Good afternoon, kickers, sorry again for the late blog but I spent half the morning chasing a pipe dream. I went to bed last night with the television left on “Friends” and awoke with quite a start to the sound of jackhammering at 8:30am sharp. Seems that not only do I get complimentary wifi (at £5 a day) I also have an 8:30am wakeup call!
Fuck it.. I rolled out of bed and now that I’ve paid for wi-fi in my room *shakes a tiny fist at the world* even though I didn’t need to *shakes an even bigger fist at the world* I thought I might check out some really posh breakfast joint here in town. I googled “Best breakfast London” found a place called “Tom’s Place” in Chelsea, got directions using Google maps and made like a baby and headed out for the tube.
Right away there was a problem: I got lost on the district line. In all fairness to the Londoners the stops are all clearly labeled, the trains are labeled, everything is labeled, I mean it’s all there, all you have to do is pay attention. When you are headed down the stairs and you see a train with doors open, and you’re a foreigner, you rush to get on that train in front of you. The Gods couldn’t be so cruel as to put you on the District line headed to Tower Hill when you meant to get on the Wimbledon train, could they?
Fortunately, I only went a few stops before I looked up at the map in the car and said “ha, that’s stupid, why don’t they at least put a map that matches the train you’re in, I’m going to Wimbeldon and THAT is a map to Tower Hill. Typical government…” which is when the driver burst in over the Tannoy and said “next stop South Kensington — this is the District line to Tower Hill.”
Oh for fuck’s sake.
No problem, I’ll get off here and go backwards and get on a new train at Earl’s court. Standing on the platform waiting forthe train, I saw something neat that I wanted to snap a photo of and so I started not paying attention to what I was doing and when the next train arrived, I hopped on. That’s when I got on a Circle Line train headed to Notting Hill Gate. It wasn’t until High Street Kensington that I realized I was on the circle line train. By now you can tell where this is going. I finally got on the right train, got off at the right stop, and then… couldn’t find the road I was looking for. I tried asking the locals and no one seems to know where anything is in London!
It was like a slow motion episode of Benny Hill, minus the hot nude 1970’s English chick.
At this point, I have been without coffee for too long and I’m getting so hungry that a bowl of wheatberries looks good so I said screw it and stopped at a place that looked fairly busy and had the traditional “Full English:” runny egg, beans from a tin, mushrooms, tomato, two pieces of toast and 4 pieces of meat. I scoffed that and downed a crappachino. Ahhhh.
I think the coffee opened up my senses because I got back here (the hotel) with little problems.
One thing I also noticed is that there are virtually no English people who work in the service industries in London. Why is that? I’ve stopped at a dozen different places and heard 2 dozen accents which makes communication very strained. They don’t understand me because I speak American, I don’t understand them because they aren’t native English speakers (not that I can understand the English folks either) and the whole thing devolves into me using my “big” Americn voice to articulate what I need.
“I’d like to TOP UP this phone, please.” I say in my obnoxious American way (basically I make my voice slightly deeper and project, like I’m talking to a theater full of deaf people) and the whole room stops. What the hell else am I supposed to do? If I speak in my normal voice our conversation ends up being a series of “what’s?” and “excuse me’s?” which is maddening.
I’m not decrying all the foreigners here, in fact, the opposite. I think it’s great. Ever since the creation of the Euro zone opened freedom for both capital and labor, people have been able to move freely and work where thay want. People from all walks of life have the freedom to live and work in nearly every country which means that all of Europe is a melting pot. In a sense, this is what Americans like to think we have but don’t. Try to get a work visa in America, it’s difficult. Unless you want to work in a field somewhere picking fruit for the spoiled American middle class. My feeling has always been that if capital has the right to move from country to country, labor should have that same right and though it might be frustrating when I order my VENTI DRIP COFFEE WITH NON-FAT MILK in the end it’s the right thing.
Enough about Britain, too much more of that and I’ll have to rename the blog to 7amwake-upandtalkpolitics.com.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are a bunch of good ole Englishmen and there couldn’t possibly be any communication problems in that locker room, what with everyone speaking the Queen’s English. “Rather, I said, try the angle drop next time Andree ole chap!”
“Certainly Samir, want to go out after for a spot of tea?”
“Capitol idea, mate.”
Anyway, I have heard told that Messer Arshavin will be playing tomorrow and I really am excited. I’ve probably bored you to tears with stories about how I was there when Hleb got his only Arsenal goal? Or how about the one where I saw Adebayor’s first home goal? Well, I suspect that I will be there for Arshavin’s first goal tomorrow. Probably will have to put a few quid on him getting a goal just to put my money where my mouth is. What? It’s only £5!
The other big story for tomorrow is that Chelsea and Villa play in the early match. This is a huge match for Arsenal. As I outlined a few days ago, I think Villa are our closest rivals and pegged this as a match that they need to lose or draw if Arsenal are going to have any hope of making 4th place. Chelsea will be coming out of the gate very strong and looking to put an exclamation on what they see as their fight with United for the title. I wouldn’t want to be a Villa supporter tomorrow as I think Chelsea are going to have at their team.
Of course, it has been quite a crazy season and Villa does have some talent to go with their new found braggadocio, so it’s not like this is a shoo-in for the Blues. Anyway, I’ll be watchng that match from a pub in Islington tomorrow. Should be fun.
That’s it for today, I do want to apologize for typeos. This keyboard really sucks and several of the keysare sticky, like that DAMN SPACE BAR. So, caveat reador.