Those of you that follow me on social media will already know, but I’m in England right now! Specifically, I’m in Feltham which is a 32-minute train ride from central London (Thanks Nida!). I arrived on Wednesday evening and we’ve been eating food and seeing sights nonstop since then. It’s been a blast so far!
One of the first things I got to knock off my to-do list in London was having fish and chips! Almas, her sister Nida, and I went to a chippy (a colloquial term for a shop that does mainly fried foods) and picked up these huge boxes of food!
We walked to a nearby park enjoyed the lovely weather with our heaps of fried food. We split the two boxes between the three of us but it was still a little too much. We ended up sharing some of our food with the adventurous squirrels that would walk right up and stare at us longingly until we gave some up.
We biked to and from that area and it was so neat to see England up close, from the roadside. The landscape was pleasantly flat and the houses by the roadside were largely uniformed. They would be two stories, often duplexes, and on the front would be a door, a large window, and one smaller, often circular, window. I was happy to be able to see the inside of one when we went to Almas’ parents’ house for a barbecue later that day!
Almas’ family prepped up a bunch of food and I got to fire up the grill. I know it’s not actually a good thing to make the grill too hot, but I got that grill so hot. I hope I impressed Almas’ dad. He kept remarking that it was too hot. I think I did. We had kebabs with lamb, chicken, veggies, and halloumi. It was my first time having halloumi which is a sturdy cheese for grilling and it was amazing. We also had a Somali dish called fatamoz which is roti fried in a pan with bananas, then covered in a thin vegetable soup and topped with a strong sauce made of fenugreek seeds. So many interesting and delicious foods!
Another highlight was meeting up with some old friends from Japan. We met them yesterday at Borough Market in London. There were all kinds of hot and ready foods to be had. It was really hard to decide what to get! In the end, I got a sausage roll and a scotch egg. Here is me with Clare and Cindy who were Nagasaki JETs until last year.
In the picture, I have a scotch egg and Clare is holding a box full of sweet potato fries. Notice the mayo.
After enjoying the clean, bright, fun market we went to the Clink, which is the place from where all other jails got that monicker. The Clink is a terrible prison created hundreds of years ago where a lot of nasty stuff went down. We threw Almas in the stocks.
Last night we went to an event that I have never been to before: a boxing match! It was a “white-collar” boxing match, which means that the fighters are not professional, but rather have their own white-collar jobs (or otherwise) and just enjoy boxing. It was put on by Pride in London, so naturally there were plenty of rainbow flags and some of the ring girls were actually boys in drag. It was a lighthearted and fun event. We got there early enough to get some nice seats.
On the way home after the event we stopped by a chicken shop we learned about from the Chicken Connoisseur on YouTube. It’s called Dallas Chicken and we got some wings, fries, and a chicken burger, just like the man himself. Man wasn’t lying either. It was really good food. The guy running the shop dropped fresh fries in the fryer as soon as we walked in. The wings were fresh and just a bit spicy. I was really impressed.
And so, the vacation continues! We head back to Japan early on Tuesday so we’re gonna do our best to squeeze all the fun we can out of the rest of our trip!
Here’s a bunch of extra pictures!