London Thoughts- Week 43

March 19, 2016

43 weeks is ALMOST 10 MONTHS! That’s ALMOST 1 year.


  • Selfridges displays. I really liked the message they were sending (no I’m not being sarcastic… this time).

Selfridges Displays, Selfridges, London Spring 2016 Selfridges Displays, Selfridges, London Spring 2016 Selfridges Displays, Selfridges, London Spring 2016 Selfridges Displays, Selfridges, London Spring 2016


  • I’ve spotted more green parrots on the trees at Hyde Park. And this time I got a proper picture!!!! (I said proper… that’s very British of me)


  • I worked out that I watched 9 hours of The Great British Bake Off (a British baking competition) over 2 days. To be fair it was on the plane going to Austin and back to London. It was intense and now I know a lot more about British baking, and while I’ll never attempt it.

The Great British Bake Off!


  • I discovered what Yorkshire pudding is! Although pudding is in the world, it is not in fact a dessert. So, even though I’m getting good at learning British words, I’m still failing. The pudding is the big brown pillow thing and it tastes sort of like a pancake.


  • I’ve run into 2 people I know around London. ahhh I’m becoming a local.
  • I took a health exam which gave me the opportunity to get a higher discount at Whole Foods… and I got one! Woo!!!! This girl can now get 32% off her shop. (That also sounded british)
  • I finally tried papaya and lime and it was mind blowing. and then I saw this picture (below) on the internet and it made me laugh. Unfortunately we didn’t have that in our store. 🙁


  • Andi and I went to the National Gallery, and we learned the origin of the Milky Way… click here if you want to read more…. Definitely not what I was expecting. Artists are so creative.

The Origin of the Milky Way


  • I visited Planet Organic, Whole Food’s competitor… and I found grasshoppers and mealworms!!! Please notice that the grasshoppers are £15.50 a pack

mealworms and grasshoppers!


  • I have continued to attempt recipes from my book, “Vegan Love Story” from Tibits/Hiltl. Here are some successful recipes! Please notice we attempted to make Spätzle (a very popular Swiss dish) and it was delicious.


  • I continue to see horses in the park, or knights on horses in the park, or horses with golden retrievers in the park. But I can never get a good picture!!!! They’re pretty epic though.
  • Andi and I went to Austin. He was there 3 weeks for work, and I visited for a week. I decided to run in the Austin half marathon and running frequently in London has made me a lot happier. At one point I had to do my long run on a Saturday morning before my shift. Andi woke up with me at 4:30 in the morning to bike next to me… can it get sweeter than that? I think not.


  • While in Austin, we finally went to Barley Swine together and ate the best meal in the whole wide world.


  • We also caught some rays…


  • Now that we have a TV I tend to have cooking shows on in the background. I’ve gotten to know quite a few lovely British cooks. I’ll try not to bore you, but it’s kind of a big deal how different British cooking shows are.
  • Floyd on Food (below). Floyd’s incredible, and I think I like him the most because he’s so funny. In the middle of something he’ll start to make fun of the director or the cameraman, and it doesn’t seem like he’s trying.
  • Jamie Oliver (above). This guy likes to say lovely a lot, adds chilis to everything, enjoys cooking in unusual places, and is a little bit cocky.
  • James Martin (below). He’s funny, but he’s also lame because he’s got all these “simple and easy” meals, but they’re really not easy at all. One of his easiest meals is nailing fish to wood and roasting them over his backyard oven. So easy.
  • Mary Berry (above). Her name is awesome, and she’s like an adorable sassy sweet grandma who knows how to bake anything and everything.
  • Hairy Bikers (below). These dudes are weird, but you kinda start to like them because they’ll just start fighting in the middle of cooking something.
Hairy Bikers

look at those goofy guys

  • Ivan Day (below). Ivan Day usually pops up in the middle of someone else’s cooking show to educate the world on old cooking styles. This guy has insane tools that people used way back when to decorate their incredible pies and whatnot. He usually chooses a recipe from some ancient cookbook and makes something I would never have any interest in making, but it’s cool and entertaining.


  • Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond (below). No I’m not kidding and yes I know she’s not British. She’s on in the morning and for some strange reason I love listening to all that indulgent crazy crap she makes. Maybe it reminds me of home a little, or just cooking shows in America. I remember she had one episode about making healthy dishes and I was really disappointed.

Pioneer Woman!


  • I was curious to compare the size of the UK with the US. This is what I found… I honestly had no idea the UK was so small.

Texas UK Comparison


  • I went to Columbia Road Flower Market with a lovely friend, and it was AMAZING.

Columbia Road Flower Market, London, UK

Columbia Road Flower Market, London, UK


  • and then we wandered around Hackney and explored Hackney City Farm.

Hackney City Farm

Hackney City Farm

A rooster at the Hackney City Farm


  • I went to a bar with friends to celebrate Australia day… and I saw this in the bathroom. I haven’t seen this since I was in a frat house.
two toilets!?

two toilets! which one to choose?!



  • London has beautiful parks, and I am very thankful for them. Here are some pretty pictures from Hyde Park. Yay.

