Mind the Gap

Hullo there, old bean!  Right-o, time to regale you chaps with the tale o’ my trip to jolly old London town, what what. Fish and chips knickers banger tube pint Big Ben.

Okay, that’s out of my system.

But seriously, I went to London this weekend.  It’s kind of like America, except people drive on the wrong side of the road and don’t really speak English very well.

The stereotype-per-square-kilometer ratio is huge.

The first day was sightseeing: Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, und so weiter.  I also rode a lion.

He was very calm about the whole ordeal.

I visited Westminster Abbey, where more famous people than I’ve ever seen in one place are buried, embalmed, interred, or otherwise stored.  It’s definitely the place I want to be when the zombie apocalypse occurs — who needs high ground and fresh water when you have the opportunity to brain Charles Dickens with a shovel?

The next day I went to the British Museum, which was an incredible, incredible museum.  It’s basically a shrine to things the British Empire stole from other cultures, but what museum isn’t, right?  And if it means I get to see the Rosetta Stone, Greek sculpture, Assyrian wall carvings, and moai all in the same place — for free — well, who can begrudge imperialism that?  Don’t answer.

Better than in midst of many other things.

After the museum I took a bus with a friend from Stanford to Oxford to watch another Stanford friend who’s currently studying in Oxford race the steeplechase for Oxford’s track team.  “-Fords” are apparently pretty interchangeable (just not in the previous sentence).  The Oxford track, however, is the place the first sub-four-minute mile was run, so naturally I had to run on it.

Not pictured: 50 meters later, where I collapse in an exhausted heap.

Oxford may actually be even more of a quintessential college town than Palo Alto, and it’s incredibly old.  We passed a house that was older than Berlin itself — and Berlin was founded in the 1230s.

It now sells mobile phones. EUROPE!

All in all, I really liked Britain.  The food is pretty perfect for a weekend — fish and chips, mushy peas, pints of ale, steak pies, more pints of ale, more fish and chips, eggs and bacon, Borough Market in general, the Sherlock Holmes pub in particular — and everyone I talked to was very nice, even when I inadvertently wandered into a transvestite pub in the gay district of Soho.  Maybe because I inadvertently wandered into a transvestite pub in the gay district of Soho.  Or maybe British accents just make people sound polite.

It was a whirlwind tour of the Land of Drunk Chelsea Fans.  I left yesterday morning, which was absolutely perfect timing — Heathrow was shut down today because of Icelandic ash (again).

Artist's rendition of the author's daring escape from the volcanic ash cloud.

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One comment

  1. Once again, your life makes mine so incredibly dull.

    Or maybe I just need more pictures of my life. I got to inflate one of those airplane life jackets this weekend. (Pulled on the red tabs — no inflation by blowing into the red tubes was necessary.) That’s got to count for something, right?

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