vacation ever, one thing I can’t deny — I’ve grown up a lot.

On the first day, after a 7-hour plane ride, an hour spent waiting for friends in the airport, and an hour taxi ride, I made it up six stories to my flat with my combined 70-something pounds of luggage. I was dazed and disoriented, but the one thing I knew was that I needed food.

Rather than diving head first into London life and finding a pub or going for a curry, I did what I always did — bought a frozen pizza and ate it on the couch in front of the TV.

Goat cheese and roasted vegetables.

And all at once, with the first bite of this pizza, I knew I wasn’t in Kansas America anymore. The pizza was shit (pronounced “sh-eye-t”) and my culture shock had begun.

Fast-forward almost 4 months to my last full day in London.

It was threatening to rain at any moment, but not even that could deter Mother and I from going about our business. We took the Tube (without talking, like a local) to Tower Hill. We gawked at the Tower of London and crossed the Tower Bridge. We walked along the Thames for a bit before deciding to venture away from the water in search of refreshment.

Not 5 minutes later we were knee deep in Borough Market (because I always stumble upon it, but I almost never find it when I’m looking for it)*.

Assorted of flavoured marshmallows. These were nothing like Jet Puffs.

Knowing that this would be my last chance, Mother and I dove in head first with the intention of eating the whole market.

We sampled marshmallows and pates and chocolates before finding a pie shop.

I love pork.

I was feeling this little mister, which was full of all the lovely British foods that I will miss dearly, but Mother’s not a fan of pork (the horror!), so we compromised and went with a British classic.

We ate this leaning against a column as trains rumbled by on the bridge overhead and people pushed around us.

Isn't that adorable?!

It was glorious and now Mother wants a freezer full of little pies.

After the pie, I had just one thing on my mind — fish and chips.

My entire time in England I hadn’t had quality fish and chips, so when I saw that the line at Fish!, which is heralded as one of the best chippys in London, I jumped at the chance. In no time flat an order of haddock and chips with salt and light vinegar was warming my hands.

We found a perch out in the sunshine of the Southwark Cathedral courtyard and dug in.

So crispy. So lovely.

The chips were thick and soft in the middle, as a proper chip should be. And the haddock was fried to a crispy perfection and surprisingly flavorful for a dish that usually gets all of its flavour from vinegar and grease.

To round out our midday feast, we went to a Middle Eastern stall. We bypassed the dried fruit and nuts and chocolate covered things and went straight for the pastries.

We took home a bag of assorted baklava-style sweets, all sticky with honey and dates and the oil from nuts.

And now, as I sit here on the train, listening to the train manager make announcements in French, I’m fully satisfied, both from my last meal in London and my life in London.

I lived on the 6th floor of number 13.

And I’m fully excited knowing that I’m one step closer to getting back to my life in the ‘Boro.

Yeah, my life is pretty grand.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s the best last meal you’ve ever had?

What would be your last meal if you could choose?

Later eaters!

*If you’re ever looking for Borough Market, the best way to find it is to go to Southwark Cathedral. It’s right behind it. And it’s pronounced “Suth-ark” with very little emphasis on the “r.”

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