Synaesthesia Magazine Cities - Page 37

I told him that I couldn’t live somewhere that tasted of parsnips, so that ruled out the job in Newcastle.

“Manchester suits me fine,” I told him. “Why can’t we just stay here? Manchester tastes like a small mouthful of almonds, and I cope fine with waking up every day to a mouthful of almonds.”

There’s a job in Carlisle, he said.

I shuddered.

“Butterbeans,” I said. “Yuck.”


“Fritter batter. Too greasy.”


“Chocolate. Too much of a good thing.”


“Laver bread!”

Which is-?

“Too rich.”


“Seriously? Liver?”



Not what, he asked?

“No,” I explained, “London tastes of snot. No- I don’t know why.”

So for a long time we stayed living in Manchester, the city whose name is just a small mouthful of almonds.

Until one day, he came home from work with some very exciting news.

“A job abroad, in…The Hague…?” he said, hopefully.

I smiled. “Wow,” I said. The Hague. Cornflakes! Who couldn’t enjoy the daily taste of a breakfast cereal, a food that’s designed to be eaten every day?

And so we left behind our life in A Mouthful of Almonds, and we still live in Cornflakes today. And when I begin to miss English bacon and eggs, I pop back to the UK to savour Canterbury and Dover.

The Taste of Expatriate Life

by Jacki Donnellan