Un bleuet loin du fjord

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The trip to England

(La version française est plus bas parce que dans un billet séparé)

OK, this time I'll try to translate quicker than last. EDIT: it's been a little over two weeks now. I guess I'm either slow or busy. Here's a set of excerpts from our travel log to England.

August 28, 2007 Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK

"While Kitchener used to be called Berlin and was colonized by Germans, the local HSBC branch seems to only employ descendants of the fat and lazy British lord who gave his name to the town."

"What idiot would buy 400 mL of "maple syrup" from the Waterloo region for 20 bucks when the real thing costs five times less?"

"We took the taxi to the hotel. The people at the reception were slow and incompetent (can I get the key to my room and not just a receipt?)."

"We finally found the rest of the family, and, completely zombie, went to eat (nachos) at a local pub. We met Caroline's sister (a baco-vegetarian), then I went back to the hotel while the rest went to Mark's & Expensive."

"Tomorrow morning we're going back to the pub as breakfast there (remark lost in translation omitted) is cheap (£ 2.10 for a traditional English breakfast, something we didn't get 19 years ago)."

August 30, 2007, 10:09 MILTON KEYNES

"We took the non-virgin train to London. [...] We passed by the University College of London (UCL without an A for those familiar with the place), institution with a somewhat redundant name which includes the Institute for Public Health and Tropical Diseases (or something like that), where Liz, a colleague at McGill, found a job. The British Museum looks a lot like the British Museum of 19 years ago, but it's a little bit bigger and fancier. It's free and full of tourists as always. But there are more exhibits as well, like stuff on Japan (apparently the Sengoku Jidai doesn't exist) and Asia [...] with "popular goddesses" with big tits (it's no surprise that they're popular) and gods with 34 arms copulating with the aforementioned godesses."

"We then walked on Oxford Street (sort of a local St-Catherine) all the way to Hyde Park. It was like being in a cartoon, with perpetually recycled backgrounds [...] and some dude offering you a free London Paper every 20 meters."

"We got back to Milton Keynes to realize that the nightlife was comparable to that of Waterloo (the excitement was palpable)."

August 31, 2007, 11:34 MILTON KEYNES

"We went to the local mall (Midsummer something, because the sun rises right in between the arches or something like that on the summer solstice. Stonehenge was built like that 5000 years ago so bravo for the novel concept there" (sic I neither closed the parenthesis or put a period at the end of that sentence. I blame these punctuation mistakes on the cold I had at the time)

"...old Englishmen chatting is more bucolic [than St-Jacobs]"

"Then, an enormous one-legged pachyderm in a wheelchair went to buy an ice cream cone. The unnatural creature was slow and massive, monstrous, voracious and probably diabetic. Its remaining leg had gooey green spots growing on its knee. I lost my appetite. [...] We bought donuts at Marks & Spencer. They were better than Tim Horton's but too sweet (with granulated sugar, like buns)."

September 1st, 2007, 11:24AM, Milton Keynes

"We had breakfast at Wetherspoon again. I had the pancakes (like my bro, apparently), big mistake: they were dry, hard and too sweet."

"... almost beat... Estelle's record for tardiness."

"...Then, we took a trip in a French car, through the narrow British roads and numerous roundabouts, to Buckingham (not the Palace). [...] The tables had city names on them instead of numbers (cute)[...]"

September 2, 2007, 2PM Somewhere above Newfoundland

"After the wedding, we only had one day to visit England, so we had to settle for London (or Londinium, or rather LONDINIVM as the ancient Romans would say) [...] After a shower and half a banana each, we took the train to London-Euston (not Oiston). First attraction we had to visit: Madame Tussaud's wax museum and its hour and a quarter(+) lineup. [...] At $50 for two (£25 with a 2-for-1, thank you Silverlink trains), it's not cheap to step on each others toes just to get a picture of oneself next to an oversized candle with, say, Buffy's blonde hairdo."

(about the city tour) "...It allows you to see all the important places, from a certain distance sometimes [...], you get stuck in traffic. And detours (they call them "diversions" there, and there are no "EXIT" signs like in the rest of civilization, only "Way Out", don't ask me why)(last random comment: English girls like the guidoune style a little too much)[...] We didn't get to see St-Paul's cathedral. Oh well."

"...we arrived at Gatwick in 2 hours (only one to Heathrow), while watching the constellation of Orion before sunrise. Gatwick was packed and chaotic[...]"

"With our headphones, a "free gift" from our city tour, we didn't have to pay $5 to watch Spider-Man 3 on our little personal screens. That movie sucks a lot more than the first two [...]"

End of the excerpts

And now for a few things I didn't mention: the small church in Loughton dates back to the thirteenth century, and its caretaker is an old man we all suspect to be a vampire. He was very quick to close the church after the wedding. In fact, he locked in the chapel what was supposed to be the centerpiece for the table at the reception in Buckingham, undoubtedly to use it later for some necromantic rituals. And the Brits have more varied local accents than there are foreign accents in Toronto, and they are even more incomprehensible. And I thought I'd be prepared after spending years at McGil... But even English people don't understand each other sometimes. And my degree of separation to Patrick Stewart is now down to 2 (from 3 that it was probably, actually it was probably 2 already, thanks Neelix).

Oh yeah, there are photos on Flickr for those who don't have a Facebook account.

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  • One weird remnant of the trip to England is that I keep getting dreams I'm driving on the left side of the road... :|

    By Blogger Eugenie, at 10/23/2007 01:23:00 am  

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