Pondering about Equality, Gender and Tradition

So last week me and my boyfriend, Tom, went to London to do a bit of sight-seeing, shopping and catching up with friends we met this summer in America. We went to the science museum and got really nerdy, we went to Covent garden and got tipsy listening to singers, we went to Buckingham Palace to show our USA friends and got all patriotic and wondered around numerous streets and shops in lovely areas of London and got quite poor…

On the first night in our Premier Inn hotel (in Slough because it was cheaper to stay there and get the train in than stay in London of course!), we had a nice dinner. We pigged out on a sharing platter to start (such a good option!) and then I had pizza and Tom had a burger.

Fairly quickly I noticed how the waiter was constantly asking ‘Sir’ if he would like drinks, if he has decided on food, if the meal was ok and if we want the bill. When the bill arrived he also gave it to ‘Sir’ and smiled at Tom and walked away. I then gave Tom cash for my half of the meal and then Tom paid on his card for the whole amount. We generally take it in turns to pay for things or we pay half, I like it that way as I wouldn’t like to feel I wasn’t paying for things. (Or vice versa?)

Tom had also noticed that the waiter, and also the guy checking us in had only addressed Tom when asking if we had everything we need etc. I feel that Tom noticed it as perhaps not being quite right but wasn’t sure what to make of it. And I was the same.

I would generally regard myself as highly valuing equality especially after such issues have been highlighted to me during my degree. However in this circumstance I wasn’t sure how to feel. On the one hand after deeper thought (not involving Tom as to not bore him with my random pondering) I did feel disregarded and did think it was rude and in the 21st century you cannot just address the man and assume the man is paying. It made me think where does this come from – tradition? And how can it still be like this in the 21st century when men and women are meant to be equal? However on the other hand I thought to myself, ‘well I do like it when Tom treats me, I did like it a bit when he used to try to pay when we were going on first dates’ but does that mean I am forgetting my values of equality? Does tradition ignore equality or can we have both? I’m not sure; I don’t have an answer so I am still pondering!!

In the mean time I would like to recommend some places in London! I’m not a ‘pro’ when it comes to London we just discovered some places whilst wondering around so thought I would share!

The first recommendation is to go to the History and Science museums and the numerous art galleries in London! This is a bit of a general recommendation but most is free and if you want to explore for a couple of hours they are perfect!

Whittard, Covent Garden – This is such a cute little shop, they sell a variety of tea, coffee and hot chocolate and also have daily tasting for all three! I tried a lovely fruit tea and if you are in tea varieties or life a freebee to try new things you should definitely pop in here!

Freemasons Arms Shepards Neame, Near Covent Garden – We went in this pub for a drink and sit down before getting the train back to Slough. It had a good busy atmosphere everyone seems to go in there after work and if you’re into sport they have numerous TV screens showing sports. They had a good range of beer and cider and was just a nice little pub with a good atmosphere.

Orsini Vintage, High street Kensington – So this is my step sisters shop just off of Kensington High Street which I of course had to give a mention! She stocks, what I describe as, an Aladdins Cave of vintage designer clothes, hand bags and jewellery. I have absolutely loved exploring her shops for goodies, and names such as Valentino and Gucci.

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