Italian Gardens, Hyde Park, London UK

View of the Albert Memorial, Hyde Park UK

if you look closely enough you can see a horse to the far right.

Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, London UK

The Serpentine Lake


  • I think this photo captures London weather very well:
    I mean really, what the hell is this? I’ll look out my window and see beautiful blue sky, and then when I get outside I’m surrounded by clouds. It doesn’t make any bloody sense. My entire run around the park consisted of blue sky directly above me, and clouds all around me, forbidding any sun to shine. What the hell? how does this work? WA? WAA!??!!

Hyde Park, London UK


  • There are anchovies everywhere
  • Brits love cooking with red chilies
  • There are lots of shesha places.
  • The beds are shorter here. No, it didn’t take me 10 months to figure that out, but I just thought I’d let you know. On multiple occasions my feet fall off the bed.
  • I still miss Switzerland, but I’m also starting to miss warm places.

I’m learning new words! and a new language… British English

soy = soya
flu jab = flu shot
full stop= period (.)
It’s good, that. = That’s good.
People have been grumpy today, isn’t it? = People have been grumpy today. (It appears that people will just throw ‘isn’t it’ at the end of a sentence to act as a confirmation. They say it all the time.)

Knackered= tired. I learned this because I was told by a customer I looked knackered. I thought she said naked the first few times until I finally said “Is that a British term? Because I keep thinking you’re telling me I look naked.”

Whole Foods Market 

I know, it gets it’s own section.

Before I go into some AMAZING customer stories, I first want to let everyone know that the month of March is about Whole Planet Foundation. WPF is one of the reasons why I initially joined Whole Foods and I’m really passionate about it. The foundation gives micro loans to people in impoverished countries who want to start their own company or expand on it. We are fundraising for it at this time and I would be so incredibly thankful if anyone would like to donate. You can click hereA big thank you to Angela, Celia, Pascal, Conny & Serge, my parents and my love, Andi for already donating 🙂

Whole Planet Foundation!


  • I’ve had multiple customers complain to me about how terrible we are because we serve meat. People are silly. If we have people like that in our store, I don’t understand why no one complained about the shows that we on our TV on two occasions. On the first occasion, it was showing some sort of travel channel and the guy was eating dog. He literally had a grilled dog head next to him. On the second occasion there was a person learning how a farmer cooks his pig… starting from shooting the pig next to a tree, and literally skinning the pig. I’m not sure how we got away with that.

and now… customers who keep my life exciting.

  • The other day I was done with my shift and shopping like a normal customer when a man came up to me and started a conversation as if we knew one another quite well. He was asking me about Austin and I was totally thrown off. I didn’t even remember ever speaking with him before! Ah! So awkward!
  • There’s one customer from Brazil who is here to learn English. He doesn’t know much, but he knows “Bless You” which is what he said to me after I sneezed and the first words that started our friendship. Now, whenever he comes in, we say “bless you” to one another, and that’s the extent of our friendship.

M= Me
C= Customer

On my break I was eating upstairs and listening to a conversation next to me. It was a British couple.
C1: “So, Whole Foods is actually from the US?”
C2: “Yeah.”
C1: “That’s so weird. I thought Americans were unhealthy.”

C: “Do you sell liquid smoke?”
M: “What do you mean? Is it a supplement?”
C: “No. It’s a liquid that had a smoke flavor… for meat.”

C: “I want to return this drink. There’s fish in it”
M: “I’m sorry… what?”
C: “There’s fish in my drink.” *points to ingredients*
M: “Yep. There is indeed!”

a drink with marine collagen! (fish)


C: “I need a refund.” * hands me 2 empty supplement bottles and 2 empty bags of chia seeds
M: “What was the problem with them?”
C: “I didn’t like them.”
M: “… but you used every bit of them.”
C: “yes, they told me to take all the supplements to make sure they worked. They didn’t. And I baked a loaf of bread with all the chia seeds, and I didn’t like it.”

C: “I’d like to make a formal complaint about your team member.”
M: “What was the problem?”
C: “I forgot to use my coupon.”
M: “I’m sorry… can you explain?”
C: “Your cashier didn’t remind me to use my coupon!”
M: “I’m sorry, but how was she supposed to know you had one?”
C: “Because it’s an important thing to ask! This is unacceptable!”

C: “I’d like to make a formal complaint about your team member.” (mind you, this is a different customer)
M: “What was the problem?”
C: “She didn’t tell me the drinks I was buying were on offer. I got 7 of them, and it was buy one get one half price”.
M: “Ok, but I see you bought multiple other groceries, it’s not up to our team members to know every single thing that’s on sale. And it comes up on the screen as well when you check out.”
C: “She could have seen that!”
M: “Yes, but maybe you only wanted 7!”
C: “Well I didn’t.”

