Катя (inostranka) wrote,

The Motherland of the Queen and the SAT Words

"What a delightful goulash of a walk this is. It is reconnaissance on the razzle - the search-party that syncopates. Because Notting Hill on a Saturday morning is curious and colourful, offbeat and yeasty. Here you walk with a ticket of freedom - a pass to scintillating escarpments. Just consider what's squeezed out onto the palette this hillside: swells and scruffs; cottages, potteries and piggeries; colour washed mews and cab shelters; the gout route to Bath, and on and on it goes."

Now, isn't that a delightful little description of a walk? How many of those words are not in your active vocabulary, and, for that matter, would never make it into an American tourist brochure?

England, как много в этом слове... и как много, оказывается, слов, в настоящем английском.
...where any old chap can stand on the pavement and say anything he wants, as long as he does not criticize the monarchy, does not entice to riots, and is standing on a soap box at least 6 inches tall in one particular corner of Hyde Park;
...where the tube follows a strict timetable and is about the only thing that works on a bank holiday, which isn't even a real holiday, as no mate would be able to explain what's holy about it;
...where you can hail a cab which will go full tilt whilst passing through all the roundabouts and drive on the left side of avenues and lanes, before wisking you to the motorway;
...where a lad in the restaurant, while serving you the famously undelicious fish-n-chips, will ask whether you want your water still or with bubbles, point you towards the toilets, and then expect extra for services;
...where the curfew was invented, from the french? dutch? saying "couvre le fu", meaning "to cover the fire [of the gas lamps]";
...where Jack The Ripper stalked and butchered the raddled, drink-sodden East End prostitutes in the autumn of gaslight and fog;
...and where the harshest swear you'll hear will be "Bugger off, you bloody bastard."

And a bit of that famous dry British humour:
One famous gentleman, when informed by his physician that he will likely be parting with leaving this world that evening, remarked: "Die?! That's the last thing I'll do!"

Disraeli, the Jewish British prime minister, also on his deathbed, refused to see queen Victoria, "because she would just ask me to pass on a message to [her recently deceased husband] Albert." Queen Victoria, of course, whilst being Disraeli's friend, was famously obsessed with her departed husband.

Disraeli, complaining about the mental capacities of the members of the British parliament: "Half of the people here are stupid." When asked by the speaker to rescind his statement, he complied by saying: "Alright, half the people here are not stupid."

Bernard Shaw sent a letter to Winston Chuchill: "I invite you to the opening night's performance of my new play. I am enclosing two tickets - bring a friend, if you have one." To which Churchill eloquently replied: "Sorry, I will have to miss the opening night. Will come to the second performance, if you have one."

Notting Hill is for the very very rich, whilst Kensington is for the seriously rich. A Kensington nanny from 1980's recalls: "On my first day, I went with my charges to the round pond in Kensington garden, and joined a group of nannies sitting on the bench. When there was a lull in the conversation, I introduced myself, and was met with brief but complete silence, after which the conversation resumed without anyone making any notice of me. Then, the nanny sitting closest to me asked: "Dear, are you a titled mommy's nanny?", to which, to my embarassement, I had to reply negatively, and was thus promptly told: "You have to leave this bench, as it is only for titled mommies' nannies."
Tags: travel

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