In honor of my very first decidedly non-pilgrim-and-Indian Thanksgiving, I've decided to do a two-part blog on a few things for which I'm thankful. There may not be paper mache turkeys hanging from every light fixture in the British Wal-Mart, but I'd say gratitude translates pretty easily into any culture.
Part one of this turkey day blog special will focus on London and other travels.
I am thankful for...
...Delight Food and Wine, the off-license grocery around the corner from my flat where I have been known to purchase 99P frozen pizzas at 4 in the morning after stumbling off the night bus and punching a drunk perv in the eye teeth;
...the Transport for London Web site, for always keeping me up-to-date on what the train times should have, could have or perhaps would have been, had there not been an incident involving a person underneath a train in the time it took me to close my laptop, leave my flat and get to the tube station;
...the Metropolitan Line, for knowing just when to jostle me awake from my tube naps so that I don't miss my stop on the way to work;
...my work mates, who never fail to keep me thoroughly entertained during the 17 or so hours each week I spend calling to chat with people about the exciting world of cancer;
...and come to think, cancer, for keeping me employed;
...the Post Office, where you can change international currency for free, thus making jaunts to places like, say, Berlin, a little easier on the pocketbook;
...Germans, just in general;
...being a Londonder, which allows me to do things like meet a friend on the weekend for a free jazz festival, walk down the Thames and watch street performers on a lazy afternoon, look at the Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament any time I want, practice my British accent on a seasoned lot of judges, ride the tube, spend a Saturday on Oxford and Regent Streets, head 'round to the pub and get rained on, daily;
...economy airlines like RyanAir, EasyJet and any number of other country-specific carriers that turn hopping around Europe from a dream into an absolute reality; and
...English breakfast tea, because the only thing I know with certainty about each new day here is that at some point, the kettle will be on to boil and a tea bag with my name on it will be steeping.
HRH e. cawein