When I was in London recently I had occasion to stay at the Thistle Hotel. In the morning as I was having breakfast my waitress came over to offer me more coffee. Sure, I said, I’d love some. As she refilled my cup she glanced down at the book on the table which I had brought with me to read. She look back at me and then in her best English accent asked me, “Well did she?”
Of course to her I was the one with the accent.
“Did she what?”
“Did she stay?”
At first I didn’t know what she meant. I looked at her and then I looked at the book and then I look back at her again and then in an instant of recollection, understanding, and reckoning I said, “She did indeed.”
My waitress beamed a self-satisfied smile and flitted off to the next customer to offer them some coffee.
The next day I was off to France to drink a toast to the author of the book, Simone de Beauvoir. This I would do at the fabled Cafe De Flore in Paris.
But I still had another day in London so I thought I’d spend it at the British Museum.