M: “Would you like a bag sir?” (this guy is a regular, a regular piece of work)
C: “Uh yeah, do you think I’m going to put all of these things in my pockets and carry them away?”
M: “You know, you could be a nice person and have a reusable bag in one of your pockets, but I guess you’re not, so I’ll give you a bag.”
C: “Where are you from?” (I know he’s a republican)
M: “The states”
C: “Which state”
M: “Texas, but Austin, so not really Texas.”
C: “Ah, Texas! You guys like your guns and the death penalty!”

***This particular conversation was not mine, but a team member told me about it and I have to write about it***
C: “Excuse me, do you know if this dog food is suitable for humans?”
TM: “I don’t know enough about the dog food, but I know it’s lower quality than regular meat.”
C: “I was wanting to give it to homeless people.”
TM: “… isn’t that a big demeaning? It’s for dogs.”
C: “Well, I would put it in a separate container.”

C: “Hi, I’ve come to pick up some lemon juice that you set on the side for me.”
M: “Hi, you must Bob. I’m sorry but we’ve put the juice back on the shelf. You said you would come last Saturday, a week ago, and you never did.”
C: “Excuse me? I meant to call but couldn’t. Why couldn’t you call me?”
M: “I don’t have your number, and I assumed that if you wanted it, you would call to have us keep holding it.”
C: “You could have called my number. I called you.”
M: “Sir, I don’t have your number.”
C: “Yes you do, you called me a few weeks ago.”
M: “Well, I didn’t call you, and I assumed you would come by the store, otherwise you could have called us.”
C: **clearly upset with me** “It took 2 months to get this lemon juice, and now you’re telling me you put it back on the shelf? What would you do if this was a life or death situation?”
M: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question?”

C: “Hi, my girlfriend (speaking for her with her next to him) wants some gluten free flour, but not have it mixed with the regular flour”.
M: “I think our gluten free flour is in it’s own section.”
***We go over to the flower. There’s a shelf with gluten free, and shelf with regular***
C: “But she wants this one” *points to the one gluten free flour that’s just next to regular flour.* Keep in mind, there are multiple other gluten free flours that are surrounded by only gluten free flour.
M: “ok, but it’s in it’s own packaging, so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”
C: “No, we can’t have it contaminated.”

C: “Hi, I’m very upset about your avocados. The one I got was brown.”
M: “Oh, I’m sorry about that! Unfortunately with avocados it’s hard to tell if it’s good without cutting it open.”
C: “But it’s not fair that your selling bad avocados.”
M: “I’m sorry, but that’s why we have our policy where if you don’t like something, you can get another one.”
C: “But you’re selling bad avocados and it’s not fair.”
M: “We never knowingly sell a bad avocado, we just can’t tell if it’s bad.”
C: “But I can tell which ones are brown by touching them.”
M: “Ok, well how about you go pick out one you like and we can cut it here and you can make sure it’s good.”
***She brings back 2 and cuts both***
C: “Ok, I’ll take this one”
M: “You can take both of them”
C: “No, I only need one.”
M: “Ok, well now we’ll have to throw away a perfectly good one. I’m not sure why you cut both if you would only take one. You can have both.”
***She reluctantly takes both***

M: “Your total is £102.00.”
C: “oh, I forgot my pound coin in my apartment!”
M: “Sorry, what?”
C: “I’m leaving the country tomorrow (this guy is American) and I want to use my pound coin! I’ll be back!”
I assumed this was his way of realizing the shopping was too much and dashing without feeling embarrassed. But he actually came back about half an hour later so he could get rid of his pound coin and pay the rest on card. hahahahahaha. what. the. eff.

C: “Hey, how do you apply for a job here?”
M: “You just go online and it’s really self explanatory.”
C: “Ok cool, I just want to work here because I’m from Austin.”
M: “oh nice! Me too!”
C: “oh wow, what high school did you go to? I went to Westlake”
M: “no you didn’t, seriously? How old are you?”
C: “24. You?”
M: “oh my gosh, we went to high school at the same time. I’m a year ahead of you.”

Small bloody world.


And for my last thing… If you’ve made it this far 😉

For the most part, I like to stay out of politics, because have you seen what’s going down in the US? I know right. I have my own beliefs but I don’t think it’s necessary to force them upon anyone, and no one has a right to force their believes on me. BUT….. my friend Rachel sent me this glorious e-mail about the Queen’s thoughts on politics in the US. I have to say, I agree with her on some points. 😉


> To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
> In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
> Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).
> Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
> Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
> To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
> 1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters,  and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’  Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels.  (look up ‘vocabulary’).
> 2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.  The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of  ‘-ize.’
> 3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
> 4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists.  The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent.  Guns should only be used for shooting grouse.  If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
> 5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler.  Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
> 6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect.  At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables.  Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
> 7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon.  Get used to it.
> 8. You will learn to make real chips.  Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps.  Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
> 9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all.  Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of  known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.  South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer.  They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them.  American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
> 10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.  Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.  Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed  with a cheese grater.
> 11. You will cease playing American football.  There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer.  Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
> 12. Further, you will stop playing baseball.  It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America.  Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.  You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
> 13.. You must tell us who killed JFK.  It’s been driving us mad.
> 14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
> 15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream)  when in season.
> God Save the Queen!


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