A chronicle of movement aimed at synchronizing thoughts and keyboards with said movement.


Weekend Facts!

-- On the Tower of London (where all those nasty and exciting torture devices brought justice to traitors), it's said that if the crows that perch there ever leave, it'll be the end of the monarchy. To avert such a paradigm shift, many of the crows have had their wings clipped.

-- Notting Hill isn't so much an all-white district that allows itself to be governed by Hugh Grant; rather, it's quite a ruddy and ethnic district.

-- The most televised sport in London so far has not been football (soccer). It has been darts. And both men enter the tiny circle to the Rocky Theme.

-- The British hate the French much more than Americans ever could.

-- One of the contestants on the latest Big Brother (with Dennis Rodman!) is a Member of Parliament (MP). But because his celebrity makes other MPs wildly jealous, they are clamoring for him to return.

On for a run through Hyde Park and to Harrod's!

These are pictures:

Joe, standing in front of King William III (the one who married Mary, and inspired the thusly named college in Virginia). This castle, Kensington Castle, was where all the flowers were laid when Princess Diana died.

The Indians suffer from a very great lack of fonts on their design computers. The Irish are very quick to lend theirs, though.


The Meanest Time

Note: The camera has not accompanied me in the last two or three journeys because it has been a real bitch about reminding me.

Today was Thames River cruise day, the final in the very well-planned and confusingly executed orientation scheme of the Boston University London Internship Program. So, after imploring that we all go to Bunker Bar (this copy of a German beer club [or what the Brits would conceive it] with copies of American German-inspired beer) and giving us free drinks with our tickets, the sponsors took all 350 of us out on two river boats. The Thames is now even dirtier, though now it's full with American insides!

That was pleasant. But those of us with well-worn and hardened stomachs had the privilege of viewing the myriad of London landmarks, from Big Ben/Parliament to Tate Modern (an old power plant!), from places where a judge once sentenced criminals chained to the river bed to drown under three high tides to THE MIDDLE OF THE HEMISPHERES! Greenwich, England, home of the very aptly called Greenwich Mean Time. Aside from its very fortuitous geographical persuasion, the town also boasts an array of residences for the very rich and those whose blood courses through golden and aristocratic veins. It's quite a place.

All in all, another lovely day. I promise I'll have proof next time.


Oh and great news! The British only have five terrestrial channels -- that's what they call them: 'terrestrial!' Isn't that exciting? And more to that: more to that, even: they have to pay for TV licenses every year. It keeps BBC 1 & 2 free of commercials. So you gotta pay 126 pounds every year to be able to use your TV. If you get caught cheating, you get fined...if you get caught three times, you go to jail.


Schedule (pronounced Shed-u-wl)

Classes began today. We're here. We're residents of London, finally, stepping past the early and tremulous stage of tourism. And I even convinced the two girls downstairs (Kaylan, a buddy from BU, and Michelle, from Lafayette) to cook stir fry with me. So, for the slight cost of 20+ pounds ($36 or so), we got to save money. Lovely. And in a few hours, the Americans will raid yet another British pub (Bunker, this time -- a German bier hall, apparently). From then on, it's

The advent of classes, the renewed rigors of a schedule, offers the holy chance for expansion. With unlimited options (and a surfeit of nebulous time), life loses form. Loses initiative and direction. Now now now, I can set some time to actually find good fish and chips AND THEN go to the gym. And it's brilliant to walk around in South Ken, where the apartments fade off down streets in benign and ceaseless white.

But now, the time has come to collar-on and tighten up some jeans. Cheers!


There are no atheists in South Kensington

When the alarms sound, reverberating off each other in disastrous cacaphony, frenzy tears through the mind. What have I done wrong? Whom should I tell I love? Whom should I tell has pastoral eyes or enviable posture?

As it turns out, the alarms woke up because our Soviet roommate Nick encouraged them to do so with very poorly planned steak-cooking that birthed a cloud of smoke. The entire apartment cleared, and a group of about 25 very irritated, loud and unkempt Americans stood next to the park that serves as the focus of the oval of fog-white apartments. And then the RA on call wouldn't pick up her phone. Neither would anyone affiliated with BU. But the fire company did, and they very kindly sent a fire truck with four firemen in helmets to battle the recalcitrant smoke alarm system. But the alarms won, subduing the best button-pressing efforts of London's finest.

We eventually found keys for the alarm box in a downstairs closet. And now I'm writing this. But we're going to watch cricket or some other British fun at a sports pub in Picadilly tonight. Should be ... American.


Adventure One

We walked to Picadilly Circus/Trafalgar Square today. Over an hour hike. Brilliant.

The walk harkens back to Boston. We live a few blocks south of Kensington Gardens (where William and Mary once looked over from their palace while eating fish & chips and watching Ab-Fab on BBC2), which sits right next to Hyde Park, separated by a street, leading the mind toward comparisons between these parks and the Public Garden/Boston Common geography. And the street that serves as the top (North) border of the Garden/Park separates the well-maintained natural lands from equally well-maintained apartments and people who sip brandy while they eat fish & chips and watch Ab-Fab. Much like Beacon Street.

Anyway, the pictures have come!

This swan's neck was a snake that flowed from gaunt and limber shoulders. It later ate this woman.

Central London (and London cuisine in general) poses great danger to American pedestrians for manifold reasons, not the least of which is the direction of traffic (left side) and the pervading bloodthirst of those who compose the traffic. But secondly, and most importantly, its architecture rises in an alarming fashion:

In America, we have New York, Philly, Boston, Los Angeles, Des Moines. Buildings rocket skyward, almost beyond the realm of comprehension of humans. Tall buildings impress, but they also dizzy in a repetition benign. In London, the structures ascend along a surprising line. Something so ornate and positively kinda-modern should not stand as tall as it does. Yet, there they stand, awing like they have for more time than people have spent eating fish & chips and watching Ab-Fab.

Also, I have taken a football team! Its name is Wigan and it's really fantastic! It's No. 5 in the British Premier League this year, but it's this team of scumbags who get drunk and play soccer (football...bah) and just made it back to the Premier League this year after being banned or something for a while. They're so poor that not a single soccer store in London carries their t-shirts, according to our study that involved a sample size of one.

No one slipped.

Requesting Entry

Flying through the night and into the light was a very cool experience. Aside from the torturous jet lag, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Then we arrived in London and went through all those laborious and generally boring details of moving in: unpacking, pleasantries, grabbing a pint (Fuller's Special...very warm and pleasant with unexpectedly bold hops) buying beer, etc.

And upon first glimpse (and final impression, I presume) of Londoners, all stereotypes are true. After sitting next to a sweet Irish lady on the plane, who discussed politics, postmodernism and Houston, Tx. with me, I was prepared for a group of people who already aren't too keen on conversation -- especially with American devils. And we are American devils, especially William, a colossal Asian man with a voice like a volcanic eruption and a hatred of Russians. London waitresses don't serve you; they wait for you to leave so they can continue their conversations while their tiny and silver-haired male accomplices waltz around your table and stare at you with eyes that demand your attention and annoyance. And their food is terrible. Just such basic mistakes made in cooking: what should be hot is cold (and vice-a-versa) and sauces are choked by an abundance of mince meat that renders the product some sort of bland, tomato-sauce-resembling mush. Delicacy here, apparently

But today will be mega tourism day. I'll check back in with pictures soon, I promise.