Today’s vocabulary: Friday 6 April 2007

6 Apr

Cheese Vendor, Borough Market

Originally uploaded by commamommas.

Take the piss: to tease
With all the bits: with everything

One benefit to visiting your temporarily expat friends almost a year into their time abroad is that you benefit from all the visitors who have come before you. Liz recommended a walk near the Tower of London, across Tower Bridge, and up to the Tate Modern, which was the main museum I wanted to visit to help me complete my international hat trick of modern art museums: SFMoMA, Centre Pompidou, and the Tate Modern.

Before I headed out, I stopped at the Orange store to see if I could top off my SIM card, but I had to buy a new one. Still, the SIM card was free, and I just put 10 pounds on it. Not bad.

Today’s a bank holiday, plus, it appears that a bunch of European countries have holy week off, so everything was packed with tourists like me.

I walked along the Thames, decided that cities with rivers running through them are much cooler than cities without rivers running through them, took a photo of City Hall (which, according to my guide book, a London mayor refers to it as “the testicle”), and wandered down to Borough Market for lunch.

Tucked away under what feel almost like overpasses, the Borough Market is your typical farmers market, but with cheese from all over Europe, fresh-baked bread and pastries, fish and meats, and even, presumably for Easter, freshly killed rabbits that you can de-fur yourself at home. I bought Boeren Stelutelleidsekaas (a cumin-flavored Dutch farmhouse cheese made with skim milk) from Boerenkass and a Northern Italian cheese made from sheep’s and goat’s milk from some guy who didn’t ID his business at his stall.

At the unidentified stall, I pointed to one cheese with a really pretty rind, and the guy said, “That? That’s poisonous. I just have that to take the piss out of guys when they want to try stronger and stronger cheeses.”

Sausage sandwich

Originally uploaded by commamommas.

For lunch, I decided to continue my pattern of ordering something I’ve never had before. The woman in line before me asked about the wild boar sausage. “Is it like pork?” “It is, but it’s quite gamey,” the woman said. I’ve realized gamey isn’t a negative here. I ordered one, too. “Would you like all the bits?” she asked–all the bits being a slathering of cranberry sauce, a bed of rocket, and cooked onions on top. Delicious.

Off to the Bramah’s Tea and Cofee Museum, which is well worth the 3 pounds when you factor in the big souvenir book they give you (and the opportunity to see the biggest teapot in the world), then to the Tate Modern, where you can get free tickets to go down a slide from the second, third, fourth, or fifth floors. They were booked up when I was there, but it looked like fun.


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