Europa Part I: Ocean & UK

by janet on June 15th, 2010

England?  Britain?  I never know what to call it so I always default to UK, which seems to work even with the locals. As you know, R2 and I went on an epic journey that included LA, London, Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona, and Mallorca.  Mallorca we decided to go to because I live on Mallorca street in San Francisco, and R2 thought it would be cool to say that I went across the world just to end up where I started.

Getting ahead of myself.  We flew Virgin Atlantic which I have to say was pretty motherfucking awesome.  Almost 40 movies to choose from, on demand – GOOD ones like Fantastic Mr. Fox and this freaking crazy Japanese movie I watched (to brush up on my language skillz but all I really got brushed up on was the Japanese penchant for insane overacting and twisted plot mindfuckyness) called Kaiji.

R2, armed with his new Kindle named Tars Tarkindle (a hatchday gift from yours truly) barely touched his entertainment screen, but totally got a boner for the crap airplane food that they served.

I got the beef cottage pie, solely based on the fact that it came with cheesy potatoes. I must say that it was superb hangover food, which was a godsend because we had spent the prior night consuming more than one of a monstrosity that we invented called a van-bomb, which is a carbomb but with an entire pint of Guinness and a tumbler full of Bailey’s.

What else? Oh yeah, they were like “how can we keep up the reputation of airplane food? I’ve GOT it!  Pasta salad with peas dressed with mayo!” Vom.

And what IS it with that shitty weird roll that they always give you? I didn’t know that bread could elicit nausea.

We were met at the airport by Rom, who proceeded to (after introducing us to his cowts) give us the most fucking BRITISH (say it without the hard “t” like Bri-ish) experience ever.

First, fucking Jane fucking Austen’s HOUSE!

We drove through winding country roads surrounded on both sides by lush fields of rapeseed (lol rapeseed) flowers to get there. I snapped a picture of her kitchen for posterity.

Also, did you know that Wedgewood (open your mom’s china cabinet – you’ll see some in there I guarantee it) existed all the way back in prehistoric Pride and Prejudice times??! Here’s her family’s original set.

Then we went across the street to Cassandra’s Cup Tea Room (Cassandra is Jane’s sister) and had a cream tea. What IS cream tea? All I know is that it’s Englishey. Is the “cream” the clotted cream (my new obsession – a lighter, refreshing version of whipped cream)? Or is it the cream that goes into the tea? Anyway, it came with the Englishiest of English baked sidekicks.

Rom: What’s the fastest pastry?

Rom: [not waiting] -SCONE!

R2: [Delighted gasp!]

Baby Rom: [Baby-type inept hand clapping] GURGLE!

R2 warned me that the Brits take their tea with milk, and they will get offended if you don’t. So, I gritted my teeth and and let my tongue be coated with creaminess, YECH. The scone was SCONE into my tum immediately – that coated with the most delightful of jams.

We then went to a motherfucking pub and had a motherfucking PINT…WHILE WATCHING MOTHERFUCKING CRICKET IN THE MOTHERFUCKING POURING RAIN SO ENGLISHEYYY! We watched the game from the safety of the pub – it’s a field where Prince Harry likes to play. And then we went and had a CURRY!

By this point I was rocked by the combination of redeye sleep deprivation on top of a soul-shaking hangover, and regret to inform you that I do not remember the exact constellation of dishes we ordered. All the food there (Viceroy Indian Restaurant in Hook) was excellent – whenever I am nauseated, the spices in Indian food seem to mellow out my stomach. That plus the hair of the dog Kingfisher remedy, good company, and the realization that I was actually on that side of the Atlantic (!) cured me of what ailed me, and soon thereafter I blissfully crashed my head on the cat-hairy (mmm soft and cute and allergy-ey) pellow.

My bliss reached stratospheric levels when, aided by a totally fucked up circadian rhythm, we woke up early enough to go for an All-Day Breakfast at the Shack Cafe before our flight to Madrid.

It’s literally a shack, with bits of cardboard and flooring covering a dangerously uneven, sloping dirt floor, where the smell of grease instantly nestles itself into the deepest fibers of your clothes and pores. I’m not quite sure that the clientele had ever seen an Oriental before.

An All-Day Breakfast involves…sausage, two slices of ham, over-easy eggs, choice of beans or tomatoes, bread with butter, and FRIED BREAD!

OK, imagine this: the yolk is running everywhere, lapping up against the stewed canned tomatoes that you have squished with the back of your fork. You spear a generous sliver of ham, dip the corner of the fried bread (did I mention it’s FRIED holy shit?) into the salty, greasy tomato-yolk mess, and wedge the whole shebang into your mouth.

It’s difficult to tear your eyes away from your gigantic plate (which also comes with fucking milk tea again) to look at the tea towels on the wall. But you do, and you see this:

Hee hee. You giggle, because you’re giddy from the fat and salt clogging your axons. Thanks for the send-off, Monkey.

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