Sunday, 16 November 2008

London Lost Her Umbrella

During my time in the UK, I have always been perplexed by umbrellas. Initially I was curious as to why I never saw an umbrella, and then suddenly it would start to rain, and hundreds of umbrellas would appear as if out of nowhere. Eventually from experience, I realized that most people carry big enough bags to properly conceal them. Then I found humour in the locations that sold umbrellas. Going bra shopping? Guaranteed you will also be able to buy an umbrella. Going grocery shopping? Buy an umbrella at the checkout. Going to your local Boots? Make sure you pick up an umbrella next to the tampon display.

My umbrella, bright and colourful (not the standard British black) has now made at least two trips across the Atlantic. I am sorry to say that it will be retired when I leave London. I have come to realize that North American umbrellas are not designed to withstand British weather. This umbrella has been the source of much frustration. As soon as a light wind picks up, it flips inside out, so that it collects water rather than deflects it. Due to this problem, it is now coming unlaced from the hinges. When I am forced to pull it out of my bag, which is daily, I am embarrassed by it’s tattered state. In fact, I am at the point that when it rains, I would rather walk in the rain then have to contend with it. It has served its purpose, though only briefly. Next time I will be investing in a proper British version. Thanks for the memories my cr*ppy Canadian umbrella.

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