Okay, this miiight become a once-a-fortnight thing or once every month, because college class comes cracking down this Monday and I don't see myself doing anything terribly fascinating that would translate well to a post. HOWEVER, this week I
*learned the ABJECT HORRORS OF SHIPPING
*got to fulfill a forgotten childhood dream of FEELING LIKE AN ABSOLUTE PRINCESS
*realized that the answer to anything in Nottingham is most likely "ROBIN HOOD"
DHL shipping: a haiku
Wha--where's my stuff?
Angry enough to set whole
cities up in flame.
For those who don't know, DHL is when you pay a ton of money for your stuff to get shipped extra fast and extra securely. Japanese poetry set jokingly aside--I realized it sucks to know some of your most personal possessions are in transit, especially so when they were supposed to arrive nearly a week beforehand. It became clear that my packages were sent to the wrong place and I had to haul them myself, in my arms...and still have the bruises to show it. Customs tore open my stuff, and so did a different UK border control. Though they have every right and it was surely a routine check, I don't know why some plates, a coffee maker, scarves, hats, coats, and bed brickabrack warranted such treatment. And whoa, when I had to carry it all the way to my dorm...my full hell-hath-no-fury-like-an-exchange-student-scorned, I'll-kill-you-just-by-making-eye-contact anger strut propelled me like someone possessed. However, when I popped open the boxes and made my teeny tiny bed with my own quilts and fired up my coffee maker, I was incredibly relieved.
Speaking of coffee maker, I'm always kindly vocal about tea. I mean Boston Harbor, 1776, leaf water...I could pee myself teasing about tea. When I was younger, though, I was the girl who had her own china tea service, who practiced how to pour just so, to ask, "Cream, or sugar? One cube, or two?" in the perfectly hospitable hostess tone. Or I was a princess entertaining guests; my cousin and I would hold tea parties with water and fish crackers, my dolls would make plans over tea...you get the idea. So, ever since my emotional clinginess to all things related to the coffee bean, tea fell into a new category. For one thing, I'd tried some and hadn't expected the bitterness compared to a cup of joe (it sounds wrong, I know. But coffee isn't bitter. It's...intense). Really...it tasted like hot water; like someone had scraped some leaves off the ground and thrown them in a pot.
Today I went into a tea house called the White Rabbit; a shop with spectacularly nice workers and an atmosphere I can only describe as adorable. Everything was cute: the colorful fabric flags hanging from the ceiling, a hand-sponged rabbit/garden wallpaper, the teacups painted with yellow roses....goodness, I was in heaven. If a princess had stopped in, no surprise would've shot through me. Even the tables and chairs were small, to invite close company, I'm guessing. Ordering 'afternoon tea,' I drank white tea with rose and pomegranate and yes, it tasted like fragrantly boiling water until I gulped down the dregs and winced at the bitter, leafy tang. But it was the experience: I felt so happy to be in a cheery tea house, eating scones with clotted cream and jam, macaroons, and nibbling prawn sandwiches. I've never had scones before (yo, God bless whoever thought up scones); where I come from people drink tea out of mugs and only in the mornings or after a very hard day. It was a pocket-size and fluffy place and I think I'm in love. I might order a cappuccino next time, but I'm in love.
On to Nottingham. Robin hood's home turf. Holy green tights, he's everywhere here! Inescapable in a good way. If I got stopped by any rogue on the street heading home from the tram, I could probably spit "Robin Hood!" and they'd let me go and rear back at the sacred name. He graced statues, plaques, advertisements, pub names, museum exhibits, artwork, bus lines--I even saw kids wearing his trademark cap and wielding those arrows with the suction cups at the ends that always end up stuck on someone's forehead on TV. So now I really want to watch something Sherwood-related.
Scratch that--I want to throw on a tunic and scramble up a tree to join the Merry Men. Let's be serious, now. Ever since I saw the Nottingham Castle walls I've kind of been preoccupied with sword fight scenarios and sneaking into places.
What about you? :) Have any of you been to Nottingham? Do you love tea houses? Never been to one? Tea or coffee?