Asian girl with a British attitude

That’s what the guy called me.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’d been politely saying “excuse me” over and over again, waiting at a paella stall at Borough Market, desperately trying to get a takeaway meal that I could rush off with because I was late.

I had managed to get the attention of a waitress and then a waiter, but both said I needed to wait for the ‘chef’ to put the paella in a box for me.

The chef was standing right in front of me, holding a plate of food, hollering for someone to take it away, and not looking at me. He’s the one I’d been saying “excuse me” to.

Eventually he dumps the plate on the counter, and goes to get a box.

“I heard you,” he said. He looks at me, eyebrows raised.

“But you decided to ignore me??” I was incredulous. Why didn’t he acknowledge my frantic squeaks? Just a nod or a “I’ll be with you in a sec” would have been totally fine.

Excuse me! Excuse me!” he chimed. “You’re an Asian girl with a British attitude.”


What did he mean? I was completely taken aback.

Excuse me! Excuse me!

So now I know he meant it as a bad thing.

“What’s a British attitude?” I asked, bristling.

Excuse me! Excuse me!” He spooned paella into a box.

“What’s the right attitude?” I demanded, a little louder. “What should I have done?? Click my fingers and say ‘service!’?”

“If you were in Europe, you would have hit me over the head with a bottle”, he laughed, not good-humouredly. I stared. Was he being nice or horrid? His general tone was derisive. I got the feeling it was the latter. The way he said “excuse me excuse me” made it sound like he thought I was pathetic and childish. Was I? Is that what a British attitude was?


“For your ‘excuse me excuse me’, you can have this.” He put a bit of chorizo on the box of food. So now he’s being nice?!

I still don’t understand what’s just happened.

I was so cross I could barely eat the food.

He’s right. I am an Asian girl with a British attitude. So what?


Racking my brains for great stuff to do. Ideas please.

I suspect I’ve been going about this the wrong way round.

I’ve been thinking, and it struck me that people who are awesome, like Roald D, Beyonce, Richy B, and KB, didn’t set out to become awesome. They set out to do something awesome, and when they did it, that by default made them awesome.

“To be, one must do.”

I’m not quoting anyone, I just made that up myself.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was said by a prophet/poet and appeared on one of the London Underground “Thought of the day” boards.

I’m definitely transitioning from the Research phase of my project to the Brainstorming phase.

As such, I feel a list coming on. (toes tingle with excitement!)

List of Awesome Things To Do (ATTD)

  1. Bring joy to the world.
  2. Set up free showers for the homeless.

Ok that’s all I got. For now.

The first one, I just slung in there in a panic, because I wanted to have more than one thing on my list, and the second, I came up with this weekend when a homeless man asked for money on the Tube and I felt bad for him.

In all seriousness, I wonder whether ATTD#2 is perhaps a great idea. After all, a homeless person would probably quite like to be clean.

BUT, I fear that I am blinkered by ignorant naivety and blockheadedness, and that actually homeless people would much rather have food, or a bed, or a sustainable source of help that allowed them to regain their independence with dignity, and that the offer of a shower would actually be quite offensive.

I don’t know. I need more ideas. Any suggestions?

On the tube home tonight, another homeless man asked the passengers for spare change or spare food.

I gave him a Love Hearts sherbert dip.

He considered it, and then accepted.

Sizzling Pork Buns

sizzling pork buns

OMG I want to eat you

OK so I know this isn’t a food blog as such, but I DO love food, so I reckon it’s fair enough to have the occasional ode to the King of Joys: Eating.

I’m down visiting my family for my Dad’s birthday, and taking advantage of their supreme cooking.Like many, I only started truly appreciating my mum’s cooking after I left for uni (oh foolish child that I was then! I should have eaten more!!). As described in The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, the Chinese show their love to their offspring via stern offerings of food. Food is a BIG DEAL.

Today, we made fried pork buns. It’s essential a doughball stuffed with pork, fried. YES.

Be careful, these little guys are rakishly hot when they’re done – and release a volcanic burst of steam when you bite into them.

I’ve eaten 9 so far.

Inspired by a general air of mad genius: Kate Bush


Who me? These lips say nuh-uh.

I’ve been thinking about Kate Bush a lot.

I’ve spent some time thinking about her before, but now I’m back on the topic.

Babooshka was on a homemade mixed CD in a friend’s car on the way back from a wedding, and – well what is there to say? It’s a brilliant song. Mental, but brilliant. (I’d like that to appear on my epitaph)

This then led to some prolonged ear-soaking in Bush – I think I’ve probably listened to Wuthering Heights around 60 times in the last week.

I just love her. She’s like some crazy genius psychotic fairy, prancing weightlessly through time, fiercely floating, barking mad. Inspiring.

Wikipedia tells me KB was a prodigy who wrote WH in her teens, insisted on WH being her debut despite EMI’s disapproval, and spent an early advance from the label on interpretative dance lessons (a sound investment).

Interestingly, I also happened to go an unexpectedly odd dance class (my first) last Friday – not intentionally, I was duped by a friend who proclaimed it to be commercial jazz/hip hop, who then wet herself laughing as I tried to do peculiar arm flaps in double time.

In retrospect, it was meant to be.

I plan to recreate Kate’s iconic Wuthering Heights music video, as a tribute to her awesomeness.

And it looks like I’m not alone!! By a mere 2 months, I have missed this:

The Ultimate Kate Bush Experience!!! Amazing. I could have been there, with all ma’ Kate Bush hommies, swishing my arms on the Brighton moors. Gutted.

As it is, I will have to make do with Clapham Common.

  • I have a cameraman – a friend has agreed to shoot the action and even suggested a smoke machine (wow!)
  • I have a dress – but it lacks sleeves, important for billowing. Maybe I could contact one of the 300 assassins…
  • I have the dance training (well, my 1 baffling lesson) – but learning Kate’s moves might be tough

This comes after some talk of busking, and some intense work on learning Kate’s piercing battle cry (ideal street entertainment no?).

Apparently Lambeth and Greenwich do not require a license for buskers…