air con

Because nary a second goes by where I am not thinking of the nuanced differences between the language and culture of Brits vs. Yanks… my momentary favorite is “air con”. What an American might refer to as “AC” is air con here and I love it for many reasons. One is that it sounds maybe like a Nick Cage movie. Oh, I said Nick alright. Another is that abbreviating conditioner to con makes me think of a law school class (con law, crim pro, civ pro, etc.) or even better, reminds me that Brits also say “fruit & veg”. Never, ever waste your time with the rest of the word in vegetable when in England. Or do so at your own peril.

So air con. No one has it in their flats. Well maybe rich people do. But not the rest of us. And there is a heat wave here this week. 80s and maybe even 90s. In Celsius it’s um, well whatever it is, it’s CRAZY. Or as the locals say: mad.

So Jonah and I sit around a lot with little plug-in fans. You know what a fan is, right?

Also, I spend quite a bit of time fantasizing about lemonade. It’s actually reaching disturbing proportions, this fantasy. For example, I almost bought lemons the other day to make it myself. You see, in England “lemonade” either means Sprite, 7-Up or lemon juice mixed with sparkling water. I still sometimes fall for it on menus and I order what sounds like a delicious drink only to be brought Sprite in a can. Effingpot verifies this sad state of affairs:

Lemonade – Lemonade in England is a clear, sparkling, lemon flavoured drink that is either drunk as it is or added to lager to make shandy. Seven-up and sprite would both qualify as lemonade in England.

So I will just sit here in the heat and think about non-carbonated lemonade.





Filed under food

6 responses to “air con

  1. Elizabeth

    In Australia, what you would call “lemonade” is known as “lemon squash.” Maybe it is the same in England? If so, it can be found.

  2. NeNe

    Hey, I changed my name! And if I could, I would send you lemonade. I looked up “lemon squash london” on google and it seems like it is, indeed, lemonade. Might be a brand called “Robinson’s.” I also found a blog written by a Brit in NYC who is lamenting that she can’t find “lemon squash” in New York. People keep giving her vegetables. The world is an interesting place.

  3. But the best thing about “air con” is that it reveals to you with its name that some places that claim to have it are actually conning you into believing that it will be nice and cool inside their establishment, which it most certainly isn’t!

  4. toshalot

    of course! nick cage is what i thought of when you said that. i LOVE that movie. not like it was great or anything, i just like nick cage’s monotonous acting.
    uhm. we don’t have ac in norcal either. we had a heat wave the last week too. we’re sweat sisters!

  5. Nilda

    can you say why there are no AC’s or why you can’t buy one? I’m confused…

    • yael

      No AC because it’s normal for England to have an entire year with only two days above 80 degrees… so not worth the infrastructure.

      As for buying one- the windows here are not made for them so you have to get one of those standup units inside a room with a tube going to the outside.

      I am a wealth of air con info.

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