26 July 2007

Trip Blog. Days Eight and Nine. Exhausted Edition.

11:34 BST, 5:34 CST

Whitney IMed me last night at her version of eight o'clock, which is most everyone else's seven o'clock, but more importantly, one in the morning for me (computer was awake without me) asking me why I was not out seeing Amazing Things. Well, the most immediate reason was that it was one in the morning.

However, I am about full up on Amazing at the moment. I would be really thrilled right now to sit around in my Ordinary living room with Ordinary people who speak Ordinary English and play Ordinary Guitar Hero while drinking an Ordinary margarita and snuggling with an Ordinary ornithologist.

I slept all night and I remain tired. Of course, I had really weird and freaky dreams while I was sleeping, so that was bonus. I am tired. (In German accent) Tired of playing the game; ain't it a crying shame...(/accent)I just need some German soldiers to be back up dancers. Perhaps they will carry my luggage.

Yesterday, I did laundry. My laundry outfit was the bike shorts with the padded butt and my three-quarter length t-shirt. Greatness, but that was all that was clean. I also went back to the Royal Observatory, to actually tour it this time. And to have lunch.

Now, I have been very patient with the British; I feel like people get a bad rap from a few people's limited experiences. However, I have come to the conclusion that they really don't understand about food. The breakfasts I have had have always been quite lovely, but lunch and dinner seem to leave a lot to be desired. There are not a whole lot of vegetables around, and everything has this tendency to be fried or to involve baked beans.

However, they do have this great thing where they put stuff on a baguette and then grill it on a George Foreman sort of affair, which makes it a bit flat and toasty and it's Awesome. So, I ordered a baguette at the Observatory Cafe. And she gave it to me cold. Apparently, they do not grill them at the Observatory Cafe. Boo, that!

Also, the Observatory's main draw appears to be the Meridian Line, which is fine, but if you ask about anything else, the people have little to say. I was personally more interested in John Harrison's naval clocks (no photos; fascists). I've always been fascinated by the Longitude issue and the tied in Metric issue (they both were solved at around the same time), and so the clocks were cool. However, since the Meridian itself is arbitrary, I did not feel excessive excitement about it. And by excessive, I mean that I did not hop madly back and forth from hemisphere to hemisphere like the Boy Scouts from Houston.

They were, one and all, wearing straw hats with big Texas flag patches attached. And they talked more or less like me, so I asked,

"Where y'all from?"

"TEXAS!" one cried jubilantly.

In my brain, I am thinking, yes, dipstick. We know. People in Morocco know, on account of the a) hat, b) patch, c) giant Texas bandanna you are wearing around your neck, and d) your very, very loud accent.

I smile, however, and reply, "Yeah, dude. I caught that part. Which bit of Texas?"

His reply, "Oh, the eastern part."

Rolling my eyes. "Beaumont? Orange?"

"You know about BEAUMONT!?"

It occurs to me, that despite my best efforts, this guy still thinks I'm from not-Texas.

"Yeah, dude. I'm from Austin. Where are you from?"

"An American! Here! Wow!"

(We are surrounded by people from every continent. Literally. There's even a penguin chilling in the corner of the courtyard. There are also fifty Boy Scouts from Houston. But I don't know they are from Houston yet. I decided not to point out that HE is an American, here, so what's the big deal?)

His leader saves me by telling me they are from Houston. I say that's great and move on. I hadn't expected the Spanish Inquisition.

Later, I was sitting in the pub lamenting my lack of food, with vegetables. And it came to me, as if in a vision: The Hard Rock Cafe. The Original. Is Here. In London. It's near Hyde Park Corner Station. Tonight, I dine on Cheeseburger. With Avocado.

I don't know what I'm going to do today. My arms are a bit achy and I do not feel inclined to go out into the cold and damp. I am going to go out this evening, later, and take night pictures of things, and then come back to pack my kit; my train to Brussels leaves at 2:13 tomorrow afternoon. I'm less freaked out by Brussels now. I'm staying there two nights and then staying two nights in Maastricht, Netherlands. Once I get to Maastricht I'll decide how long to stay in Köln (Cologne). I have learned my lesson from being in London for too long, and I'm not going to stay in any given city longer than three days for the rest of the trip. If that means I have to go to Paris, then so be it.



Blogger Mildred said...

You have to cut them some slack; they are, after all, little boys (adolescent, which is worse.) I am sorry you are so tired, but it's sort of like going to the quilt show, only more days. I've always heard that Brits don't have a knack for food. I hope the Hard Rock has what you require.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous elise said...

Wow, you met Americans there?!! hehehehe. I love conversations like that...

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Oh, why didn't you hop madly from hemisphere to hemisphere? Would 'ave been good exercise, it would.
And if you go to Paris and want something good to eat, there's this place called Flam's (there's several in Paris, you can Google it). They make these flat pizza-type things except they don't have sauce on them.

Hope you feel better soon!

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Ferrari said...

I have to take umbrage with your description. I may have only met her the few times, but she's is far from an ordinary ornithologist.

Your mileage may vary ;-)

4:43 PM  

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