Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hello all! I've returned from sunny London, also known as 'Scaffold City', after a 21-hour travel day (ugh). I got some sleep, though, and feel semi-human now. Sorry about not posting when I was away, as I promised I would, but I was busy pretty much 100% of the time. And I realized that blogging, for me, is a solitary act. I can't do it when there are other people around. And I was never alone the whole 10 days, except at bedtime (sigh) and then I was just damned tired. Anyway, here I be.
So... my trip. First, I have to say that I envy people who can sleep on planes. And by 'envy', I mean I could gouge out their eyes with a fork. They totally piss me off because I totally can't sleep (or even doze for God's sake) and when you're on an overnight flight, that really just blows. I get all itchy and twitchy about 3 or 4 hours into the flight and I can't sit still but there's nowhere to go except the bathroom (and I have issues with bathrooms on planes) so I sit there, miserable, trying to watch a movie or read until they bring me more food or we land. And in the end I always get there bleary-eyed and incoherent, after about 24 hours of being wide awake. It blows, I tell you... blows sheep caka.
BUT, all that being said, I get there... and then it's good. This trip, my friend Alan came with me (and that's just friend, not friend, wink wink... he's engaged... and not to me). Anyway, it was Alan's first trip to the UK, so I got to see London through fresh eyes, which was cool. As I mentioned, scaffolding was prevalent, as every major building in London was being worked on (seriously wrecked photo ops, let me tell you). I'm assuming they're getting ready for the Olympics in a couple of years (as it'll take them that long to get all the work done that needs doing). Anyway, I saw a lot of stuff I'd already seen (like Saint Paul's and the Tower of London and the Eye and Stonehenge) and a few things I hadn't (like the Imperial War Museum and Greenwich, where I straddled the Prime Meridian... which is not as exciting (or dirty) as it sounds). We saw a couple of comedy shows (love, love, LOVE English comedians) and ate some good food and drank some good booze. I usually over-do the boozy bit (and have to come home to dry out) but not this trip... well, except for one night that involved a lot of pints of Carling and a couple of shots of this lethal Danish liqueur (after which I remember N.O.T.H.I.N.G.). I think Alan was a bit shocked at how much beer and wine gets consumed on a consistent basis (my friends are delinquents) but I think he just enjoyed the spectacle some nights. And speaking of spectacles, we discovered that the Brits are watching our election coverage as closely as we are (and yes, they are as appalled by Sarah Palin as the rest of us).
I realized that the tourist trade in London is still alive and well, regardless of the world's economic situation or the fact that the dollar is in the toilet. God, there were a lot of people with cameras wandering about. I actually love to figure out where people are from just from visual clues. The Tube is a great place to do this (I'm going to stereotype here, which I really hate as a rule, so forgive me, please). Americans, in general (me included, probably), tend to look as though they've just escaped from the pages of an LLBean catalog... we definitely dress for comfort rather than style. Europeans are all about the style, but often appear (at the risk of sounding rude), well, a bit dirty... or maybe 'unkempt' is a better word. Asian tourists, bless their hearts, always appear to have dressed in the dark... they never match... they're a cacophony of color and pattern. I do love me some people-watching, though... it's one of my most favorite things. It's why I never mind airport lay-overs... I watch people and try to sort out their life stories based on how they interact with each other. I like to think it's the writer in me that does it. But the truth is, I'm just plain nosy.
Anyway, it was a good trip. I got to hang out with my boys (you met Hugh via photos when he visited in August, and Colin and Todd are my other London cohorts... and yeah, that's just cohorts and not cohorts, wink wink... we're all just friends... I really need to find some men to actually date, now that I think about it). Our trip home on Monday was uneventful, except for the fact that I sat behind a farter, in front of a kicker, and beside a loud-talker (though in his defense, he had to talk loudly in order for his very deaf parents, who were seated in front of him, to hear him). Luckily, I had a really good, really long book to keep me occupied.
Photos are down the left side... if I can ever get the slideshow function to work, I'll post more. Hope you all had a great week! I'm looking forward to getting caught up with everyone!