So far, a blur.
May 23, 2011 § 2 Comments
Of the past 24 hours, I remember little. This is mostly likely attributable to my total sleep deprivation… until 7 hours ago, when I passed out face down on my bed, fully clothed. I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours (with the exception of a nap on a bus earlier), and I was operating on only 4 hours of sleep the night before, so I guess my sudden desire to sleep was not particularly surprising. Now, I feel tired from sleeping so hard! :) Unfortunately, I’m waking up at 9pm here… which means I may have just prolonged my struggle. I somehow suspect, though, that I’ll be able to sleep more later.
By far the hardest part of my journey so far was cramming myself and my stuff onto the Silver Line in Boston. Since then, smooth sailing. Getting through customs in England took some time, but only because there was an enormous line which I foolishly stepped out of to use a bathroom. I had started near the front of the pack of people from my own flight (I deeply enjoyed passing them at a good clip as they rode the people-mover conveyor belts and I walked down the hallways; I’d just sat for 6.5 hours, I desperately wanted to move!). When I returned from the restroom, I was smack-dab in the middle of a flight from India, with an entire other flight in between me and my flight. Oops. It wasn’t any sort of problem, just long. There was a beautiful man near me in line, though, so I had some entertainment while I waited. Actually getting through customs once it was my turn took about 90 seconds, and I now officially have my first stamp in my passport! More to come… :)
As I was landing at Heathrow, a really strange thought popped into my head. It was something along the lines of “I’ve never been around this many real live British people before.” It was as if I thought British people were slightly mythical or something. I immediately realized how absurd this idea was (that real live British people are any different or more magical than any other real live people), and I started to giggle. At this point, my exhaustion took over and I giggled uncontrollably (if silently, at least) for a minute or so before I got myself under control. I’m sure the girl in the seat next to me thought I was insane – laughing uncontrollably while doing nothing. She and I had both had bouts of laughter earlier in the flight while watching movies/TV episodes (how happy was I that they had Modern Family?! I laughed solidly throughout one entire episode… the flash mob episode, if you’ve seen it). I made the mistake of watching The Town on the flight… which only made the flight attendants’ (and many of the other passengers’) British accents more noticeable to me, since The Town is full of characters with strong Charlestown accents which just sound like home to me (Beantown for the win!).
Navigating around Heathrow was a breeze, and I got my ticket for the bus to Stansted no problem. The bus ride was about two hours. I told myself I wanted to watch the scenery as we drove, but within about three minutes, I think, I had passed out on top of my backpack. I woke up about an hour in with my head dropped over to one side so extremely I thought I’d probably broken my neck… :) I dozed off and on for the rest of the ride, but I really have no memory of any scenery other than that it looked pretty damn similar to New England. The weather here might be slightly warmer than it was in Boston when I left, but it was unseasonably cold when I left, so I think in reality there probably roughly the same on average this time of year. Stansted Airport officially takes the prize for windiest place I’ve ever been, however. :) Something about the air here is really similar to the coast of Maine, but I can’t figure out why (and we’re not on the coast). I love it!
My hotel has a nice little Indian restaurant in it. I love Indian food, so I’m happily chowing on some biryani. :) I’ll be at this hotel for a night again when I get back from Spain, and I’m happy I ended up here. It’s a nice little place!
Things I’ve learned so far:
Brits drive like maniacs (at least double the necessary speed), and it’s extra terrifying since I feel like we’re careening down the wrong side of the road… every time a car comes around a corner toward us I have a split second of fear. On the big highways it’s not very noticeable because it’s 6 or 8 lanes separated by a big median, but on the small roads it is a bit nerve wracking. That being said, careening down little roads listening to Europop and chatting with a nice Englishman was a highlight of my short journey so far.
If a sandwich says it has pickle in it (as in the “ham, cheese, and pickle” sandwich I consumed for lunch), this means a sweet, brown relish, not slices of pickles.
I don’t sound like an American, apparently.
The people who operate my hotel enjoy American top 40 tunes; I wonder how prevalent this is? I’m a teensy bit disappointed. I was digging the Europop earlier. I’ve been chilling with Rhianna, Bruno Mars, Ke$ha, Britney Spears, and others… with one strange exception: a remake of “Your Song” by Ellie Goulding. It took me half the song to figure out why I knew the lyrics… duh. This reminds me: I need to add “meet Ewan McGregor” to my to do list for Scotland. If you don’t know why “Your Song” reminds me of Ewan McGregor, we’re in a fight.