Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Post About My Last Few Days (Massive)

The last week has been a combination of uneventful days spent job hunting or adventuring with our newfound friend Jen, or like last night, an amazing night out at a shitty club! Let’s go back to last Friday, because that is as far back as I can recall without help...

Last Friday was the first night that Jen (our new roommate) had been here, and we decided it was time to go out to a pub and celebrate. We met Marissa, James, Morgan, and some of their friends (for the first time since the pub meet) at the Angel tube stop and went to a couple of pubs. The night was fun, and we ended up having a night bus adventure to actually get home because by the time we left the pub we’d been hanging out at (the Parr Head) we didn’t get to the tube station in time for the last train!! It was not so good plus the train was delayed so seriously that even if we were going to try there was no way we’d catch our connecting train… The announcer guy at the Tube station came over the P.A. and said, “a drunken passenger is holding up the train at…” and then later came on and said, “Once again, a fellow drunken passenger is holding up the train at…” and all the drunks in the platform (of which there were more than a few) kid of seemed offended and shouted things like, “Whaatss he traayin’ ta say?!” After another 10 minutes he came on and sang, “The Last Northbound Train is on it’s waaaaay!” and he just kept singing about the train for a few minutes. It was hilarious, in the Top Five Transportation Moments of Trace’s Trip that so far is definitely in there. We finally made it to Euston and then Jen and I had to walk everywhere trying to find out about bus tickets and how to get to Willesden Green! We asked 5 people and got 5 different answers, but eventually found out we needed to take a bus to Oxford Circus and then catch another bus from there to Willesden. We got home around 3am but the adventure was worth it… just wait until the next one… J

Saturday was Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes was a guy who in like the 1600s attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, using a helluva lot of gunpowder. He failed, but for some reason the crazy English here think it is a reason to celebrate! Maybe there is more to the story that I don’t know, but I researched it on the net and that’s basically all it said. I find as I travel that people in other countries are just as aloof about their holidays and the meaning behind them as Americans. They say that Europeans know more history in general then Americans, I would saw that is possible, mostly because they are still living in the building that was part of history, but at the same time their grasp of modern history (outside of wartime history: WWII etc.) seems to be just as limp. Anyway, Jen (our new roommate), Andy, Amanda, and I went to meet James, Morgan, and Marissa for fireworks in Victoria Park because we’d heard it was the place to go.

We got off the tube and walked for about 10 minutes, hearing fireworks and loud pops, whizzes, and bangs, going off all around us. We walked and walked, met a few people who were also going there, and they asked us how to get there, we had no idea. We finally saw a huge fence and wall and beyond it what looked like carnival rides! There were flashing lights and candy floss (cotton candy) and security guards looking for alcohol at the gate (this was a sober night so far) and we met the others and began walking toward a 3 story tall building surrounded by a large crowd of people… it was a copy of the Parliament building… we could see where this was going. On top of the building was what I read later was called a Guy. You set the Guy on fire and he sets the building aflame, and they did. The whole massive building was soon in flames and pieces of it were collapsing and causing more heat and light. As the face of Big Ben fell off you could see that it wasn’t just designs on the front of the clock tower, it was a skeleton and the clock face was hiding the skull, pretty cool actually. Everyone was cheering and as the clocktower fell the fireworks started. They were really big and beautiful, and they lasted about 20 minutes or more. All in all a good time was had. We waited around after the show and then walked up toward the front where the bonfire had been and it was even bigger up close, most of the fire had burned down to coals so I said, “Oh man, imagine what I could cook with those!” referring, of course, to Dutch oven cooking, the others laughed as me, as they should. We made our way toward the exit, but Andy wanted candy floss so we waited for probably over a half an hour while he fought the non-existent line (more of a mass of people really) to get to the front and get some candy floss. Then we left to go to James and Marissa’s flat so they could change and then go to get a beer.

