Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Re-Britainning

Yeah, yeah. You're just sick of hearing about my upcoming trip to England. But I'm not tired of writing about it and it's my blog. So there.

Having found some decent guidebooks, I've been doing some reading and making mental notes about places I might want to go. The best one so far is Let's Go London, which is surprisingly engaging. I have actually found myself just reading it instead of looking for specific things. It contains all sorts of tips and tricks for all sorts of things: not getting robbed, the best ways to get around the city quickly, internet cafes, day trips outside the city, and even finding work as a volunteer once you get there. It's pretty detailed: the restaurant section not only includes average prices for meals, but at what times to go to best avoid crowds and little pieces of color about the decor or the proprietor. They also have lists of little ideas broken out in digest form in sidebars for quick reference (my favorites so far are "Best Place To Be Trampled To Death," "Best View/Stairs Ratio," and a series of "Local Legend" sidebars which features an icon depicting the Loch Ness Monster and articles about such things as preserved corpses on display (and what may or may not have happened to the missing original head).

The more I read about London, the more I feel like not having an itinerary is the way to go. My guess is that I'll try to knock off some big tourist-y things in the first couple of days so I can spend the rest of the trip exploring smaller stuff in more detail.

Still can't make up my mind about whether or not to go to Liverpool. Obviously, there are some compelling reasons for me to go, all of them musical, but the logistics are a bit more complicated than they should be. It looks as though it would be cheaper (and less travel time) to take a day trip to Paris than Beatletown. Plus I really can't see how visiting the Cavern Club is gonna make me appreciate the Beatles more.

I've also been brushing up on the language differences. The most surprising thing I learned is that "fanny" is not the same over there. They use that term for the female reproductive area. So my plan is to use this word in the American sense a lot, ideally in a loud southern accent while demanding some sort of service (Y'all got any English muffins? And bring me some ice, for chrissakes! My fanny is killing me!). Over the years I've picked up enough to know the difference between a snog and a shag, what they mean by boot, bonnet, lorry, torch, lift, flat, jumper, knackered, mate, loo, petrol, bird, bloke, queue, and fortnight (trunk of a car, hood of a car, truck, flashlight, elevator, apartment, sweater, tired, male friend, bathroom, gasoline, female, male, standing in line or the line itself, two weeks). And that a Mac isn't just my computer, it's a raincoat.

And in case I need to apply my snog/shag knowledge, a rubber is an eraser.

No comments: