04 September 2009

Cheerio

I love flying. Not just traveling, I think the act of flying internationally is an amazing thing. You go to this weird building in one world, strap yourself into an aluminum tube with a couple hundred other folks, pop an ambien or two, sleep for a few hours, get a stamp in a funny book and then are in an entirely different world. It is not a drive through a gradually changing landscape or a slow cruise into a harbor, you step onto a plane and in a matter of hours absolutely everything about your surroundings can be different.

IMG_0205And so after two months in India, a last night riding around in an old Ambassador car and ten hours on a British Airways flight, I found myself in London on a beautifully sunny afternoon absolutely blown away by the contrasts. A population that (kinda) speaks English! Taxi drivers who know where they are going! Fauna that are leashed and cared for by their owners! Girls in skirts! Clean and maintained sidewalks, streets and gutters! A three day weekend! Leavened bread! I could go on and on, pretty much around every corner I saw something that was (until the next corner) the most amazing thing ever*. I liked London after two months working in Germany. I loved London after two months working in India.

Spent most of Saturday hanging around, checked out some performances in Trafalgar Square then wandered through covent garden, the strand and the riverbank. Met up with Jeff Colson who was a rugby coach of mine in high school and quickly found myself on Brick Lane which, as those of you from the wrong side of the pond will know, is London's Little India. Mother of god. Luckily we dodged the curry houses, grabbed some greasy burgers, drank some ales and ciders (relieving the ole aussie snakebite), bar hopped a bit and then navigated the tube back to my hotel. Started off Sunday with a traditional English brekkie of sausages, bacon (english bacon = fried ham), fried egg, grilled tomato, baked beans and toast, which was followed shortly thereafter with a traditional English lunch of fish and chips and ale. I also managed to knock around in the Tate Modern (favorite piece: meat joy), check out a cool press photography exhibit in the National Theatre, venture down the south bank and check out some cool street performances including bellydancers and a daytime rave on the edge of the Thames. From there it was back out with Colson to a friend's dinner party (replete with copious amounts of Big Kahuna Red Wine) and then off to shady bar (replete w ith copious amounts of Jaeger Bombs).

IMG_0203 IMG_0221

Monday was a bank holiday which was a good thing considering the night before. Threw some stuff in a backpack and headed up to Oxford to finish up a bit of work. I didn't actually see any of the colleges, but Oxford was a nice little town with lots of old looking churches and pubs set amongst the rolling green English countryside. Finished up there yesterday, made it back to London just in time to have some nice drinks with Rob and Becky of Nairobi fame, caught up with the ADP HQ team and am now procrastinating packing for my flight back home in three hours. I like to end these trips with some numbers, so here's the rundown of this trip:

  • Number of days: 76
  • Number of exclamation points in this post: 8
  • Number of Chicken Tikka Masala's ordered: 0 (!)
  • Number of times I was called Mr. Steve: 56
  • Amount, in pounds, of peanut butter I consumed: 3.75
  • And most importantly, the final score: Steve 13, India 15**

Till next time,
Steve Gore 

 

*:  Although there were also open air urinals that they put out at night which was hauntingly familiar
**: I'm quite happy with this number, India does in fact always win but I think I put in a good showing

2 comments:

Funny Facebook statuses said...

I to also love flying much really it is a internationally is an amazing thing.nice post.

Harini Babu said...

very nice post i too like this thank you for sharing this
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