Monday, February 27, 2006

A rant...

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Now, anyone who read the comments from my last post about tea will know that a minor fracas ensued about being British. Now, I am a second generation immigrant, yes, so technically I am not a true blue Brit, that much is a statement of fact. However, I am proud of this place, this green damp slightly fusty country and this frenetic mixed up city that my parents decided to call home. We may bitch and moan about the place, hell we may even up sticks and move somewhere else but the one thing you can never say about a Brit is that they don't know where they are from. I love the dual nature of the place, the brashness, the boldness, the sense of playfulness and on the other hand, the deep insecurity, the slight sense of embarrassment and apology that inevitably comes with it.

Yes, I love the stereotypes, I love a cup of tea, I like listening to the cricket of a summers day with a Pimms or a beer whilst burning sausages, I love warm hoppy beer and I'll even laugh with manic glee when Morris dancers turn out. There is simply no reason that I shouldn't. I love fat squishy chips swimming in vinegar, I'll gamble my health on mystery meat kebabs, I'll break popadums with a karate chop flourish and eat a fiery hot chicken Naga in my local Bangladeshi curry house. I'll drink overpriced cappucino in Bar Italia in Soho at 3.00am, I'll scoff some jerk chicken for lunch from the guys in the market. Fuck it, I'll relish in the things that are hackneyed and naff, the things that make the average Londoner blush; pie, mash and parsley liquor, jellied eels, chelsea buns and eccles cakes. I'll get back to basics with a pint of Guinness and a couple of devilled kidneys, a fry up with friends and the Saturday papers before the football starts. I raise my glass in wonder at a chunk of stilton and a handful of fresh walnuts.

You know, I've lived all over, I've lived in New York, Sydney and L.A. and, yeah, the weather was better, the people maybe a bit friendlier and the service in restaurants was far and away superior but that still never made me want to stay. I missed the drizzle and my dad's paella too much.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

will you marry me?

vanessa said...

from one person who gets alot of shit for living (and eating) where she does, more power to you. living is a state of mind, not a location. i'll drink a cup of milky tea in your honor.

gem said...

I've recently started reading your blog and love it. As an englishgirl living in new york (and missing home) you sum up 'britishness' perfectly. Thanks for the entertainment

GastroChick said...

Hi Monkey Gland

Your thoughts echo mine closely. I am not strictly speaking Anglo Saxon British however I certainly regard myself as British I have also lived in sunnier climes - notably L.A and Sydney and eventually craved returning. Britain has a realness to it which can sometimes be unsettling but is always interesting.

BTW I think they must have made a mistake on the bill with those eels or else I just look really gullible!

Sam said...

gastrochick

when my mum was a kid she used to catch the elvers in the River Severn and then sell them to the local pub (i think). So if you like them, maybe you should nip down to west country for some more!