Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pho in Clerkenwell with Karen

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When I called out the roster this morning in class, I did realize it was September 11--that dreadful date that, were I teaching in Manhattan, would have caused me to pause and recall events of seven years ago.

Here, in faraway London, however, we spared a passing thought to the tragedy that changed all our lives, then got down to the business of our class on Anglo-India in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the evening, in-keeping with a ritual that Karen Karbeiner (my colleague from New York who is also going to spend a year teaching in London with me) and I have decided to initiate, we met at a Vietnamese restaurant in Clerkenwell called Pho. Karen informed me that the correct pronunciation of the word is 'pha' with a very short 'ah' sound!

I was tempted to order pho, which I love--a great big bowl of steaming broth with rice noodles and a variety of meats, served with crisp raw bean sprouts, springs of mint, lemon juice and roasted peanuts. Instead, because I am still on a low carb diet, we ordered a variation of it with a very small quantity of noodles and a lot of greens--healthy, hearty and very delicious indeed.

Karen and I spent the evening catching up with our respective research interests and our plans for the weekend. She, a very respected Whitman scholar, is off with her husband Douglas, A Renaissance Drama scholar, to a Whitman gathering in Bolton in Yorkshire followed by a weekend's jaunt in the Dales. I told her that a visit to Castle Howard is a must.

As for me, I am off for a weekend jaunt myself--to Stonehenge and Bath and, no doubt, will have some interesting episodes with which to update this blog when I return.

Until's to memorable travels!

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