London Bells

What do a Broadway play, Jonny Depp, and Venus Williams, and Bruce Springsteen have in common? London!

Though getting here on British Airways was about as excruciatingly painful as any plane flight I’ve ever had, now that I am here, It is a blast.

I was stuck next to a middle aged Albanian man on the plane that reeked of cigarettes for 10 hours.  My movie screen regularly blinked and blacked out for minutes on end.  There were literally 15 children on the flight.  But the Albanian, by far, was my greatest foe.  He was a short man who chose to sit in his seat with an artificially wide stance.  Making sure that his arms spilled over the imaginary barrier of decency.  I wanted to tell him that he wasn’t fooling anyone, and I wasn’t trying to have a show down with him for planes most macho man.  I also wanted to stab him in the neck with a pencil because every time he breathed, I tasted his rotten mouth.

I wasn’t ready for how curious the English, but was more than pleasantly surprised.  All I have ever heard about the English in recent years is how they Kill each other at Football games and how relentless Pikes can be.  I guess the reason I have been hearing all the bad press is it is more interesting than the age old (after they got over the whole imperialism stage) standard of courtesy and manors. This combined with coming from China lead to a feeling of home.

Even though London is a lot different than home for me, it is so much more familiar than China that I must be at Christmas Eve dinner with the whole family.

I was warned that London is one of the most international towns in the world and every time I would think of America’s identity being a melting pot.  But I have to say that this place crushes America in the melting pot department.  On the bus you can hear people speaking a whole slew of languages.  Outside of the Bruce Springsteen concert that I went to, there were 5 different groups of people preaching their beleifes to the passer byers.

I know it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, but since I have been here, I have been sneezing like it is the middle of spring.  This place has so much pollen at the moment, and the sun is out in full force.

Yesterday, I went to Wimbledon in full English fashion and sat in the most beautifully orchestrated line for 3 hours.  Once inside, I ate strawberries and crème and watched some of the professionals play ball under the 85 degree heat.  I don’t even like tennis, but I though, “What better way to experience a country then by attending one of their major sporting events?”  It was as classy as you would imagine it, and now I can rub it in all the old men’s faces that I’ve been there.  We had, of course, peasant’s tickets so we couldn’t watch any of the main events like Venus Williams, or that Fedderer guy.  But we were able to get very close to some of the lesser know players.

That night we went to a surprisingly contemporary play by the name of “Avenue Q” which addressed all of the the everyday problems that a 20 something year old might have.  The medium were Muppet characters and the message was right on.  I endorse this play!  But before we made it to the play we stumbled upon Jonny Depp’s red carpet event of “Public Enemies” in Westminster.  I thought to myself, “Wow, everything is happening all at once in this town.”

All in all it has been a great first 36 hours here.  Today I am going to take a walk down the famous spots in the city.  Should be a blast.

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