We live for our two walks a day. It's the only time we are allowed to be out of the flat and so we make it a special occasion. Meaning I put on make up, and the kids put on shoes. We soak up all the sights and sounds and sharpen our people watching skills. It is thrilling I tell you. Well, for me it is...
I realized on our last walk, that Zac and I take in new places differently. I, being a female, look like the quintessential tourist with my mouth slack and my eyes darting around to take it all in. I am enthralled by the shoe game here. I mean, everyone has incredible footwear, and I mean EVERYONE. Even the homeless couple that sleeps under the Chinese restaurant awning are wearing Adidas trainers. I have yet to see one pair of flip flops though I have seen one pair of crocs. (Zac was elated.) When I wait in line for my afternoon coffee, I am mesmerized by the conversations. At about 3:00, everyone begins ordering "tea". And they don't order any specific kind: Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chai. No, they just say, "I would like a tea, " then they ask for milk and sugar. Some establishments put the milk in first, some put the tea in first, I hear its a hotly debated topic and sometimes depends on where you are from as to which way you take your tea. What I have seen across the board is that everyone has exceptional manners and is very friendly. It should also be noted, that everyone here thinks I am from Australia. Interesting.
Zac feels very different about the city.
As we were taking our evening walk, I start to notice Zac's demeanor is changing. He is walking like one leg is far heavier than the other, and he has a pained look on his face. As he "hobbles" along, I notice he gets super close to some of the passersby and I think, "He better not be tired already, I have looked forward to this walk all day." (Yes, I'm a doting wife most days, but on this day, I need to get out of my four walls.) I start to wonder if his knee is bothering him. He had a pretty serious knee injury right before we left, because he has excellent timing, and every once in a while it seems to flare up. So I look back and ask him, "Babe, does your knee hurt?" he looks at me like he is mystified as to why I am asking, he says, "Nope, I'm fine." I'm perplexed. Then why is he walking like his shoes are made of bricks!?
I eventually slow down, (I am a speed walker), and start to walk beside him. I take in his movements out of the corner of my eye as I continue to smile and nod at all the friendly Londoners. Then it hits me. Zac is "peacocking." (Definition of Peacocking- when a man struts around and intends to make himself look bigger and scarier than what is really reality, sometimes ends in street fights) I turn to him, "Babe, why are you strutting around with your chest out like a gangster peacock" If you are envisioning this in your head, it is a cross between the "Staying Alive" walk of John Travolta, and that of John Cena's walk to the wrestling ring. I'm a little scared. He turns to me stone faced and says, "they aren't even trying to hide the fact that they are checking both you AND Avah out." (I am internally dying laughing but also trying to sympathize with his current plight because I know this is his worst nightmare.) Now I am suddenly aware that every man he catches looking at us, he then locks eyes with, and gets really close to them as we pass. It's like a game of chicken, and Zac is winning in his own mind. A laugh escapes from my mouth, and he starts to soften. Under his breath, with his extended boxer's jaw clinched he says, "I'm a few minutes from going full wolf and just peeing on you." Insert major gut laugh here, he is famous for funny and inappropriate one-liners. It's a gift really. For the rest of our walk I mimic his, "Im-gonna-throat-punch-you" walk. When we reach the park he begins to relax and all is well.
We lay in the sun, at the historic Hyde Park, and while I am dreaming of new footwear and fashion, I am pretty sure Zac is channeling his inner Henry Tudor and plotting his enemie's death, unbeknownst to them.
To all those gentlefolk he visually assaulted, I sincerely apologize. He can sometimes get a little over zealous and make a mountain out of a mole hill, but his heart is in the right place...All to say, we are gradually assimilating.