Travelogue Days 7-8: The Real British Experience, and Marmite

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Part of the idea of being a digital nomad is to “not be a tourist”. As such, it’s often best to find the most authentic experiences that you can. This is rarely accomplished by hanging out in a hotel, nor even a hostel (which tends to be a more international versus local experience).

Maybe my most authentic British experience while I was in London was staying with my friend Sarah Feeney’s family in Notting Hill. For my last couple of days in the UK, I hiked from my hostel near Shepherd’s Bush and met up with her family.

What exactly constitutes a British experience? Perhaps it’s simply the hospitality and closeness of English families; or it’s those little unique experiences; like London fog blanketing the streets outside while the family maid cooks for me sweet potato shepherd’s pie (which was amazing).

One morning, I was told a popular bit of English culture is to eat beans on toast. Sarah’s brother Matthew explained to me the complex directions.

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“Ok, so what you do is you take the beans out of the can, then you put them in this here pot. You turn up the heat for about three minutes, then you put it on the toast”.

Hard to follow, I know.

Another very British thing is to eat Marmite. This is an infamous product enjoyed by Brits but often loathed by foreigners. “You either love it or hate it”, everybody says.

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Evaluating the Marmite experience

I hesitantly spread a little bit of the brown goo on a piece of toast. Did I love it or hate it? Truthfully, I must have broken the mold because I did not love it, nor did I hate it. I lean more toward enjoying it, but I’d hardly be fanatical. It’s a very savory spread. It almost tastes like some type of condensed beef bullion, although it’s completely vegetarian. I think it’s a nice alternative to the usual sweet jams.

There are far worse places to live than Notting Hill; where one can walk a short distance out to Portobello Road, and enjoy extraordinary restaurants, fun shops and plenty of things to do. In addition, the rest of London is a short tube ride away. One night, Sarah and I went to Buckingham Palace, where I took some awesome shots of the royal estate.

On the 9th, I sadly left London, heading for Zurich to attend the Lifestyle Design Convention. Zurich is a city in Switzerland protected by the Swiss Alps and run by the world’s wealthiest bankers. If you can imagine it, Zurich is far, far more expensive than London. More to come on the next travelogue.

See the rest of the pics below. Or click here to see the previous travelogue.

(Hey, do you like traveling the world? Then don’t miss my books about mobile business and escaping the 9-5 drudgery. Click here to browse them – Or click here to return to my homepage and read the rest of my travelogue. Cyrus).

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