Always enlightening to see your own culture through the eyes of an outsider. USian artist James A Reeves is currently tooling round That Septic Isle, and so reminding me of familiarities which I am for the most part glad to have left behind, but seen askance as unfamiliarities.
It helps that he has a fine turn of phrase, which reminds me somewhat of Douglas Adams, albeit a jet-lagged and cynical Douglas Adams with all the chipper Britishness surgically removed:
Every restaurant was booked except a lone spot next to a vape shop, and it was one of those dusty places where you know you should leave the moment you grok the peeling wallpaper and empty dining room, save for the elderly couple drowsing in their dinner plates. But hope is a powerful thing. Maybe this meal will be fantastic, a best-kept secret. But no, the food was scary, the waiters were angry, twenty minutes of silence segued to 200bpm industrial techno, and a man combed the carpet and drapes with a deafening handheld vacuum. Always trust your instincts.
Also: the British definition of “pudding” is broad and roomy, accommodating all kinds of beliefs.
“I feel so seen”, as the kids say.