Day 7 in Europe: I fear that I am lacking the refinement fit for ‘high society’

This morning was one of immense struggle: that is, the struggle to get out of bed and get ready on time.  Subsequently, we left the flat an hour later than anticipated.  But I did learn that English yogurt is pretty good.

This little fowl with the greatest expression ever.

This little fowl with the greatest expression ever.

Inland Taipan, most venomous snake of all.  It looks so harmless, though.

Inland Taipan, most venomous snake of all. It looks so harmless, though.

It was a good day to be a lady, because ladies get to wear leggings under their jeans for added warmth.  I guess I never expected England to be so cold, but today was definitely chilly.  Walking to Regent’s Park and the London Zoo warmed me up, but once we were there, it was pretty frigid.

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Excellent signage

Excellent signage

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London Zoo was fine; definitely not the best zoo I’ve ever been to, but certainly not the worst.  I applaud their efforts to renovate the exhibits, because it’s much-needed.  Concrete and stone?  Too old-fashioned.  However, it was clear that the animals were well cared for, healthy, and well – the exhibits themselves were just a little antiquated.

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He was beautiful!!!

He was beautiful!!!

We had to get something warm to hold so our hands didn't freeze and fall off.  Also - OKAPI

We had to get something warm to hold so our hands didn’t freeze and fall off. Also – OKAPI

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In a way, getting a later start in favor of a little more sleep turned out well.  We came back to the flat to change our clothes, then bustled off to Buckingham Palace before Afternoon Tea.  Buckingham Palace was also fine, nothing wrong with it apart from the masses of tourists everywhere.  It was still cold, so we decided to head to Tea a bit early.

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All the statues

All the statues

Afternoon Tea was not overrated, even if the scones did have raisins in them.  Everyone in the party can pick the tea that they like (I chose jasmine tea – yummm!), then you get a triple-decker tray of scones, assorted pastries, and finger sandwiches.  They also gave us a free “refill” of our delicious little sandwiches, as well as plenty of tap water.  Tap water in Europe is apparently kind of rare.

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Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace.

A wider range

A wider range

When we had half a scone and one sliver of sandwich left, we were too full to possibly eat them.  I didn’t quite understand why my friend had me do it until later, when she gave the sliver of sandwich to a homeless man with a dog, but my friend made me wrap up that piece of sandwich and stuff it in my purse.  It was very undignified.

The Ritz.  I wanted to go ask for crackers, but I wasn't emotionally prepared for disappointment, so I didn't.

The Ritz. I wanted to go ask for crackers, but I wasn’t emotionally prepared for disappointment, so I didn’t.

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Which brings us to the blog title.  I am definitely not fancy, polite, ladylike, refined, or otherwise well-mannered enough to go anywhere remotely fancy.  This restaurant was right across the street from the Ritz, and fancier than anywhere I’ve ever been.  Whereas proper British people, with posh accents and fancy manners, were taking tiny sips of tea and little nibbles of their snacks, I was guzzling my tea and water, slathering all sorts of clotted cream (basically fancy butter) and jelly on my scones, using my fingers to eat, and stuffing my mouth full like a hamster.  Also, shoving uneaten sandwich slices into my purse.

But at least I’m not the only one with brutish manners – my friend hates raisins with the same passion that I hate kale, so she was subtly picking them out of her scones and hiding them under an uneaten piece of salmon sandwich.  Though, to her credit, she can at least sip her tea like a lady.

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The crest

The crest

Nobody seemed to notice or care; maybe they just had the good graces to overlook my bad habits?  I don’t particularly care, in the end, what anyone thought.  It’s my birthright as an American to be socialized into thinking that the world is my oyster and that I have the freedom to express myself (as a slob).  It was fun, and delicious.

We wrapped up our evening by going back to the flat and doing homework/laundry/packing.  Brussels was such a blast, and Boulogne-sur-mer/Nausicaa was amazing, and London has been very fun, but I will definitely miss [name redacted] the most!!!  She lives way too far way normally, but this whole “oceans away” thing is just a bit much.

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Big Ben

Big Ben

A very big statue

A very big statue

Thoughts so far on London:
-I’m starting to get used to the smell
-Except that now it smells like a hamster cage
-Why does everyone in Europe smoke?
-Damn, they are serious when they make a warning
-I wish we could threaten stupid people with dismemberment when they harass the animals
-Although, I don’t think people back home drop as much trash into the exhibits as they do here
-BRrrrrrrr
-Afternoon Tea is the BEST
-The guards at Buckingham Palace look sort of like the flying monkey guard things in Wizard of Oz
-Fuckingham Palace is genius, but I apologize to the British people in general for that.
-It does not feel like it’s been a week yet.
-I am not ready to go back home!!!!!!  Ever!
-Well.  I might miss my kitty cat

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About MurasakiOkapi

Work has taken over a huge portion of my life in recent years, but I am trying hard to get back in the habit of being at least marginally creative on a semi-regular basis. Other than that, I'm a nature enthusiast and love all animals. I try to see things from many perspectives, and live on the sustainable side. I wouldn't say I'm a positive person, but at the same time I don't tend to get too down about things.
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