Saturday, September 13, 2008

Penzance, Cornwall, UK

Bloody brilliant Britain! It's just like the US - they have the Simpsons and speak English - except that they have funny terms for things that I have decided to adopt as my own (probably to the chagrin of friends and family). We're not getting gas, we're getting petrol. You don't rent or check out books or movies, you hire them. French fries are chips and chips are crisps. Everything is brilliant and/or lovely. And it's pronounced gay-ra ge, not garage. I love it. I mean, it's brilliant. And I think I'm getting pretty good at it. Today, I told Kelly that I was going to the loo, instead of saying that I was going to the crapper. I feel more sophisticated already.

It's almost kind of mind blowing in how similar and yet different it is. The grocery store here looks like any that you would find in America but go inside and all of the products are different (except for Coke and Budweiser) or almost different. Bitters, anyone?

The weather, as one would stereotypically think, has consisted of at least some rain and gray every single day. Everyone has said that this has been very unusual weather - but I don't buy it. They didn't get the reputation for nothing. The first day we were in London and walked around in the rain. We loitered around Buckingham Palace just long enough to realize that the Queen was not going to ask us in out of the downpour for a spot of tea.

That first night in London was also our first couchsurfing experience and it was lovely. Davina was wonderful and very easy going. Completely welcomed us as strangers into her flat (that means "apartment"). After Indian food in Greenwich (there is a lot of Indian food here - but no Mexican!), we watched Ugly Betty with her.

It's good that we watched TV because we were both severely jet-lagged. Kuwait Airlines is great, by the way. It offers a sort of surreal feeling in the 70s - the upholstery, massive TV monitors and unsettling shaking (of everything) on take off and landing. Plus, it was fun because half of the announcements were in Arabic. I'm pretty sure that one of them was about me - instructing everyone to turn to their right to laugh and snicker at my neck pillow. Thankfully, KA (as I like to lovingly refer to it as) is not the most popular of all airlines and we had some space to spread out and for me to enjoy my neck pillow. Suckers!

What I also love about Britain are the accents and the fact that there are breasts and swearing on normal TV. It rules! We are so uptight in the States. The other night, Kelly and I watched a show called Someone Else's Breast Milk. Yup, there were plenty of breasts in it. Go UK!

A few day ago, Kelly and I hopped a bus to Land's End on the Cornwall Peninsula. We were surprised to find out when we got there that, in fact, it is not a big outlet mall but, rather, the most westerly place in all of Britain. No GAP outlet but it was still cool. We walked along perilous cliff side coastal pathways (that would never have been allowed in the US) that were just breathtaking. The area actually reminded me of the Shire from LOTR. I kept looking out for Bilbo Baggins but, instead, we came across that pig that hated Kelly's jacket.

And that has been the UK so far. Up next. . . more rain.

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