On Sunday morning I met up with Love Inspired authors Camy Tang and Danica Favorite for a trip to church. We set off from our hotel in Times Square for Greenwich Village. As is always the way on the first day in a new city, we got lost. Thank goodness for Google Maps, Camy's iPhone and Danica's sense of direction!
However, one of the plus points of getting lost is all the wandering you do trying to find your way. We walked past the tea shop called Tea & Sympathy on Greenwich Avenue. Being British, I'm always in need of a good cup of tea, and it seemed I was in the company of two fellow tea-aholics who couldn't resist going back there after the service.
Now, I should have remembered the subtle culture shock a Brit gets from visiting America. We think, because we see American locations on the television all the time that it somewhere familiar, somewhere like home. In some ways it is, but in other ways it is totally different. It's a bit like arriving somewhere and not knowing the rules. For example, for the first couple of days I had a hard time finding the road signs. They weren't were expected them to be. And don't get me started on toilet stalls... Anyway, I'd forgotten that lots of these minor differences (plus the jet lag) add up and give me a vague sense of disorientation for the first day or so that I'm Stateside. However, the moment I stepped into Tea & Sympathy the world turned itself right way up again.
We'd stumbled onto an English teashop, full of union Jack bunting, floral teapots and pictures of the Queen. I could knowledgeably inform my fellow tourists what "bangers" and "clotted cream" were. And I could get a good cup of tea. Heaven. (I am also now busting to write a story set in New York with an English teashop-owning heroine.) Unfortunately, my stomach was to jet lagged to want anything more than a cup of tea, but we had a great time chatting over a very late breakfast.
Then it was time to get back to the hotel and meet my roomie, Donna Alward, who was flying in from Canada that afternoon!