The adventure to their flat (in Zone 3 on the border of Zone 4) was fairly boring Heather joined us as we left their flat back out to drink and then walked a while to get to the pub we wanted to visit. We found a place that fit so I quoted Ernest Hemingway and stated, “This is a ‘clean well-lighted place’ as Ernest Hemingway would say,” some people laughed, I think mostly out of confusion. We had a couple of beers and then it was last call so we went home. Unfortunately even though I peed as we left the pub, it was such a long journey that I had to pee again by the time we got on the Jubilee line, of which we had to ride nearly the entire line to get to Willesden, we got on at Stanmore, the opposite terminus. So as I was holding it, sitting on what Jen and I knew to be the very last train of the night, my pain increased more and more, Jen tried talking to me and carrying on a conversation, but that wasn’t working, I tried not thinking about it, I even tried playing cell phone games, but to no avail. When the train stopped at Kilburn, just one stop from W.G., I was in so much pain I could hardly stand; I had never had to pee this bad in my entire life. It was horrible, and then the train had the audacity to continue its pattern of delays, and we sat at Kilburn for about 5 or 6 minutes when I said, “I am going to go find a loo and we both got off.” I practically ran out of the station, found a yard with bushes and peed for a good 2 minutes… which is a really long time for a guy to pee. Then as I came out of the yard, the train left the station, and we started our second adventure, walking to W.G. and talking about all sorts of things.

Then came Sunday… One of the greatest days of the trip… it was Harry Potter Day. I woke up at around 1125, got dressed prepared my bag, and Jen and I left for Leicester Square. We got there and got into the main fencing around 1230, just after which they stopped letting people in where we were. There were already hundreds of people there, and they were still in the process of decorating everything and getting ready for the premiere that night. We waited around, Amanda came, but couldn’t get in the fencingL, Marissa showed up, and then Alex showed up with Anne and Shawna, but they didn’t get there until 4ish.

Finally, at 5 o’clock the ‘stars’ were due to arrive, but come 530 they’d done a lot of talking over the PA but we didn’t have anyone recognizable that we could see yet. After this time gets fuzzy, we were no longer concerned about the clock, or the drizzling rain, because there were the people that we could recognize! All in all I saw a number of the stars from the movie at least a dozen, maybe more and I didn’t even know, but I saw the 5 people who will be in the Tri-wizard Tournament, and even saw some people I didn’t expect, like Robbie Coltrane, and the kid from Willy Wonka/Finding Neverland. The premiere ended around 7 when all the stars when inside to see the film and we went to the Mexican restaurant next door. It was very tasty and I was still a bit wound up from standing in one spot all day, but it was fun, if not a little pricy, afterward we all went home for an early night, and I posted all my pictures on my blog and tried to make everyone from Amber Smith to Jacqui, to Lynn Claus to Kristen jealous of my trip… and I did it superbly.

Monday was uneventful at most during the day. A trip to the BUNAC office, that we have now become experts at finding, and a call to the South Bank Uni. people to see about the job… no response, so I left a voicemail. After BUNAC we went to the bank to get that all worked out something that I have yet to do again today so I can deposit money, and then out to see Amanda and top-up my phone. The day ended with Andy, Amanda, and I going to get some food and then heading down to the Walkabout in Soho to meet a friend of Andy’s brother-in-law. We couldn’t get into the walkabout because it was couples night, but eventually when Alex, Shawna and Anne showed up we had enough girls to go in and we all paid the £3 cover so we could get the £1 pints. It was extremely crowded and loud, there were people who staked out little claims for their bags and wouldn’t let you walk through them, people who were moving in a pattern of what I could only assume was dancing but there was too much finger snapping and no arm motion, finally one of the girls that came with Alex found a downstairs where it was much less crowded. We headed down and it was great! There was a dance floor that was not too crowded at all, and the only problem was that you couldn’t get £1 pints, just bottles. That was fine with me, I didn’t want to get too drunk, but after a while we were all dancing and having a great time, Andy especially. I danced a lot with Alex and Amanda, we had a lot of fun, it was so hot and sweaty, but so much fun!! Around, 1230 I left to walk Amanda home, said goodnight, and then walked back to the Walkabout to meet Andy and take the night bus. We grabbed the N98 all the way back home and walked a short way home (stopping for £1 chips). I checked my email and found out that I had a Job Interview on Thursday with the South Bank Uni. people!! Frickin’ Sweet! I was very excited; I really hope to get the job.

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