Thursday, November 22, 2007


I´ve been in Barcelona for 3 hours now and here´s whats happened.

At the airport in Luton four old ladies - the youngest of whom was easily in her 50´s and called another one "Mum" - were checking in before me. They were having a problem with one of the suitcases because it was mysteriously shaking. The "mum," with no embarrassment in her voice, proudly exclaims, "Oh, it must be my vibrator." This led the other old ladies, all easily 70-years-old, to discuss how they hoped their vibrators didn´t go off too or else they might be out of batteries by the time they got to Spain. (I swear I´m not making this up). The friendly woman checking me in was laughing so hard that she gave me a free Ryan Air "Priority Boarding" pass so I got to get on the plane first and choose my seat. It´s like getting up graded to the first class in an aerial cattle car because you had to spent check in dry heaving.

When I got on the plane I chose and exit seat because it has the most leg room. The plane slowly filled up and eventually a man asked me if anyone was sitting next to me. This man was probably 45-years-old and wearing a flourescent orange running jersey, and he was traveling with a normal looking woman who was about the same age. The woman clearly wanted to sit in the back, but the man had his eyes on the leg room that I was enjoying. The man sat down and the woman went to the back. The man then chased the woman down, brought her back, made her sit in the exit row and spent about 45 minutes trying to convince her of the advantage of having more leg room. Now, before we took off this little man had to get out of his seat roughly 6 times. This was perhaps the quarter mark of the 24 times I actually had to let him out. I didn´t mind letting him out of our little isle though because for the 3 minutes when he would go to the bathroom or rummage in the overhead bin he wouldn´t be snogging the woman he was with. For most of the flight I had a forty-something couple necking next to me.

I get to Barcelona and on the way down my ears don´t pop. This has become known as Brandon Till Syndrome and once led to an ear drum rupturing. I take a bus to Barcelona and now I have to find a place to sleep. Apparently at 25 I don´t have enough foresight to book a hotel in advance. So I find some free maps in the bus station and find the metro. Unfortunately, the metro is closed so I have to take a cab. I figure this is ok because I don´t really know where I´m going anyway. My cabbie doesn´t speak English, but with my broken Spanish I´m able to communicate that I need a bed. He offers for me to sleep in his taxi for 20 euro. I´m not sure if he was kidding, but I have reason to believe he would have let me. I get in the cab and he does´t turn on the meter. I repeatedly ask him to, but he says "No Problem." That much English he knows. At the end of the cab ride he tells me I owe him 20 euro.

Sorry I´m out of time on the computer in the hostel. But more to come. It has 2 prostitutes in it!

So now that I´m in Barcelona I´m dealing with that and I decide, at 1.30 in the morning, to find a pharmacy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tottenham Hotspur

I am a Tottenham Football fan. (By this I mean, of course, that I support Tottenham Hotspur in soccer.) The strange thing is, I don't know why I support Tottenham. I know that I had no allegiance to any English Premier League team before I came here, and it would make sense to support Arsenal who trains near where I live and is the top team right now (when I started supporting Tottenham they were third worst), or even to support Chelsea who's stadium is not far away and is a top three team, but I whole heatedly support Tottenham.

I can't tell you where Tottenham is on a map, why they are called Hotspur, name a single player on the team, or even tell you the color of the Tottenham jersey. Admittedly, I have never seen them play a game. But for some reason it feels like I have always been a Tottenham fan. In actuality I decided I was a Tottenham fan on Sunday, October 28, but I'm not sure I can vividly remember a time when I didn't support Tottenham. I suppose when you know something is right, it's right, and it's been right forever even if it wasn't realized.

So GO SPURS! I hope our best player scores many goals in the next match against whomever we are playing, and I hope my team wears those one jerseys I will inevitably like, and I hope to be watching it while sitting in The Bull (my favorite pub) surrounded by other life long Tottenham fans.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Controlable Urges (with parentheses)

I'm not sure why, but lately I've had the urge to do the following things:

1. Throw a chair across the room as a dramatic statement. (See Bob Knight.)

2. Drop kick someone. (I think this would be a really powerful fighting maneuver, especially as an unprovoked attack.)

3. Sing karaoke. (But this is nothing new.)

4. Laugh when I see people's underwear, especially thongs. (Like the fit teacher who showed her entire class her black thong during a morning prayer.)

5. Embrace the American lifestyle. (We all go into boxes . . .)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tape of Love

I don't remember what possessed me to paint my room in the first place, but at this point I have to think that the reason my bedroom is half green and half white is because of insane customs laws in Belgium.

I was fortunate enough to spend the half-term break with my Uncle in Belgium. He works for Master Card (yet for some reason my entire extended family uses Visa) and happened to have a business trip to Brussles the same week that I had off. A few days before I leave this country I get a good number of Polish and German people drunk in my room and, as Polish and German people won't to do, we start rearranging furniture. This leads to talk of painting the room, and somehow, one day later, I am painting my room green.

When I leave for Belgium the next day my room is half-green and half-white so on my way out of Belgium I buy three rolls of masking tape at a stationary store so I can do what has been called Polish edges (clearly I have no idea how to paint a room).

Now, I fail to consider the incredible risk of me bringing such an amount of tape on an international flight, and when going through airport security all three rolls are confiscated. I can understand taking away the expensive perfume away from the girl in front of me, Ryan Air doesn't want fresh smelling airplanes, but I am a bit surprised to see my masking tape is also illegal.

At first I was upset. After all, I'd only owned this tape for 10 minutes. But as I think about it more, I think that the woman who took my tape at the security check was paying me a compliment. She looked at me and apparently thought that I was capable of hijacking an entire aircraft with only three rolls of tape. I figure it is either that, or any pilot who's plane is taken from him/her by a guy armed with masking tape would never live it down, so as to not potentially embarrass the pilot, no tape is allowed.

So enjoy your flight, but don't plan on taping anything along the way.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

14lbs to a Stone

I was talking to a teacher today who was commenting on how small one of her students is. She asked, "Sophie, how many stone are you."

To which Sophie's reply was, "Six."

Now, I have come to value tradition slightly less than the average person, but to still measure in stone is just unreasonable. Alright, time to get my 12.5 stone frame to bed.