There isn’t much time to dramatize, satirize and criticize this week. I’ve been very buzy writing a revizion document for my students’ mid-term so haven’t had much chance to color my thoughts with British English. Still, I’m having an awesome time. Awesome like a foot long hotdog!
Any spare time has been reserved for food. I’ve been doing a lot of real cooking this week and it’s destroying my funds. In the area surrounding my school we could eat nightly at a range of moderately priced (£2-£3) restaurants including, but not limited to: a veggie Buddhist buffet, really good Thai food, pasta, pizza, A French staffed crêpe place and Chinese food. But I bought an oven a few weeks ago and it stares accusingly at me when I walk through the door, so I have to use it.
I’ve made (using your powers of imagination add the prefix vegetable to each of these dishes): Lasagne, another pasta dish and pizza. For the first time I have attempted to make all of these from scratch which has meant eating between 10 and 12 at night but it looks like you can really cook when you sit down to eat and the kitchen is covered with flour (even the Americans include the ‘u’ in flour). Making pasta and pizza dough has helped save money on the hypothetical, “one day I might”, never going to happen gym membership but each meal has cost £15-£20. Which leaves us in a quandary: We could eat out each night, sample a variety of cuisines that taste great, are very cheap and take no preparation from me. Or spend 5 times as much, have my evenings taken up by cooking and sit down to eat, an admittedly more nutritious meal, at 11pm.
Fresh food is so expensive here that it makes one wonder how it is possible to run a restaurant so cheaply. It is possible to buy a savoury crêpe (apparently called a galette) with an array of fillings and a sweet crêpe with a much wider choice of innards and a coffee from a surprisingly friendly French man for the same price as a butternut squash. The squash is great, but it isn’t a meal and when you consider the home-made pasta sauce, mushrooms and broccoli, on top of the time and energy spent punching, stretching and kicking fresh pasta into existence, you’ve spent a week’s eating out budget and a whole evening on one meal. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wish I had the money to cook my own food every night.
P.S. Virgin Trains ticket collectors have been absolved of all their many misdemeanours and sins after refusing to let Gideon stay in first class on a standard ticket. For one day at least, I salute you!