Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's Almost Christmas! 8 days...

This week has flown by. I think every week will from now on. I have been here nearly two months now, and it feels like no time at all. I really don’t know what to think. I need to work to live, I definitely don’t live to work, but at the same time, 9 to 5 is just crappy. I miss my friends still, Kristen and I talk all the time still, and I still have doubts about me having significant changes, I analyze myself a lot to see if I have different feelings, but really I think this is something that I will just have to work out when I get home. I know it’s not something that I am going to feel as it happens… but I over-analyse… anyway…

Monday I started the day at work, but being bored I decided to go to Wikipedia and edit the Fort Mackinac page (everything on the page in the section on Modern History is mine, also I added the section on the Springfield 1873 Model, yea I’m a dork, but I roxor). After work I headed home to have an in-night to do laundry, I opened a bottle of wine (Beaujolais Nouveau 2005) and drank the whole thing in the night, while watching a movie. It was a relaxing night to be sure.

The next day after work Andy, Stephanie, GP, Amanda and I headed to the Albery theatre to see Patrick Stewart in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. I didn’t know what to expect, but there were no sets, no actors, nothing, just Patrick Stewart, the stage, a chair, a stool, a table, and a desk. It was incredible. I had flashbacks to Jim Dale, because Stewart did all of the characters himself! He acted out the whole book, doing voices for each character, blocking out their motions and even dancing and singing while pretending to do a reel and play a fiddle very poorly. He really did some incredible work. After the show Amanda commented (for she’d seen more shows than I, this being my first London show) that in London they don’t give standing ovations, and that this was the first she’d seen since arriving. We discussed the differences between American theatre and British theatre over a bitter at the Cambridge, quickly becoming our favourite West End pub, and then all of us parted and headed home.

Wednesday was the Christmas dinner for work, after working during the day I headed downstairs around 4:45 to say farewell to an American BUNAC-er I hardly knew… she was the one who had given me the confidence to admit my patriotism at the office (by giving me a little flag to put on my desk, I taped it to my display by the little plastic mast). She was very nice, her name was Susana and she did not want to go home, her flight was the next morning. We all began to drink wine out of little plastic cups, and then headed over to the dinner on The Cut (a street in Southwark where I work, pronounced: Suth-urk) at a Turkish food place. It was excellent, and the Brits and I chatted about everything except work! We talked about the service in America vs. Britain, the differences between what people expect of their services; including bagging your own groceries. They don’t want them bagged!! The groceries here you bag yourself… just so you know, and they like that control, they can make sure the eggs are not crushed and that things that go in the same cupboard are together, et cetera. We chatted for a few hours, even after dinner had come and gone, and many bottles of wine had been consumed. It was all great fun, and around 930 I left and went to the BUNAC pub meet. There I chatted with the group of friends that always go to the meets and hung out with Christian (the BUNAC guy) before we all headed home for an early night.

Thursday was another good day at work, Anne is out sick unfortunately, but this means that instead of being her bitch I am everyone else’s. I took notes on the QAA for Mary on Wednesday (That was 3 hours of my life spent writing notes that I then typed up Thursday). After work I went for a walk while listening to Harry Potter 6 (Amazing!) and ended up walking from Southwark to Paddington before I was through… I passed Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Jubliee bridge, and even went through Hyde Park and out the other side before Amanda called me back. I had promised Amanda that we’d have our date out, so we met at Tottenham Court Road, but couldn’t think of anything to do, so per usual ended up wandering and talking about Ross, Kristen, London, life, and all of the other great topics we talk about. I think without Amanda I would be truly alone with my thoughts, but we can definitely get them out when we’re together; I think it is just brilliant.

~~~~ …Deep thoughts with Trace and Amanda… ~~~~

Amanda and I discussed over dinner tonight the feelings we’d had about ‘becoming more English.’ So, when you all think, “what a poser! Look at him musing words like ‘Brilliant’ or ‘centre’ or ‘spot on’ et cetera, it’s not something I am trying to do. It’s something that happens. Amanda said to me at random over dinner, “Do you find yourself thinking in British?” I of course cried my agreement, and we both laughed and talked about it for a while. We definitely have begun this long road to integration into the culture. These new words that everyone uses are falling into our vocab just as if we were living in Spain and beginning to use Spanish. Very strange, and sometimes I slip back and forth. I say ‘basil’ both ways and get chastised for being a “poser,” but I don’t think that’s the case. I am not trying to say it right or wrong, just the trying to say the damn word. In my head it says it British, but when it comes out of my Midwestern mouth, it’s all… yucky. I don’t expect you to understand, but these are my thoughts, take it of leave it.

After wandering for a long time we headed back to Bayswater (a big loop for me as that I was just on that end of town. We went to her flat so I could drop my bag and Ruthie as there (she’s staying over while waiting for her flight back) and she offered us free Godiva chocolate!! HOLY CRAP! Free Truffles! Amazing. So good. We tore ourselves away from the free mouthgasms in little chocolate packaging, and headed to Whiteley’s (the mall) and went to an Italian place. In this Whiteley’s there is a Christmas tree, and you all have seen it before. Want to see it again? Watch LoveActually, it’s the one they show when they are telling how many weeks until Christmas. It’s very beautiful. We ate at this really good Italian place and for the first time in weeks we ate without having to talk over music, rush our pace, or anything. We relaxed, took a long time to order, to eat, and to enjoy each other’s company. It was fab. We ate, had cokes, and split a tiramisu that actually had rum in it… not an American thing to drizzle alcohol on the cake when the recipe clearly says to… prudes… We talked forever and laughed and shared thoughts and feelings, I think I am just as much of an outlet for her as she is for me. We’re a good pairing for friends that’s for sure. I hope I don’t lose her to Ross when he gets here, but I don’t think I will, Ross seems like he’s going to be really cool. I am excited that she is so happy that he’ll be here soon (11 days). Dinner being over, we got our cheque and I left for home after grabbing my bag. A great night… this has been a good week, and this weekend will be way chilled out.

I have been feeling apprehensive; I am habituating to these new surroundings. I am getting used to seeing monuments and beautifully intricate architecture around every corner. I don’t want to get like that; I force myself not to look at the sidewalk, to see the city for what it is, in its beauty, but when you live there…

I try really hard. I will win this fight. I live in London, but that doesn’t mean I have to become so engrossed in being a Londoner I forget that there is nothing like it. Nowhere.

1 comment:

Litzner said...

a thought on your deep thought:
picking up on mannerisms of where you are is something that happens. Just think back to May when you, me, Steph, and Katie were doing the overnights with the Neganne (sp?) kids. you know how you pick up on accents and stuff like that. It all has to do with your environment and your acceptance with that environment...thats just my thought on your thoughts. If anyone ever gives you shit about it, tell em to fuck off. :o)