Thursday, May 8, 2008

After Day 3

So, my third day here. Rough start at first. I couldn't sleep one bit on the plane over, but I wanted to so very badly. They said on their travel tips (personal video on the seatback in front of you) not to fight it; just catch up on a few movies and try periodically to relax. When I arrived, I was sick to my stomach. I can't stand flying. I wanted to yack all over.

The hostel didn't let me lock my bags up early. Damn. I thought for sure I'd have to drag it around everywhere with me. The very idea was stressful. But, I remembered reading that the cloakrooms at the British Museum allows you to check oversized bags. Perfect! I knew I could move things around.

I noticed that the British Museum brought out my prejudices. Why? I just wasn't interested in the Asian or African exhibits. Everything that I wanted to see had to do with Western culture (Egyptian exhibits excepted). On top of that, I only started asking Americans and Brits (or those who looked like Americans and Brits), to take pictures for me. I got enough people who didn't understand what I wanted a picture of, so I have a lot of cut off photos and such. Stupid and inaccurate assessment to make, but there you are. Interesting to see the prejudice so pronounced. Now I know how it shows up, I can work on it.

All the time, my anxiety was at a high. I just needed more sleep. I got it that night.

My tattoo appointment is scheduled for next Friday afternoon. Frith Street couldn't fit me in, so I had to go to a shop in Camden Town. Still a really nice shop, and they seemed a little more friendly.

I got done early with my day today, so I went to the British Museum again. I thought up the most wonderful joke. I saw too many Roman or Greek figures missing their privates.

Q:What do you call a Roman male whose penis has been broken off.

I don't like curry. It's like the UK's version of Mexican food. Everyone in the states seems to love Mexican food, and they pass around the names of all the good and authentic restaurants. It's like that with Indian curry over here. I don't like Mexican food, and I really don't like curry.

I'm getting more used to the city people. You have to butter them up. Some people don't give a damn, but most, when you are so genuine to them, follow you around museums telling you what things not to miss, offer you all the good deals on merchandise, find merchandise for you in the back, smile so big at you when you come back to ask for a spoon or napkin... They just love you if you treat them kindly. Otherwise, they appear so very cold. They're definitely not an emotional people.

I loved being able to see French & Saunders. They announced last night (as I'm sure they've told everyone over the course of the tour) that they're retiring from 'French & Saunders.' So, I feel so very privileged to have seen their last live performance together. It was the last night of their tour, and the very last night of French & Saunders. Period. Lucky SOB to get in just under the wire.

I hate that no one ever has paper towels in the bathroom. Nope, you gots to stick your hands under the dryer. I've always hated those. Sure they save trees, but they never get your hands dry. And what if I want to blow my nose or dry off my sweaty head? It's just too bad. But, on an interesting note: you've all seen the commercials for Dyson, the one where he introduces his airblade technology? Well, they had them in the pay bathroom in Paddington Station. I got to try them. I wanted to have someone take my picture, but I figured we'd both be arrested if we've got a camera out in a public toilet.

I loved the Tower of London. That's been my favorite place so far. Everything there is so fascinating, and there is so much to see and do. You'd never be able to take it all in. You can see everything in a half-day just fine, but you couldn't take it all in. I find that I get in that mode sometimes. You see so many interesting and historically significant things, and after a while, you're on overload. You can't really appreciate the significance of everything because your mental energy is spent already. So, I try not to force appreciation. I just save it for the unique or attention catching things.

And this? This is a trip in and of itself. I'm sitting in an internet cafe (never done that before) in Bloomsbury, listening to the city buses and pedestrians go by as I type away. We all like to pretend that we're tough and metro enough to be city people. We think that there is some kind of status in what big cities we can fit in with. I've been to very few big cities before, and I'm just as interested and amused as can be. No pretensions--I stick out like a sore thumb, I'm sure.

1 comment:

claybritton said...

I really enjoy how you are keeping everyone engaged with what is going on with your trip. So much fun. Where are you getting your tattoo?

I really enjoy the picture in the public toilet situation. I agree, and the last thing we need is you spending time in a foreign jail with no hand towels.

Talk to you soon, and have fun.