June 30, 2006

DocSmartypants in London, Part 2: A heat wave and a thousand screaming gay men
by docsmartypants

Huzzah! I’m alive! Well sort of. I’m still sick but full of mediciny goodness so now I just feel ill and not like I’m actually dying. I’m also in a slightly less sketchy Internet cafe today because I didn’t feel like being sold to white slavers.

Yesterday I went to the Tower of London and heard many gruesome stories–it was great. Then I saw the Pet Shop Boys in the moat, which brings up a weird mental image if you don’t know that the moat is empty now. Obviously the Pet Shop Boys were fantastic, at least that’s what I (and the crowd of screaming middle aged gay men) thought. Was I the only straight person there? No. Was I the youngest? No. But just about, on both counts. Anyway, the weather was good; it cooled off in the evening in time for the show, which was nice since apparently they’re having a heat wave. Lucky me.

Today I dragged myself out of bed for the least inspiring breakfast I’ve had since I was last at a UU youth conference. If you can imagine a machine that would suck every single last molecule of moisture out of a piece of toast? Yeah, they have that. There were also corn flakes and some dodgy looking fruit cocktail. The breakfast ladies don’t speak English, so getting milk was a challenge but eventually I did a sort of pouring motion over the cereal and they got what I meant. Good thing, too, because the next step from there is miming milking a cow, which I imagine could have looked quite rude. If they are, as I suspect, Russian I might try a little of my vocab on them if I feel desperate enough to get up for breakfast again. I do at the very least know how to say “milk” and “please.”

So after that I bought some postcard stamps and began the somewhat confusing trip out to Hampton Court where I did the hedge maze (oldest in England or something like that) in five minutes. I’d have felt really proud but I saw a thing online about the trick to finding the center and I wanted to see if it worked. It does. Hampton Court itself is very large and impressive and full of over-the-top tapestries and oddly disturbing topiary. It’s one of those places that has been around long enough that it’s had bits knocked down and added so that it doesn’t really mesh anymore, but the overall impression is still grand and regal and reminds you to hate the rich.

I wanted to check out the London Eye today but have decided to save that and do something indoors instead. It really is just obscenely warm and despite all the sunscreen I can feel myself burning. I imagine if I’d skipped the sunscreen I would have just burst into flames the minute I stepped outdoors. Why did no one tell me that England has no ozone layer?

So now I’m off, possibly to the portrait gallery, possibly just to write some postcards. I’d consider hiding in my room and watching the BBC, but you know what? Most BBC programming? Kinda’ sucks. The first night the best thing on was about the guy who brought lap dancing to England. Last night? Documentary on “John Holmes, the Real Life Dirk Diggler.” I will say this, good lord they can show a lot more on British TV than they can on American TV! And on that note…

I hope America is running smoothly in my absense. Oh wait, it wasn’t running smoothly when I was there. Oh well. Hope America isn’t running less smoothly than when I left!]

posted under Travel
4 Comments to

“DocSmartypants in London, Part 2: A heat wave and a thousand screaming gay men”

  1. On June 30th, 2006 at 2:15 pm Larry Says:

    Things are all shook up here in the USA. Read the headlines: Bush found time to take the Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi on a tour of Graceland!

    Yesterday flag burning, today Elvis, tomorrow some movie star will do something stupid. Yep pretty important stuff making the news these days!

  2. On June 30th, 2006 at 5:25 pm Mom S Says:

    One of Larry’s relatives from my side of the family was a Thomas Trickett, born in London around 1730

    One of Thomas’ sons, Joseph Trickett, was born in 1755 near Tower Hill in London.
    Did you get a picture of Tower Hill yet?

    I’m glad you are feeling a bit better and that you enjoyed the concert. Have you taken a ride on a red bus yet?

  3. On July 2nd, 2006 at 9:48 am docsmartypants Says:

    No, probably won’t get a chance to ride the double decker bus this trip. I took pictures of the Tower of London, which is next to Tower Hill, but I don’t think I got any of the hill.

  4. On February 8th, 2009 at 12:52 am Doc Smartypants » Blog Archive » I Love Etc the Pet Shop Boys Says:

    […] since elementary school! I saw them twice after their last CD was released—including their concert at the Tower of London—and I am really hoping they will be touring again soon. Anyway, no actual video yet, but […]

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