- Not getting run over. There is a serious problem here with people driving on the wrong side of the road. Such a severe problem they have posted signs for pedestrians that say 'Look Left!' I nearly became a hood ornament for a very large truck about two minutes after I got off the Tube.
- Not getting unalteringly lost. We Yankees are used to grids of streets and the quaint notion of street signs rather than the occasional street name (a what is a 'mews' anyway?) posted on the side of a building. Maps are futile, and the GPS in my phone searched and loaded and then came back with an error message saying 'Fuck it, have another beer, mate.'
- Not goofing on accents. Very hard not to launch into a bad fake accent and start calling everyone 'love' and 'guv'nuh.' Do NOT want to get punched. Perhaps after one more beer, though.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tales of the road, Part 2
At The Crown & Anchor, Covent Garden, London
January 25, 2011
My unerring sense of direction, which I always mention just before becoming deeply lost, is failing me on the streets on London.
In a normal world I can parse out north-south-east-west from the position and angle of the sun. A normal world, however, does not have a pewter sky that gives no clue as to the position and angle of the sun, and, in fact, makes one suspect that the sun has, at last, burned out. And so I wander through curving cobbled streets, cheerfully baffled, and stop to puzzle over every streetside map. Thankfully, The Magic Beer will make it all better.
What's that? You don't know of The Magic Beer? Draw nigh, child, and let me fill you up - fill you in, I mean. The Magic Beer is an event that can only occur when one is on vacation - or 'on holiday' as they say here (and as you can see I am quickly learning this foreign tongue.) The Magic Beer always happens around 2:00 pm local time, at that moment when you've walked your legs down to bloody stumps and a wolfed-down lunch is heavy in your gut and your spirits are flagging. The Magic Beer - one pint is the prescribed amount - sets the world to rights again.
A few hours later at the Fitzroy Tavern, Bloomsbury
Day 1 in London: The Major Challenges