after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

London Photostorm Round 1

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t says:  I’ve been in London for about 3 hours.  Surely someone wouldn’t actually have enough info to warrant a full post in just three hours of being in a foreign country? Wrong.  I do.

First things first: Mother nature decided to play a dastardly trick on me.  She decided to wrath-of-gawd-rain at the exact same time I was trying to finishing up work and getting back to home to retrieve my things to go to the airport.  I was drenched.  I changed at home, packed my water-logged shoes (those were the ones I wanted to wear for the trip), pulled out my B-string shoes (a pair of flip-flops) and fired up my cab-calling app on my iPhone … which NO cab responded to!  W!T!F!  So I pulled up Uber, that threatened me with a 4.9x surge pricing modifier … Those suns of motherless goats …  I reluctantly took UberX up on the offer, as there was no way to actually predict what the cost was going to be, but Lady Luck gave Mother Nature the middle finger, as the price was STILL cheaper than the regular cab I was planning to use to go to the airport!  Yay!

So now I’m at good-‘ol-PHL.  I saunter in with only 1 hour to my flight boarding time (1hr 45 minutes to takeoff) for an international flight.  Mere mortals might have been worried – I’m sure if g was there, she woulda given me all kinds of silent treatment.  But not me – I had not a care in the world, because I had a secret weapon: TSA PreCheck … otherwise known as the TSA No-Wait-Keep-Your-Shoes-On-Don’t-Take-Stuff-Out-Of-Your-Bags-And-Laught-At-Everyone-Else-In-Line-With-Their-Sad-Faces.  I roll up into terminal A security and wonder, “gee … where is the pre-check line?”.  I ask the guard: “oh, sorry – we’re not doing pre-check in terminal A, and A-west PreCheck closed an hour ago – you’d have to go to terminal B”.  I could hear the normies in the security line cracking a smile: “oh, this priveleged boogerhead is gonna’ git’ ‘is now – he’s gonna’ wait in line with us”. I then gave them the figurative middle finger by turning around, going out of terminal A and walking around the outside of the airport to terminal B; I was going to TSA PreCheck if it killed me …  And so, after a nice 15-minute walked, I sashayed through Terminal B’s pre-check and galavanted my way back to Terminal A from the inside, making sure I walked by extra-slowly in front of that 60-minute long nightmare of a line waiting to go through the scanners.  Ahhhhhhh – life was good.  No one could stop me.

So then I finally get on the plane (once again, someone was angry at me and assigned me Zone 6 to board, which means that only people who bought their tickets within the last hour before takeoff were boarding after me), get in my seat, and stair at empty row upon empty row in front of me.  Aww-sookie-sookie – I was about to pole-vault up a row and take over a entire 5-seats to myself.  It was going to be the most luxurious flight ever.  And it was – complete with semi-edible airplane food, and watching semi-terrible movie Wolverine for free.  As I opened up a few extra blankets for myself and spread across my 5-seat kingdom, I was awakened by the cabin lights going on, some guy lying on the aisle at the foot of my kingdom, and a flight attendant voicing aloud, “is there a doctor on the plane?”.  SUNUVAMOTHERLESSGOAT.  While I don’t know what protects patient/passenger privacy regarding health matters on planes (?HIPAA?), I’ll just say that the events that followed took up the remaining 3 hours of my flight, with frequent vital sign checks, mental status checks, etc.  Fortunately, I did get to meet other cool doctors on the plane, so that was fun.  Unfortunately, I then had to interact with the London paramedics team on the ground, and that was not-so-fun (for reasons I won’t voice online).

So there I was.  A sleep-deprived t.  Halitotic (if that’s a word).  Zombie-ing my way through border security and customs.  Fortunately, g gave me step-by-step directions on how to get through LHR and to our hotel.  Hooray for awesome wives.

I dropped my stuff, showered off the airplane filth, and checked out every restaurant within a 2 block radius of our hotel.  I ended up at the ramen joint called Tonkotsu.  The host was a bit unfriendly, but the food totally ripped my face off.  Like my face, right now, having just eaten there, is lying beside me in bed, staring at me, mouthing, “how could you do that to me?”.  I’m sorry face – it was an accident – check it out.


After much internal debate, I went with the “Soho ramen”, figuring it’d be a “lighter” ramen that I could easily ingest and then pass out from …


But what came out simply blew me away. What you see above is a salty, smoked-fishy, scalliony mixture that hits all these interesting, light savory notes, with an wonderfully alkaline and al dente noodle. But while the ramen was delicious, it was the combo with a glass of 2013 Picpoul de Pinet (which, on the wine list specifically mentioned that it would pair well with the Soho Ramen), that was like a shotgun blast to the palate. Imagine a fishy, smokey, salty (like sea salty, not like iodized metallic salty) flavor, and then imagine adding on top of that a short burst of apple/pineapple/citrus/peach fruit for like a half-second, followed by a bracing palate-cleansing acidity that just makes your mouth water and ready up for a second wave of salty ramen. It was genius. It was so great that that is why I am writing this entire post after approximately 3.5 hours sleep over the course of 48 hours. (and NOW you know why this reads like stream of consciousness).

So now, it’s time for a nap.  Who knows what the remainder of Day 1 in London will bring!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

24 June 2015 at 9:01am

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