Wednesday, March 22, 2006

mind the gap


So the Barrister, Matty and I spent the weekend in London. First and foremost I found it such an unbelievable relief to be able to speak in English all the time. I didn't realize how taxing it was to be confronted with a bit of fear every time you approach someone on the street for directions or try to buy anything- even a pack fo gum. (I certainly do not know the french translation for peppermint. I was half tempted to stock up on gum in preparation for my return to France where I pick my gum flavor based on the color of the packaging which I imagine is closest to what I think peppermint might be. Okay, I got distracted. . . .)

London was interesting to experience after being in France for a while. As odd as this sounds, I felt lighter somehow. The little things were more enjoyable. I was pleasantly amused by just reading the advertisements in the metro- which is not something I have the luxury of in France, or being able to read the tube map without having to translate. I also found the metro's loudspeaker announcements of "mind the gap" commentary to be somewhat funny. To be honest, it isn't that Paris is scary, I feel more comfortable in Paris many ways because it is so far from what I expected and so far out of my comfort zone that it just forces you to operate in a completely different way and without customer service in any way whatsoever, whereas London culture is just slightly different than US culture which messes with your mind.

London was great all in all- although it is quite a bit more expen$ive than France. We did a lot of touristy type things including a bus tour and a visit to the Tower of London. I liked the Tower quite a bit and realized that I am way too tall to have lived in the 16th century. I would frequently have to mind my head. I mean, mend my head. We also spent an evening watching a rugby match in a bar and we spent another night at the Lion King. Like most theater productions, there were parts I enjoyed quite a bit and parts that drove me to giggle in the not-so-nice way. Matty was no help with the giggling thing. Can you feel the love tonight? Also the movie certainly did not feature a musical number, "Chow Down!" The stage version shouldn't have featured it either. . . The dance was great and many of the scenes were quite beautiful. A good spectacle that I rather enjoyed.
Being with my family in London was great. A brief moment where the gap between myself and home didn't seem so far apart.

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