Acquiring a taste for England

March 23, 2009

William Hogarth - A Rake's Progress

William Hogarth - A Rake's Progress

After five days in Goa, Jaipur feels like Riyad.

I miss the cheap cocktails, the laid back atmosphere, the prawn noodles. The days spent, in and out of the house, wrapped in a sarong. Or a scarf. Or just something.

As the only non-British-passport-holder of the group, I was treated to a beginner’s class to English culture.

I learnt new words: cad. Bounder. Bruiser. Rake. My kind of guys – back in the days.

I wonder why we don’t have any of these words in French. Or do we? Our attempts at describing a decadent lover of women and vices are borrowed from other languages: Dom Juan, dandy, playboy. What a boring country. Thank God for the femmes fatales, they keep us in trouble.

By the way, trouble is good.

English boys on the beach play cricket. That’s pretty entertaining and makes them thirsty enough to justify a round of beers at 3pm.

Everyone says they cannot live without their afternoon tea. Not true.

It appears that 6pm, my dear, is for tequila shots.

The Brits, let me tell you, have some seriously scary sophisticated drinking habits. Gin and tonic, as we all know, is a daytime drink. It was drunk during the British Raj for its quinine contents and made a few valiant blond boys sink into severe melancholia.

I am not sure what became known as “Pink Piranha” is special to the English culture but it went down quite well with this group. It contains Campari, something they seem to love – I find it revolting but hey, isn’t British culture an acquired taste? Mint julep marks the beginning of the end. From then on, nobody is sober enough to mix the drinks, the barman has gone to sleep a long time ago, and even the security guard has collapsed, a strange cigerette in his hand.

The next day is spent drinking beer to make it better. Better. Better.

I learned that champagne was originally drunk in England, a rather pathetic interesting statement I shall probe into.

And I learned a few things about British public schools I do not wish to write about.

Boy, what a holiday.


2 Responses to “Acquiring a taste for England”

  1. Bombay Magic Says:

    I am amazed at the number of French girls (yes, we’re still girls, always) blogging in India!!! And this one blogs in English!!!! I like your habit of striking/changing some of your text, very funny!

  2. jasmineandtheelephants Says:

    Thank you thank you! I have been reading yours and am very impressed: you really know your Bombay inside out…
    And I just love how you call parsi kids “parsetons”.
    Let me know if you ever visit Jaipur.

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