Sunday Apr 15, 2007

London calls for an upgrade

I've recentely attendended Sun Tech Days and NetBeans Day in London. The event was hosted in a splendid location, across the street from Westminster Abbey. James was also there and he knows London inside out, so we got a little bit of history and the inside scoop on restaurants from the guy that knows too much in pretty much any subject you converse about.

So let me get to the point about London and the call to upgrade ... my wardrobe. After the event was over, on Thu afternoon, I thought of taking the opportunity to have tea, in a traditional way, wherelse but at the Ritz. Silvia,  I and a pristine Credit Card, walked full of confidence  ready to take on the tea challenge. And a challenge it was. We walk towards the entrance and the "general" (door man) seemed to ignore us (we later learned why). Hmm, not a good sign, however he did not block us from entering. We made our way into the lobby (which at the Ritz is likely called something else) and we were intercepted by one of the staff. He was impacably dressed and extremely polite. I can't remember his choice of words, however in my ESL translation it sounded something like this: "You are dressed like a savage and look like a gorilla ... dress code calls for jacket and tie, moreover jeans are prohibited and you are lucky I am not flogging you" :-) In all fairness he recommended another tea place across the street, where I barely passed given that I was wearing a sports jacket.

I evaluated the event with mixed emotions. The fact that fashion challenged should not have been such an insurmountable handicap. I should have told the guy about WWII and the fact that he would have spoken German without the help of one million American GIs. And 1917, when they were stuck in a mud trench with no light at the end of the tunnel. Hey, but I am not that kind of guy. We laughed it off and went on to have a great evening.  So now I face a choice, either pursue a more conservative style ala Bill Franklin (who used to live in London), next time time I am London or exclude establishments stuck in the past from my itinerary. If I am really lucky, perhaps I can buy the Ritz one day and change the rules. The only problem is that I may be in diapers :-) by that time and I may be lowering the standards too much for the rest of the patrons.
 

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