Friday, April 27, 2007

Report from London

The acting job that sends me to exotic tradeshow locales and forces me to grow a goatee dispatched me to London to entertain computer security professionals from all over Europe. It was a grand time. Mark and I travelled a few days before my official work start and fought jet lag hard to see the city for the first time. It was a blast, though I seem to have packed so much in that I am left flu-ish and with a sore throat. The sore throat is also due to being loud and talking for about 22 hours straight at the tradeshow and bad vocal training.

Some thoughts and discoveries:
  • The Thames is not as romantic as the Seine but still seems nice. I liked the Thames, and its foot bridges, and its ability to give you a scope of the city. And the South Bank with its institutions. But it's definitely not as romantic as the Seine, because, well the Seine is narrower, has cute islands, the batobus, and more uniformly pleasant architecture.
  • Fashion noticing #1: More black eyes on Sunday.
  • Celebrity Sightings: Daniel Radcliffe in Equus (And Richard Griffiths), and Tobey Maguire at the Tate Modern. Both happen to be on the cover of last weeks EW. Awesome. Also saw Madam Hooch (i know she's more than that) in The Rose Tattoo at the National Theatre. It's interesting seeing a cast of British actors perform a Tennessee Williams play about Italians in Louisiana. Some of the accents were a little all over the place, but show was good. It's fun to see a play that has 16 actors in it!
  • Favorite Thing I ate: The Indian food.
  • Least Favorite Thing I ate: The Italian food.
  • Most Expensive Thing I ate: A 15 pound (monetary unit, not weight) roast beef sandwich at Harrod's. That's 30 dollars.
  • Harrod's on no sleep is an interesting experience.
  • Fashion noticing #2: Some hipster Londoners are wearing Palestinian neck scarves out to bars and dance clubs. Like gay dance clubs. Um, hmm. Is it solidarity, or are patterns coming back?
  • The Tube is the best public transport ever. I am a firm lover of public transportation, especially when it runs on rails, and this was my favorite. Clean and yet you can drink beer on it. Reliable, fast, and the cars have smaller domed roofs. They're narrower, more intimate, and I appreciated that. I know I'm not the first one to come up with this opinion.
  • Everything is at least twice as expensive in London, except for Theater which is cheaper. Sigh. So nice to go to shows where there was a great diversity of age present at the performance. It's just something you do there.
  • New late night cab discovery: When you take the overpriced Gypsy cab after a club closes because the real cabs are nowhere to be found, you will also get a lecture about what's wrong with America, forcing you to say "uh huh....yeah...I agree" Actually, wait a minute, that's what I usually say when cabbies begin to pontificate.
  • International travel is still nice. You still get a hot towel! You don't have to pay for meals, they give you a snack, intermittent trays of drinks, they're friendly, it was great. On Mark's flight home (a couple days earlier) he became a favorite of the purser and we now have a airsick bag full shortbread and Toblerone.
  • I am begrudgingly appreciating having to pay more for "Economy Plus" on United. It still makes me angry, but I ponied up on both legs for extra legroom and it made a tremendous difference to my flight pleasure. I really don't fit into a normal seat, lengthwise. When someone reclines in front of me, my legs are jammed into the seat. I am angry that I must pay money to get more room, but I am doing so with more regularity. You got me, United! bastards.
This concludes the busy travel spring where jobs and playwriting things and one vacation sent me to Providence, New York, Orlando, Vegas, Louisville, and London. Maybe that's why i have the flu now. I am ready for some stationary time.


Anonymous serendipityhope said...

just a few words to let you know it was fun and interesting reading your report from london. i've been there a lot of times but i've never cosidered some of the things you pointed out.
ah, if you like to know how i came across your post (i know i usually i'm very curious about it) i was looking for news on Peter Equus.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Marisela said...

Wow, Peter, sounds like you had a jet-lagged blast! And very inspiring. Let's all write short plays where all the characters have black eyes!

2:53 PM  
Blogger pnachtrieb said...

oh i like that idea about the black eye play, marisela

serendipity, thanks for browsing and posting and hope Peter Equus is doing ok.

6:20 PM  

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