Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Halloween Day 1 & 2 pt 2

to continue...

Westminster Abbey:

We claimed to be worshippers and attempted to get in for free. The guard at the back entrance allowed it, with these sage words of advice:

"Go in, sit down, and don't look at anything."

Which we, of course, ignored. We then tried to join a German tourist group (by accident), but were deterred when we tried to return the German pamphlets. The priest then produced a walkie talkie from somewhere in his robes and started communicating with the original guard that let us in. This is further proof that the church is actually just a faction of the mafia. We got out with our skins, but not by much. Nick talked about it for the rest of the day. I'm pretty sure he feared for his life.

Halloween Day 2:

Why "day 2" you may ask? Because today is the second day that we've celebrated Halloween. Why did we celebrate Halloween two days in a row you may ask? Because we thought yesterday was Oct 31st. Which would have made today Nov 1st; the day we were supposed to catch our flight to Poland. As it turns out, today is not the day we are supposed to go to Poland. Tomorrow is the day that we're supposed to go to Poland. This we discovered after taking a three hour bus ride to Stansted Airport to catch our flight that leaves tomorrow.

So now we're in Cambridge for the night! And happy Halloween to everyone out there, no matter what day it is! I'll continue the updates in Poland. For real in Poland this time.

Quote of the day:
Kaare talking about "snakebites"
(a drink suggested to us by Marty...half lager, half cider, with a shot of cassis. Similar to snake bites, they are extremly deadly)

"It looks like a purple people eater blew a load in my cup"
and tastes just as good (I say)
Kaare replies:
"I'd love to get drunk on the purple people eaters weiner"

happy thoughts everyone!

Halloween Day 1 & 2 pt 1

Halloween Day #1

I woke up yesterday morning knowing that we had to meet Nick (more later on him) at 10am. I wake up, it's dark, but I hear people walking around outside our door. I think, "Haha! I'll get an early start!" My early start, which included cleaning up, make up, and clothing, ended up being 4am.

Once I realized the trick my jetlag had played on me, I decided to catch a few more hours of sleep. Problem: my bed in our eight person dorm was diagonally across the room from the door. Also, it was a top bunk designed to thwart anyone under six feet tall. These two things, combined with the fact that it was 4-fucking-am (!), almost guaranteed that I would wake up everyone in the room. Being the nice Canadian that I am, I decided to sleep in the common room.

Fast forward to 7:30am.

A tiny and cherub-like young girl rests peacefully on a bed woven of rainbows and angeldust*. Suddenly I am awoken by a 500lb, yellow-eyed, terrifying Jamaican man. (I say Jamaican in the most stereotypical sense. I have no idea what nationality he actually was.) His first words? In his 500lb, yellow-eyed, I-could-grind-your-bones-to-dust-with-one-of-my-toenails voice?

"Hey! You go! Sleep in room! Go to room now!"

Yeah. Terrifying.

Using my cuteness skills, I managed to convince him that I wasn't some sort of skeevy crack nob, and that I was in fact an innocent young girl of angelic proportions**. This brought him down from terrifying to only horribly scary.

Being as it was now 7:30am, breakfast was being served, which made it a prime time to start my day. I figured to have a smoke while the toast finished becoming toast, and so went out to the smoking room. Suddenly, I was once again accosted by a Jamaican (different Jamaican, same stereotype).

"Hey you de smokes! We no do smoking here I no more tink! Look at dis place! Is fucking horrible!"

Now, I'm slightly frightened and starting to back away while stuttering mumbled apologies in my dysfunctionaly nice Canadian way. With a suddenness that matched the first onslaught, he 180's.

"Ah no, you stay me tink! You smoke, is okay! I clean later!"

Oh, wow.

I'm going to take a minute here to state that if I were to convey on these e-pages all that is happening in my neck of the woods, we would have a perpetual motion situation based on me typing and everyone else reading. While I would like to believe that my life is fascinating enough for that, I don't make a habit of being that large of an idiot. So I'm only touching on certain subjects, specifically the ones I believe to be the most entertaining. Having said all that, let's talk about Mohammed.

Our multilingual-French-gypsy-chatterbox-party guy roommate. He has seven different kinds of "parfum", all "originale" from France. He speaks French, English, German, Hebrew, Italian and a little Polish. His favourite phrase is "fuckin' 'ell" said with a perfect Cockney accent. He gets us black market cigarettes. He spent about 30 mins last night trying to convince the two German girls in our dorm that they needed to get married soon or they'd be too old to have babies. They were 18. He was vaguely sketchy, certainly fantastic and so classically European.

Changing of the Guards in London:

Wait, backtrack a tube ride: Nick.

Kaare's old flatmate from China. He lives, and is from, Oxford. Nick has just taken a job in Singapore. How did he get this job you ask? By purchasing as extremely expensive coat, which would be completely useless in Singapore, thus ensuring that he would (by Murphy's law) get the job. Also, he was hoping that it would change his romantic situation, as it is quite a dashing coat. So far, since purchasing the coat, his romantic situation has been basically the same; null and void.

Nick came down to London and gave us a walking tour of the city. The sights were pretty neat, but the company is where it's at. Nick is a super rad guy.

Which brings me back to the Changing of the Guard.

Totally useless and unentertaining. We stood around for about and hour and a half to see two marching bands and one cavalry. A total of about two minutes. The exciting part was that we learned the Saudi Arabian Royal Family is visiting Britain. Which meant a HUGE al Quaida bomb threat, particularly near the palace, which was exactly where we were standing. Awesome.

must go for now...we're hungry. Keep in tune for pt 2. Should be later tonight.

*possibly an exaggeration
**definite exaggeration

Monday, 29 October 2007

London, England

We're in London! Ahhhhh!!! The flight was good, albeit a little sketchy. Our pilot was so painfully Italian. He kept up a running commentary with us whenever we were landing or taking off. Sometimes he just talked during dead space. Even when he had no idea what was going on. For instance, we ended up stuck on the ground in Calgary for about an hour. His commentary went something like this:

"sooo, 'elo folks, we zeem to, uhhhh, have zees problem, ahhh, zee 'ead count we deed, uhhh, does'eent match zee, ahhhh, pazzenger leest, uhhhh, we don't know why. Ummm, we don't, ahhh, really know what to do? Maybe we just count zee, ahhh, 'eads again? I don't know..."

Totally the experience I was looking for.

and there's nothing like experience...for instance, the experience of our hostel. I am currently sharing a room with 12 guys (yup, the only girl), most of whom have limited English and seem to think that practicing their slang on us is a good plan. The basement smoking room appears to be some sort of area between buildings where they forgot to put a roof. A glorified chimney of sorts. With lots of garbage. Dick Van Dyke's dump. And the black mold on the shower room roof leers at me whenever I'm in there. I think it has more personnality than some of the front desk clerks.

And I couldn't be happier! The people are wonderful and funny. London is a quirky little town for what we've seen so far. The tube is as ridiculous as I remember it. Crowded, suffocating, and soooooo humid. You think that someone would have told the British about air conditioning by now. We met this one Hungarian gent at the hostel who is learning to speak English by watching the new James Bond film. Brilliant.