Jun 30, 2008
May 09, 2009
Coming out of Birmingham train station I half expected to be greeted by smoking factory chimneys and miles of curry houses, reminiscent of some thatcheresque industrial utopia, but was surpruised to see it was clean, sparkly and... basically like any other English city Iīd been in on this mini tour of the homeland. It did have a big shopping centre shaped like a doughnut, with an enormous crinkly metal thing next to it, but it was still a mural of different shades of grey (typical colours of England) and a smart, safe, completely uniform example of modern Britian. I met Charlie in Starbucks and had eerie flashbacks to Cairo and Beijing. Is the world getting smaller or just less exciting?! Well, never fear, I soon found the answer to that question and so satisfactorarily that it banished any morose, pretentious woes I was entertaining over globalisation etc and the answer lay in- dum da dum- Marks and Spencers food hall! That great bastion of British commercialism that has thankfully been underrated and therefore rejected by the rest of the world...French, Spanish etc, they may mock our cuisine and turn their continental noses up at the dubious delights of minced pork encased in jelly and deep fried in a pastry case, but M&S cocktail sausages, mini pork pies, double gloucester and wensleydale minipacks and sausage rolls will always be a highlight of my visits home and occupy a special place apart from any other delicious items I encounter worldwide (I havenīt forgotton you though Shanghai xiaolongbao xxxxx). Therefore we felt perfectly justified in spending 25 pounds on said treats to see us through the 3 hour bus journey to London. Hurrah!