Sunday, December 10, 2006

Went to London, got me some culture, brought me back some deep thoughts...

1. Where's the surly?

Could just be first time visitor syndrome, but what's up with all the nice?

I mean service people were all, like, smiling at us and such. Whoa, man. What's up with that?

I think I may have imbibed too much Sarajevo. I was immediately suspicious. Why are you smiling at me, perfect stranger? No way you like me this much. (What do you want from me? Money? What?) Oh and I just bumped into you, and you apologize? Really. Are the British this polite? My genetically refined pushy American instincts combined with my recently honed Bosnian surliness will make me a positive force on the London streets. If we move to London, though it looks like we will because we just liked it so darned much, which brings me to...

2. Sticker shock.

Fuck us all, it's expensive in London. The pound is double the dollar. Wah, wah, wah and woe is me. Woe is us. However. With a robust economy comes an abundance of jobs. Or so I hope. It is my finest desire to get a nice, juicy job on the British economy and suck the marrow out of London's cultural offerings. Oh, who am I kidding? I want to shop! I want to buy pretty coats and pretty boots and pretty rings! That's what I want. I'm shallow, and I like sparkly things.

3. So hire me.

Yes, I'm not too proud to beg. Give me employment. I'm a social worker with a focus in international dogoodyism. Yes, that it is one word, and that is exactly how it appears on my diploma.

4. And now for something completely different...Harrods

Can I just say that I totally understand the fuss over this department store. It's cool. It's huge. It's ridiculously overpriced, but who cares?! It's fab.

Then again...

5. The crowds and the dreaded Tube.

If we do move to London (and we're thinking of the Angel neighborhood, love it!), I believe the Tube will be the absolute bane of my existence. I have never, never seen a subway so crowded. Not in all the years I lived in DC or the times I semi-lived with Stu in New York. (Fourth of July, New Year's, and holidays in general being the exceptions...) There was actually someone's elbow in MY NECK. The huz informs me that it's actually worse in Tokyo, where they use something akin to a t-shaped cattleprod to squeeze people in. Not cool, dude. I think I shall fully embrace the bus service...or my xanax, should the bus service fail to meet my needs.

And, oh my God, once, just at its most crowded, it actually stopped, halted, for what felt like hours. And there we were, squashed like sardines...This is one of my biggest fears on any subway system, due to my claustrophobia. I hate to ask because I fear the answer may not be to my liking...Does this happen often?

5. It's late...

And, Jesus, Stu shaved his facial hair!

(Aside to huz: I thought you were just getting a shower! What possessed you? You have no upper lip! You look 10!)

Sorry. The plane ride, the late hour, and now my husband's naked face has left me speechless. I clearly need sleep.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sandra said...

First, NO, the Tube does not stop en-route that often. Seriously, I lived in London for 4 years, & took it at least twice a day during my 1st and 2nd year, (then I moved to a place that meant that most days I could walk) and I think I got stuck maybe twice or three times max - and each time for only a few minutes. A piece of cake, I promise.

Second, YES, London is hell for your finances, but you soon discover the best value places to buy the boring necessities in life (that you don't enjoy spending on), so that you can spend more on the fun frivolous stuff. ;-)

On Service: Don't worry, politeness and niceness are part of the beautiful façade - the Brits are masters at wrapping, and are able to tell you to Fxxxk Off in the most gracious of ways... you'll hadly notice. Keep your new-found Bosnian surliness, just cover it up slightly to start off with.

On Employment: Yes, their unemployment is low... but a lot of low wages make up for it. I'm sure you'll find a job, but as a social worker, can't say you'll be shopping at Harrods that often. BUT the great thing in London, is that culture is accessible to all incomes. Seriously, you can even go to the opera for £1 and sit with the Gods ;-)

Lucky girl, you'll be fine!!!

11:56 AM  
Blogger montchan said...

The Tube is nothing! nothing! I survived a year in Osaka commuting to work by train, and if I could do it, you'll be just fine in puny little London.

3:27 PM  

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