Ah, fall. Just as I type ([or even think] these words, I am reminded that I am in Britain and it’s actually autumn, and fall is just a verb. However, just the thought of the season brings images of golden leaves, pumpkin carving, warm snug sweaters, hot spiced apple cider and coffee [because there is always coffee, in every season].
Reality is far from this, though. London is truly the place to be for that Halloween season because come mid-October, the sun goes into hibernation and we are blessed with dull, grey clouds and lots and lots of promised rain. The streets are filled with golden leaves, no doubt, but these are not the crunchy kind that you can step in – no, these are the wet ones that will make you slip on your way to class. For your information, yes, I have slipped on the gleaming wet pavement at least three times. The side walks are no longer home to just leaves though – there are also plenty of umbrella corpses strewn around the nation as the Satanic combination of fierce winds and a heavy downpour hits.
Another fascinating Autumn mystery is that of the Ugg boots. These warm, cushiony spaceman-like boots will line your feet when it’s cold but will take no time to fill up with rain water the moment you step near a puddle. You will forever be drying wet Uggs and cursing yourself for every penny you spent on them. Here’s a tip though: Always get the fake ones – less dead sheep and wet feet on your hands [yes, they also make gloves].
As I shoot the Starbucks-goers an evil glare [it’s NOT coffee], I must admit I have been in there in a desperate hunt for hot apple cider. In the bitter chill, I have walked from coffee shop to corner café in an attempt to find this acclaimed warm goodness, only to get the same response: we don’t serve alcohol here. That’s sweet, but I was not looking for alcohol. I learnt the hard way that in England, cider only means alcohol. I was in search of the hot apple-spiced treat that brings indescribable joy to even the darkest soul, but I was met with confused faces. Alas, my hunt continues.