Monday, January 13, 2014

No Trousers on the Tube....Why?

It was the thirteenth annual no trousers on the tube/no pants on the subway day. Why is this? The photo above is TAME compared to some of the truly cringe worthy ones that are up and circulating. Here's the thing - it's cold, the subway/tube is dirty and public so why is there a need for a show up in your knickers day at all?

Well, it was started by small improve group in NYC as a joke in 2002. The group, Improv Everywhere, decided they wanted to shake things up and shock NY. As if a couple of guys without pants could do that in NYC!

Their statement: The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year.

And it is global - there are many cities that participated including New York, London, Brussels, Berlin, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Ah to be young, full of fun with no shame. Here's how I know I'm old: I wouldn't participate in this for several reasons:

1. My arse in knickers should never be on public display. Ever.
2. It's freezing cold out - I wouldn't go sockless, nevermind without trousers!
3. The subway/tube is dirty and yicky. No way I'm putting my bare butt on one of those seats!
4. What's the point? So I can show up on facebook and in blogs with my rear on display?
5. I like trousers and being dressed

The grand conclusion to this post is that I am officially a fuddy duddy. However, I'm contemplating allowing the kids to eat popcorn in our bedroom this weekend as a rules-be-damned day. How's that for living on the edge?

And the day I'm on the tube when there are trouserless folks participating and I get indignant/growly is the day I officially retire and move to a cave near a beach. Let's hope it never comes to that!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Wee Spot of Praise for England

England's not too shabby. I know I've waxed on and on about how much I love New York City and Brooklyn - and I always will. But last time I was in NYC some of the bloom was off the rose. Granted it was hot, sticky crowded summer time and I was having to run all over Manhattan for meetings in the subway, in taxi's and on foot. However, I craved me a little London after a few days.

While there is a lot of about England that I just don't get (taxes for TV, council tax, customer service, just to name a few) there are quite a few things that I think are far superior to the US. Here's a sampling:

Credit/Debit cards:

They come with a chip in them: that's the gold square thing on the left. It makes life so easy - you just stick it in, punch in your code and you're on your way. Another thing they have here are portable credit card machines in restaurants :

They bring them to the table and run you card right there - you punch in your code and the receipt prints out, tips can be added easily, no need to sign anything, just plug it in and go. Your credit card never leaves your sight and it's all done in a matter of seconds (unless you're in a restaurant in Belsize Park that does not get great wireless service in your corner - then the waiter has to carry it closer to the front so it will work - but I digress...)

When I go back to the US I admit I grumble about having to fork over my credit card and watch it walk away with a waiter. Come on USA - get it together before I move back!

The great equalizer! Here is my Cate modeling on version of her uniform. When I was in school we had ONE uniform: plaid jumper (pinafore), white blouse with peter pan collar, green cross tie, white socks, black shoes. Not here - there is a summer uniform: blue and white checked dress (crazy cute), and winter: navy pinafores/skirts/trousers with blue or white shirts, no tie, blue or white socks/tights and black shoes. They have either pull over or cardigan school jerseys (sweaters) as well. It's fantastic - we don't argue about what to wear, I buy half the clothes I used to, there's no competition for outfits with other kids (although Leli Kelli shoes are the rage), and they just look so precious and darling all kitted out in their uniforms. I just love it.


High corn fructose does not exist. Massive amounts of sugar added: does not exist. Things are not as artificial here. When we first arrived we thought things were a little bland, but after a while our over stimulated taste buds acclimatized and we now can barely eat the things we loved back in the US. I loved Schweppes ginger-ale - but now it's far too sweet for me, just like Tostitos hint of lime chips, even cereals are cringe worthy.

The food is much healthier here and this I really like.

I could go on and on. But one of the best things of living in London is...well, it's LONDON! Come on! That's pretty fantastic!