Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This one time in London...

Back in 2004, Kurt and I had gone back to school in Michigan and we decided to study abroad for the semester. We wound up in Derby, England, which is a lot like the Akron of the United Kingdom, but with better architecture and ruder teenagers. Lots of things happened that I will skip right now so I can get to the point of this blog entry.

One time, after imbibing much cheap English booze measured in precise British pints, we decided it would be a great idea if we gathered up some of the other Americans studying with us and leave for London on the next bus, which was due to depart in 5 hours or something. So, we got online and bought bus tickets and found ourselves boarding a bus to London at some ungodly hour.

We arrived very bright and early on a Sunday morning, and it wound up being the best Sunday ever. This is a photo essay based on that adventure. Looking at these pictures makes me want to shove everybody in the van and go somewhere immediately, so if you don't hear from me in the next few days, we're probably in Akron.

My friend Jeff on the right, and Jay "Why with the bright light" on the left.

We boarded the bus in the dead of night, or before the crack of dawn, or something. It was both too late and too early to think coherently, but we were proud and surprised to find each other at the bus stop, at any rate. It was cold and smelly, because it was a bus. On the way back on the bus, some guy decided to gobble up some kind of tinned fish with his fingers, the "scent" of which (the fish, not the fingers, though maybe both) filled every pocket of air in every inch of our rolling hell, so in hindsight, this was the better bus trip.

An even younger-looking Kurt, bleary-eyed because it was stupid early.
When we arrived at 7ish a.m. everything in London was closed because it was Sunday and 7 a.m. We were all incredibly tired, but just the right amount of tired. We were both too tired to give a crap what we did and slap happy enough to ignore the pangs of regret resulting from the horrible British hangovers we'd managed to get. We wandered.

I found this statue on the ground along the sidewalk and stuffed him in Kurt's backpack because I had a feeling he'd come in handy later, because I was incredibly sleepy and everything seemed to contain a mystical quality. The Dude may have even spoken to me. It's all a little fuzzy. We took The Dude on adventures, as such:

The Dude in Kurt's backpack, which was really my backpack.


If they ever make a boy band album, they'll be all set for a cover.

The Dude and his Russian chicks.

The Dude makes a phone call but no one sends any ransom money.
Kurt tried to make me believe this was JRR Tolkein. I may or may not have fallen for it.

Jeff's love interest from afar.
Then we went somewhere by some water and Jeff spotted this talented lass doing some kind of performance art, kind of like one of those silver statue guys but with this Victorian twist. He was totally enamored and we spied on him from a pedestrian bridge as he got up the nerve to approach her, and score an email address.

Jeff, street performer, bemused friend of street performer.

St. Something. Paul?
We split up our group at some point and Kurt and I wandered around Soho. We saw a sign that said "Meet David Prowse today!" at a little bookstore. I was clueless, but Kurt started hyperventilating a little and we went inside to meet the guy who was inside the Darth Vader costume in the movies. He was pretty put off that we wouldn't pay 20 pounds to get a signed picture, but he grudgingly let me take a picture. We were pretty broke. Sorry, David Prowse
Kurt, and the guy inside the Darth Vader costume!
Then we crashed in Hyde Park. Seriously crashed. This was probably the best part of the day. We literally all laid on the grass and fell asleep. It was the perfect temperature, really just a ridiculously perfect spring day.

After this, we found Italian food and eventually, our bus home. Our stinky, stinky bus home to Derby. At one point, overcome by the crazies from the extreme fatigue, I whispered "Come on Derby, let's do it!" Whatever it meant, and I have no idea, really, I definitely thought it had been in my head, so it was pretty surprising when Jeff popped up in the seat in front of me laughing so hard he was nearly crying, and managed to get out, "What did you say?" Then we laughed and laughed, much to the delight of our fellow road-weary travelers. 

I'll leave you with more adventures of The Dude. I did look up what that statue was all about one time, but now I don't remember. The moral of this story, however, is that sometimes the best day ever is the one you didn't even plan on. Since I never plan, every day should be the best day ever, right?


Jen said...

I read this last night but I didn't comment because I was ready to go to sleep. This might be one of my favorite posts you've put up. I say that because in addition to carrying your usual quick wit, it also lets me get to know you a little better. I love this kind of thing. More adventures! More!

Joellen Whetstone said...

This is the best, happiest story I have ever read in my entire life. I am literally crying. Sobbing.

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