Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Great Leap Sideways

After 6 months of planning, panic, and packing, I write this sitting on my couch in the fabulous cultural hot spot of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. Wikipedia tells me, amongst other things, that High Wycombe is the only place in the world that weighs its mayors as part of a quaint old custom.

Also, there's a Starbucks, and we all know how I feel about Starbucks.

So, there's mayor-weighing and Starbucks. Is there no end to my suburban bliss?

But there's also Steve, and he's wonderful, and other members of the Johnston family, including new baby Max (who I want to gently nibble on) and the actual cultural hot spot of London a mere jaunt down the road, so I'm not exactly marooned here.

I thank the lord that Steve came into London with me yesterday for my job interview, for if he hadn't, I'd probably still be forlornly staring at the Tube map and trying to figure out what to do when the Jubilee line is out of service and where, exactly, the Thames is in relation to my tears.

I keep telling myself, "I mastered a city like New York; London should be a cinch," but that's total crap. New York, with the exception of the Village, is an extremely simple grid, and the most you'll go in the wrong direction is a block until you figure out the numbers are going the wrong way.

London, on the other hand, makes the maze at Knossos look like the board of Candyland. I am sure that I'll begin to learn London's geography, given time, but right now I'm like 'That's the building that looks like a pickle,' or 'I know I've been to Hyde Park before,' but getting to and from these places, in addition to navigating the Tube, fills me with the dread of the haplessly directionless.

Also, spelling words with unmotivated U's (i.e. colour, flavour, etc) and not even spelling my OWN name correctly (it's now ELL EYE ZED thankyouverymuch) all makes me think that, even though the language is the same, I am very, very different.

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