Sunday, 20 March 2011
Puke in London
Puke isn't really a word that people use here in Britian. If someone is throwing up they are being sick. Sick is what you call vomit.
People don't say they are sick, they say they are ill. You wouldn't say that I am going to puke, you'd say that you're going to be sick which means you're puking.
Anyway. The point is that you see a lot of puke around London. I'd like to think that there would be areas distinctively lacking in it, like Chelsea or Kensington, but I am sure that a few cookies get tossed there too.
To be honest with you I am not used to seeing piles of vomit on the sidewalk, usually along side of a building. It's really nasty. It's usually the evidence of a really heavy Friday or Saturday night out, but you also get it during the week.
Last weekend Matthew and I went out to our favourite cafe in Brixton for breakfast. The Duck Egg Cafe in Brixton does a mean eggs bennny and is a lovely little place to go. It's small and usually is full so you have to time it just right. Matthew and I arrived to find the cosy little cafe full up and there was a queue outside.
We decided to run a few errands and then come back. At this point we were both pretty hungry and it had started to rain. As I walked past one of the shops there was a very nasty pile of puke that I nearly stepped in. This did not improve my mood at all. We hustled from shop to shop before heading back, getting drenched. As a side note, I can't stand getting wet in the rain or stepping in puke.
So we get back to the Duck Egg only to find that it's still full. This put me in an even worse mood, plus Matthew was really hungry and he needed to get home and do some work.With blood sugar dropping we had to decide what we were going to do. The options at that point were to to go the Ritzy or to the store and buy stuff to make breakfast.
I wasn't in the mood for walking back to the shop in the rain to buy things to make breakfast. I had wanted my beautiful eggs benny! Not scrambled eggs and beans that I'd have to cook myself and then do the washing up.
We went to Ritzy and that was full as well. Matthew and I had nice argument there over what to do that ended with him saying he was going to walk home and I could do whatever I like. Only he didn't have the keys to the flat and it was still raining.
I walked out of the Ritzy to see him standing under the awning obviously realising that his dramatic exit wasn't going to work out since he'd have to stand out in the rain waiting for me to get back home. I wish I could say that we ended up getting a table at the Ritzy or even calling a truce and walking back to the Duck Egg for a third time.....but we ended up going across the street to McDonalds. Not what I had in mind for my charming Sunday morning breakfast, but desperate situations call for desperate measures.
I went home after finishing my Big Mac brunch thinking about puke in London and how much I dislike seeing it. I was out for dinner with my friend Becky, who's from Birmingham, and this subject came up. Becky has lived in London for about a year now and is all too familiar with piles of puke. She lives in East London, just off of Shoreditch High Street. She reckons she has seen more of this in London than in Birmingham and even as a true Brit she finds it deplorable. Which in a way makes me feel better.
Now I am not going to get into a big discussion about the British drinking culture and all that jazz, because that could be a really long post :) I just want to say that it's not very nice to see it on the street and I don't recall encountering it in Minneapolis.
If anyone has any comments or insights they'd like to share about people ralphing in big cities please post them!
Also I thought the following article from BrandRepublic, although a bit old, gave a bit more depth to this colourful issue :)