I visited Weymouth, England many years ago as a student. I was traveling with my best friend and we wanted to visit an English seaside village for an overnight trip from London. I had already been to Brighton because of my obsession with The Who’s film Quadrophenia, so we decided on Weymouth. I can’t remember why. It was a sleepy town that had seen better days. You could tell that at one point it had been hopping, much like Atlantic City in New Jersey. If I closed my eyes I could see girls in ringlets, dressed up, rolling a hoop or some other bygone toy down the boardwalk. I had visions of men in hats, women with parasols; it had a lost in time, nostalgic quality, as I recall. The only concrete memory I have is making a spectacle of ourselves in a small restaurant. First I asked if something had zucchini in it, because I am allergic to eggplant and was worried the dish I’d ordered might contain it. The caricature of a waitress right out of Fawlty Towers looked perplexed and said in that almost put-on cockney accent “That’s not a zoookweenie it’s a MARROW!” Apparently, at that time, the British didn’t use the term “zucchini,” or at least she didn’t. It seemed like such an affront. We were horrified to have made a scene because we fancied ourselves quite savvy travelers.
If that wasn’t enough we got the entire kitchen out for a look at the crazy American girls who ordered high tea for dessert because we loved it so! These are the quirky memories trips create. I can’t for the life of me remember what a quadratic equation is or the story of Homer’s Iliad, but that loony Weymouth waitress with a high ponytail and a hook of a nose, I can still see her in my mind’s eye, more than twenty years later. It was a memory that was jolted out of the cobwebbed crevices of my brain today when I opened my laptop to a Yahoo page and saw an article that listed Weymouth, England as one of The Best Places You’ve Never Heard Of in an online article provided by Budget Traveler. It seems as though Weymouth has regained some of its lost cache. It was always a destination for sun-deprived Britons, but now, perhaps, it beckons visitors from abroad. Plenty to see and do from a pub popular with 17th century pirates to excellent scuba diving given the shipwrecks in the area, Weymouth, just three hours by train from London, sounds like a fun weekend trip. Don’t forget to eat the fish and chips and whatever you do, have high tea at the proper time!
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