It’s been a fun semester here at Queen Mary, but I’m finally going home early Tuesday morning. After having to write four essays simultaneously, I finally have time to write one last blog for this site. This is my final farewell to Queen Mary and all the friends I’ve made here.
At the beginning of Reading Week, I took a trip to Edinburgh in Scotland. There I toured the city and traveled all the way to the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness. It was a fun weekend. Though Scotland was fun, I could never get a group together to go further. It’s a shame, but maybe in a few years I’ll come back to Europe for a planned trip.
Anyway, while still in the city, I started hanging out with a native Londoner who showed me the sights. He knew all the things tourists don’t know about. One of the more interesting places he showed me was a Chinese restaurant called Wong Kei.
While the food there was good, the interesting part of the restaurant is the story behind it. Back when it first opened, it quickly became famous for the rudeness of its staff. They would shout, “Go upstairs!” and “Sit with them!” after insulting you in Cantonese. I guess because the food was so good, people put up with this.
The story behind Wong Kei’s reminded me of an old episode of Seinfeld called the Soup Nazi. In this episode, people lined up around the block to get one of his bowls of soup. However, they had to put up with his shouting and almost authoritarian standards of etiquette, or it was “No soup for you!”
In case you’re wondering, the staff at Wong Kei’s are no longer rude, though they do still tell you to go upstairs and make you sit with other people at large tables, but I see it more as a self aware part of their heritage. Plus the food is excellent and super cheap; that certainly helps.
It’s been a great semester here at Queen Mary. I met a lot of people and had a lot of fun. It’s a shame I didn’t see more of Europe, but I feel like I really know London well, or at least as well as anyone else. I doubt anyone can truly make sense of the city’s maze-like layout. Anyway, this is Spencer signing out.