I have recently commented that I felt like I was on another planet in China. On the other hand, London strikes me as the entire earth as I know it in microcosm: people, languages, and foods from every country on the planet; affection but hopefully not affectation; rainy days that go on forever and Buddhist meditation classes that take place every day. Thanks to Conrad Miller of Chocolate Earth
for the suggestions before I arrived and to Martin Christy of Seventy Percent
who couldn't have been more welcoming and took me on an inside London chocolate tour the other day. (Incidentally and interestingly, both Conrad and Martin are big fans of a new Nicaraguan chocolate called Momotombo
.) More specifically on those findings, more recipes, and more in detail about my plans for the coming year soon. In the meantime, this map shows how I've been keeping busy during my three week sojourn in the (deservedly) much-celebrated capital of the United Kingdom in 2012. Dark blue pins mark neighborhoods, light blue pins museums and other spots to admire; theater masks denote shows of all kinds, martini glasses indiscriminately adorn my favorite eating and drinking venues (whether the drinking entails tea, beer, or something else), and the ethereal branch of the cacao tree marks all chocolate spots.