|One of many entrances to Borough Market.|
POI did not make it to lunch. He was held up at work and I, being of the understanding-and-generally-capable-of-entertaining-myself-especially-when-in-a-foreign-country-sort, made my way around Borough Market, tasting more cheese samples than I had appetite for.
|She was very generous with the samples.|
|I couldn’t tell if these mushrooms were very expensive or not.|
|Wheat grass being turned into green water.|
|As opposed to old season game.|
|I truly regret not eating one – actually, all three – of these.|
|He was also very generous with the samples.|
|As opposed to the Not Posh At All Banger Boys on the other side of the street.|
|In case you forgot why you were at the market.|
|Gorgeous Friday afternoon light.|
|I took this photo to show how long the line was for Applebee’s takeaway. Applebee’s in London is quite different from Applebee’s in the US, which is essentially an institution for obesity.|
When I was in danger of becoming ill on cheese and jam samples, I walked behind the market down Stoney Street and towards the river.
|POI things it is incredibly creepy that I like to photograph children in school uniforms. Perhaps. But as you can see, I keep a safe distance.|
|Apparently this is where I was.|
|For those of you who follow me on Instagram: the original caption is probably still best: “British guy behind me: ‘Rihanna wrote a song about these.'”|
|Fashionable people getting ready for Friday after work/class drinks.|
|“Are they real?”|
POI eventually arrived at 3:30PM. He had apologized profusely throughout the day, pushing lunch back until it was clear he would not make any hour deemed appropriate for lunch. I was not angry – it seemed reasonable that POI do well at his job. Logistically, it was the reason I was able to visit. Back in New York POI had been the most punctual of men while I, normally a punctual woman, was late to every single date.
“The trains,” I would say, breathless from having jogged from the subway station, “I just…don’t understand them” (when in fact I suddenly turn into a sloth whenever it’s time to leave the apartment).
“That’s alright,” POI would say, “You’ll figure them out soon enough.”
He arrived, grinning. Work was over and done with; the weekend could now begin.
He clapped his hands together. He had not had time for lunch and was hungry.
“Let’s go find me a grilled cheese sandwich.”
|A blurry photo, but suffice it to say it was the mother of all grilled cheese sandwiches. Seeing it, I conveniently forgot all the cheese samples I’d already had and took a huge bite.|
And a beer. We went round the corner to The Rake, one of POI’s favorite pubs in the area, though he seems to like most pubs. There was a small outdoor area populated with colorful metal chairs and voluble, easy-going men who were anything but rakish. It was Friday afternoon and they had left any work-related worries behind at the office. Now it was time to have a pint.
We sat outside on a bench next to two men in suits. They sat opposite each other with their legs crossed and I could see their patterned socks. I could not decide if they were careful dressers or if men in London simply wore patterned socks. POI, in a fleece zip up and checkered shirt had other thoughts. He disappeared inside. The men in patterned socks talked shop, then went on to discuss their female colleagues, who had not been invited to the pub. I looked around – there were no women in the patio and only one girl inside the bar, but she seemed to be a student or someone on holiday. Women, it seemed, stayed later at the office. Even on a Friday.
POI returned holding a large pint for him and a half-pint for me.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Like a cider?”
“I asked for cider,” he said, “but the bartender gave me a look and said they only served beers.”
I took a sip, “Tastes like cider.”
POI laughed, “Well, here, it’s an apple beer.”
I produced the Lamington. He had sent me on a mission to find one while he was at work. POI is not so into sweets but he very much likes Lamingtons, an Australian dessert. At Borough Market, they are quite hard to find and I spent nearly twenty-minutes going from pastry tent to pastry tent, soliciting confused stares.
“A Lamington? It’s a….sweet thing?”
“A banana tart?”
And many such conversations. Finally, a Turkish man put down a tray of turkish delights and raised his arm slowly to point somewhere behind me. He nodded gravely like a prophet and in thickly accented English said, “There, that red tent. There you’ll find the Lamington.”
|Big pint, half pint and Lamington (the unicorn of desserts in Borough Market).|