Day 1 – 3 Vancouver – Amsterdam – Cambridge International flight is at once a marvelous, awe-inspiring thing, whilst giving a minor headache. It felt like I was in a space capsul, looking over the clouds at the curvature of the earth, seeing nothing but stars at night, as the jet turbines carried me and a couple hundred others through an inhospitable climate and across the Atlantic to the old world. KLM Airlines served almost endless free alcohol: beers, mini wine bottles, liqour, whiskey on the rocks. But not sleeping for 36 hours hurts, so I drank half a glass. When I landed the next morning in Amsterdam Airport nine hours later, it was hard to imagine it was 11pm in Vancouver. But really, I wasn’t too impressed because I was/am so jet lagged and tired. So I immediatley went for a beer with Graham and his co-worker when I finally got off the London Underground and train in Cambridge.
All the rumours are true, Holland is as flat as a pancake. As for England, where I am staying at Graham’s lovely first-floor suite right now, it’s nearly as flat. It’s also more narrow than Canada. Cambridge, which is about the population of Victoria, has about 120 pubs. They’re kinda like our pubs, but a couple centuries older. And more narrow. The cars are small, cute and plastic. And tell your friends: people in Canada have been driving on the wrong side of the road for years! Beer costs about 2 pounds (4.50 CAN). The Tube cost 3 pounds. A restaurant meal, which I wont’ have, is about 10 pound, minimum. And pounds are called quid.
Spent today, Sept 4., walking around Cambridge with Graham. Saw the 600-year-old Kings College as well as St. Johns. Amazing fan vaulting in Kings, largest of its type. Man, to go to school there. You’re not allowed to walk on the grass unless you’re a senoir. Elitism has more than just your obvious perks.
Oh, and yes, people speak all types of British dialects here, lots of points for cool there. And the Tube in London was nice, though when I blew my nose a few hours later, the usual stuff came out plus a lot of black soot. Subtract a few points: wouldn’t call the people particularly friendly here, but then again, when you do talk to one, points for that accent.
Next stop, Athens!