Thursday, February 12, 2009

Long time no post... lo siento


Cheerio! tip-top! ello! -- those are the words we felt were necessary to repeat all day every day while we were in London, England. I'm sure everyone appreciated it. Besides all that nonsense, we had an AMAZING time there. Not only did everyone speak English, which was extremely refreshing to hear, but they were all so courteous and welcoming! Even the first man we encountered, the guy that puts your luggage in the bottom of the bus, helped us find the best way to reach our hotel in Kensington, which was breath-taking, by the way. All the quaint white-washed apartments/condos were so precious. When we finally got ahold of Molly, we went to the Tower of London and saw the King's chambers, and the torture rooms, etc. But we especially liked the Crown Jewels. They were so sparkly, and we all wanted our own multi-karat diamonds after we left. While we were wandering around, Leah strays from the pack and comes back saying, "hey guys, I think I just walked in on a play." Curiosity overcame us and we all walked into this half-empty room with a rope separating us and a small bedroom set-up. Two men stood amongst the ancient furniture in 16th century wardrobe and we wondered if they were supposed to start some kind of performance as they stared at us entering. Suddenly they start to converse with us, and I'm thinking this is against the rules. Aren't they supposed to be professional actors? They ask us where we're from and obviously make fun of me when i ask who's bed was in the corner. Insisting that the King was in Scotland at the time, I still had no idea whether they were acting or not. We were all too uncomfortable to remain in there, so we left in a hurry. My question is, what do they do when no one is in there? Do they still remain in character??

The next day, we saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Abby. They were all very picturesque, and I enjoyed just taking quick snapshots of all of them. That obviously left us more time to eat, which we did a LOT of. I know they say the food in London is gross, but if you know what you're doing and you're not attempting to purchase the "authentic" cuisine, it's actually really delicious and a lot like home. Both nights, we went out to a four story bar with a live band called O'Neills in chinatown. It was actually really fun, but the cover and drinks were so expensive. Lucky for us, English men actually buy girls drinks!! What a concept! Considering that everywhere we looked, Spanish speaking people popped up, I hope the men learned a little somethin about chivalry.

Sunday was the Sunday of all Sundays. Worst day ever!! If I could pick one day I wouldn't redo, it would be that exact day. After one of the metro lines broke down, we got to our bus to the Luton Airport (an hour outside the city). Halfway there, after chit-chatting a while, Leah and I start to feel a little down in the dumps. Even though we'd been feeling fine all day, car sickness took over and our riveting conversation turned to monotoned exclamations of, "i'm gonna vom" and "i feel terrible." We finally made it without blowing chunks on the side of the bus, and reached our gate early. After sitting in the plane for what seemed like ages (about and hour), the pilot beeps over the loud speaker and we are told that the snow is too thick and the runways are closed for the entire night. Panick struck and we tried to make a logical plan. An hour and a half later, they still hadn't let us off the plane to reschedule a flight or even get a hotel room. The oxygen seemed to be running low and my nausea was setting in again. In the United States, when something like this happens, an angry old woman or two might walk back to a flight attendant and demand that we get let out. However, Spaniards choose to treat such situations a little more.. how shall I put this... immaturely? They all decided it would be hilarious to continuously press the flight attendant call button over and over... and over again. Naturally, the flight attendants were furious, a couple fights started, and I'm still sitting there with my head between my legs.

When we were finally released, we slid/skied (in shoes) down the snowy hill to the nearest hotel and got a room. After we conversed with some very pleasant old people from England about their vacation to Egypt, I was feeling much more at ease. I enjoyed my own bottle of wine, and my worries were finally subdued. Gotta love Ryan Air.

Last but most certainly not least, Amy and I are moving! The other day, Marta came storming in our make-shift kitchen accusing us of breaking her (stupid looking) glass candle holder. I realize that a couple weeks ago, as I was fumbling around in the dark, I knocked over and broke one of her MILLION potperri holders, but does that make me a cumpulsive klutz? I think that's going a little bit too far. We attempted to tell her that we had nothing to do with it, but as our spanish abilities leaves something to be desired, we just sat there being yelled at for something we didn't do. In addition to all of that, we also came home to find that another stranger was staying in our apartment for 2 weeks -- a nice lady from France (I wish she was my seƑora). Marta proceeded to tell us that since it's getting warmer, more people will be coming in and out of here and we will eat with them every night and share this one coffin sized bathroom with her, her husband, and whoever may be filling the apt at the time. That's awkward. So this was seriously the last straw. She's rude and only does this for the money. So me and amy raised hell in the IES office and got moved to two separate apartments. Perhaps I will be able to feel clean after a shower. I've never been so excited. Goodbye igloo room.

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