Friday, May 2, 2008

posing with your gods

luke and i have started collecting adjectives that we use to describe our experiences in london. mine include words like "visually stunning" and "religiously enthusiastic". luke uses words like "goddamn ridiculous" (meant to be said in awe) and "con job". he doesn't know it, but i've started collecting luke-isms.

about St. Vincent's Cathedral: "It's so big. It's like two CN towers with a cross stuck on top."

about the London Tower: "It's almost as good as a Starcraft fortress. Almost."

about Jackson Pollock: "Goddamn con job."

and this is why i enjoy having luke as a travelling companion.

today we hit up the British Museum, which, to put it in the words of luke, is awesome because the British plundered everything of value in the world and stuck it in that museum. good old imperialism. there we saw the freaking Rosetta Stone (!!!), greek sculptures plundered from the parthenon and real life egyptian mummies. well, not so really living (that would be a horrow show), but actual mummies. we also saw the korean exhibit (luke: "starcraft?") and the japanese one - the japanese one was bigger and also contained some korean artifacts that they doubtlessly plundered from the korean when they were doing their imperialist thing. go figure.

we also took the time to check out city hall, the tower bridge and the london tower, which i was too cheap to go into (16 pounds, really! con job.). the best part of my day, however, was going to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and attending a theatrical production of King Lear...for five pounds! luke and i were right in the front row, up against the stage too - it was a sweet deal that appealed to my cheap korean sensisbility immensely. we were so close to the action, i was afraid that the swords were going to accidentally put my eyes out. The Globe theatre is set up like the theatres of Shakespeare's times, with an acoustic stage (no microphones), an open air concept (thank god it didn't rain), expensive-ish seats in the back and standing room for the peasants (luke and i got peasant tickets).

it was really, really great. i forgot how much i like shakespeare. we all go through this stage about how much we hate shakespeare and the way all his tragedies end the same with with the hero's fate of death and the freaking metaphors and imagery that our english teachers shoved down our throats. but away from the high school setting, you suddenly realize how accessible those plays from the 16th century can be - i look at the daughters arguing with king lear and think, who hasn't fought with their parents before? i was amazed that i could be so moved at an old, old play with people speaking in old english accents.

luke and i walked back home and it was a long long walk. i really hope that i will start losing weight soon with all this walking that i'm doing. i was hoping to do the euro-diet - lots of walking, and little eating because you have no money. unfortunately, i'm spending a lot of money of beers, because i love the London pub scene, even if half the bars seem to close before midnight. luke and i found this out the hard way when we tried to find a bar on our way home - he still refuses to go to the club Heaven with me. oh well, the sidewalk curb is just as good.

tomorrow luke and i will part when i take the train down to Brighton to meet Tay, and after that i leave britain for Madrid. hopefully i'll slow down and won't go through money so freaking fast, because i've only been travelling for a few days and have already gone through an obscene amount of money. i'll be a little sad to leave England - it really is a quaint country, despite all this never-ending rain. it was a great place to start my european journey, since it is similar enough to home that there isn't as big a culture shock. plus everyone here speaks english (even if i can't understand the british accent half the time, or what the heck "franked mail" is). i think i will be all right in Paris because i speak some french, but Madrid is going to be interesting, since my spanish skills are limited to "una cervoza por favor". hopefully it'll all work out.

let me know of any suggestions of places i must visit in madrid!