Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And the coffee is served in buckets

Glen has alluded to the fact that Ugg boots are expensive. Eye-poppingly expensive in fact – but – almost unbelievably – not as expensive as they are in Vienna.

I remember Ugg boots from 30 years ago in Australia. They were sort of shabby-chic. Not very expensive and favored by students and bohemians.

Well the company is still called Ugg Boots Australia but it is now American and the boots are made in China. And the boots are now so fashionable that people just must have them.  By the size of the crowd in the store in Covent Garden one would have thought that they were giving them way – but no. I am guessing that the average pair is about £240.

I just sat there looking astonished as they sold hundreds of pairs before my very eyes.

Just down the road in Long Acre in Covent Garden Cate looked at a very nice woolly scarf – a snip at £375 – with a matching Beanie for another £190. There is something seriously wrong with this world.

There are more Eastern Europeans working in London than there are in Vienna. I did not encounter a single person working in a café or coffee shop who was not from that part of the world. And in most cases their English is as bad as my German (well…maybe not quite that bad) and of course no one can understand an Australian accent. So I had constant communication problems.

And the coffee is served in buckets. They have been – shall we say – upsized – and when you order a Cappuccino now you get a pint in a gigantic cup. It is not possible to get a normal cup of coffee. Cafes are bad enough but when you go to Costa the smallest size is a cardboard bucket and a trolley on which to wheel it away. Fortunately it contains almost no caffeine otherwise the populace at large would all be completely wired and would be chasing each other around the streets of London with clubs and knives – or Blueberry Muffins.

The food is actually not too expensive. Apart from the first night when we went to a trendy (i.e. over-priced) restaurant in Shoreditch we were not too badly dealt with anywhere.  It is much cheaper than I remember it – but probably because we now live in Vienna which is most certainly one of the most expensive cities on the planet.

Thankfully Cate earns enough money to sustain life because my only income is the amount I can steal from the housekeeping money.  


  1. A Lawyer with no shame - that explains it :-) any way you are bang on about the whole coffee thing - it annoys the pants off me - next time find a greasy spoon, they will still do you a normal sized mug of coffee that is called - coffee, just.

    I work not too far from your photo, which is exciting.... well on the other side of the river to where you were stood and round a bit, actually not that close at all - same city though :-)

  2. As for the coffee, I'm in complete agreement. What happened to just a cup of coffee or a cappuccino that was only 6 or 8 ounces?

    Uggs are also popular - madly - here. However, I'm oddly lucky because 14 year old Irish Dancer has no interest in them.

    "I just don't like them. They're made of sheep."

    "We just had lamb chops for dinner. And we grilled steak yesterday."

    "I don't know; it's just wrong."

    Haha, awesome! More coin in my pocket!

  3. Uggs are big here, too, but only if you're severely underweight, are a stripper, or both...

    It takes me all day to drink one of those giant coffees. Luckily, I don't mind it cold, as I add enough cream and sugar that it ceased being "coffee" long before it cooled off!


  4. £375 for a wool scarf isn't insane, it's obscene when there are people freezing to death in muddy alleys and children going to bed with empty bellies. Even if I could afford something like that, I sure as hell wouldn't buy it.

  5. that must be one fucking nice scarf! Also I agree with you re coffee - give me a small, sharp shot - not warm milk with a tinge of coffee flavour. and do not even start me on coffee syryps.

  6. L.A. girls wear their Uggs in the summer: hot pants, tank tops, and winter boots...

  7. Uggs (I always thought they were Ughs)are just giant slippers in disguise.
    I kept getting blow-outs in my wool-skin slippers, so now I buy my slippers from Austria.
    And I seem to remember ugg boots being mainly favoured by bogans.

  8. I hate Uggs because here in Northern Michigan where you actually may have a NEED to wear witner boots, young girls wear them in the summer, what do they wear in the winter? A nice tall, strappy heal.
    I really hate stupid people and there are sooo many.

  9. UGG. BLURGH. hate them. i seriously don't get it?

  10. Glen: I am surprised we did not see crash into each other. I would love to live in London - Many of them speak English.

    Ricky Shambles: But they only use dead sheep.

    Pearl: Apparently the Ugg marketing program is not successful in Minneapolis.

    freefalling: Spot on - they were Bogan Gear - how times have changed. Slippers from Austria - I Love that!

    Katie: Northern Michigan certainly sounds like Ugg territory in winter. The weather and fashion are mutually exclusive.

    SK Waller: Damn right. It is obscene and grotesque when you see the obvious poverty around you.

    Mrs Woog; I am no expert but to me it looked like a woolen scarf. I could see no gold leaf.

    Christina Schweighofer; Well at least people were buying these boots for winter.

    a new girl in Vienna: They are seriously warm and comfortable. They will be brilliant here (and in lapland) in winter.

  11. Yes, eating out in England is quite reasonable but the sting you on the drink!

  12. I understand Australian and like London and upsized cappucinos, but not Uggs thank you.