The beauty of living in a different country is that you never cease to learn. I am sure that it makes me use part of my brain that would have been left to rot otherwise.
That said, the problem with having lived in London for the best part of 8 years (yes, 8 years) is that I have become surer of myself and I have just caught myself thinking that I knew it all. Not nice. Lesson learned. Let me explain.
I was reading this recipe about a lovely brioche and it mentioned that I needed “lukewarm water”. The British have many different types of water. I knew nothing about most of them because I was brought up solely on tap water. But honestly, can you really tell me what elderflower water, purified water, spring water and softened water are? I have also seen Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Flavoured water. I didn’t try that one obviously. Anyway, what I am trying to say here is that I thought that lukewarm water was a type of water that you needed to buy at your local supermarket. I simply thought that it was yet another type of water.
With hindsight, I should have known better. But honestly, what sort of word is lukewarm? When you are a little cold, do you say that you are johncold? No, you don’t. My point exactly.
So, here I am, at the supermarket, looking for lukewarm water and not finding it. I went to ask a shopping assistant who didn’t know any more than me what lukewarm water was and told me that they were not having this type of water in the supermarket Undeterred, I asked another shopping assistant who looked at me as if I was crazy. I understood that I had missed something.
When I came back home, I googled it (how were we managing without Google?) and found out that lukewarm water is just water that’s slightly warm. Apparently, they also call it tepid water. I am glad to say that I went to bed a little less silly that night.
OK, lesson learned. In France, here is what they would say about me: “Elle n’a pas invente l’eau chaude” (She didn’t invent warm water – basically, it would mean that I am a bit thick).
So much for lukewarm water.