On Day 2 of our trip, Naomi and I stumbled upon Borough Market on our way to the Tate Modern Museum. Lucky for us that it coincided with lunch time because the first thing we saw at the edge of the market were the food stalls. We both chose a delicious Indian curry; I passed on the dahl while Naomi went back for seconds to be put over her rice at the bottom of her carton container.
Later, at the museum, she started suffering from intense stomach cramps that would bother her for two days… She didn’t blame the dahl; instead she put it down to being a “bad traveller”.
During the meal we were lucky to get a seat, and afterwards, we discovered the stalls selling mushrooms, delicately piled up in intriguing pyramids of various shapes and colours. The cheeses, spices and vegetables were irresistible to look at and admire – all the produce looked beautiful.
Borough Market definitely has an old look to it; it’s not all shiny and bright. It has a roof high up (I never really looked); it’s dark and enclosed, yet happily and comfortably claustrophobic.
Outside the market, there was a downpour, and we walked in the rain to the museum, having bought only a small assortment of dried hot peppers and curries for ourselves and son Jonah.
Naomi and I had to ask for directions quite often, and I never had any qualms asking for help. Not once did we receive anything but complete and open friendliness and assistance.
Sometimes, people would flip open their device and check Google maps for precise directions to where we were headed. One day in Notting Hill I even interrupted a young woman talking to her mother on her cell phone who said, “Once sec, mum” and tried to help us find a tiny road nearby.
We mostly came across two categories of Londoners – those with a wide variety of British accents and those with a Slavic one. I have known for years that Polish immigrants have done very well in Britain and more often than not, a young woman with a Polish accent would bring us our daily Americano at a café.
To use two words to describe most of the people we met and had to ask directions from: smart & helpful.