Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Thanked 260 Times in 44 Posts
Re: UK MLP Meet 2011 - The Aftermath!
Alright Cookie - to further encourage colonial attendance (reverse temporary immigration), I've put fingertip to keyboard and created a small travel guide based on learnings from the finest tutor still teaching - Professor Experience.
Travel tips for Americans planning to attend the MLP ’11 Bridport Meet
You can go by boat or plane. Obviously one method is full of hours and hours of tedious boredom that costs time most people don’t have to spend. Yet, people still fly...
Before you go to England, you should know it is, in many ways, a police state. They have cameras everywhere, and unarmed policemen frequently about. God, no wonder we revolted!! You’ll just have to tame your rugged individualism (Live Free or Die!; Don’t Tread on Me!) behind for your stay. Think about those poor controlled saps, as you drive to the airport through radar and visually controlled speed zones, with your license plate visible and your government issued identification and proof of ownership and insurance papers all at the ready.
I was reflecting on just how exceptional we are as a hearty, independent breed last trip, until the pilot bumped into me on his way to be scanned and searched for tweezers before he was handed the controls to a 300,000 pound flying gas tank full of civilians. And for the next trip, as I take my shoes, jacket, belt, wallet, change, and anything else off my body before being wanded, swiped, sniffed, imaged and groped, I’ll still be getting mentally prepared for the authoritarian nanny state I’ll be traveling to.
They do have cars, but with a couple of key differences. First, while here we frequently see old women, soccer moms, drunk dads, texting teens, and Mexicans driving on the wrong side of the road (a danger), in England they all drive on the wrong side of the road all the time, proving the clever British way of getting around the danger of head-on collisions. Second, they put the steering wheel and other controls in the passenger seat. I suppose the driver’s seat is just a look-out for them, or a place of command to the nearby helmsman, probably a vestige of past naval glory.
An interesting oddity about the British is that they typically leave their cars to eat! I don’t understand it either, but it seems to be encouraged with a general lack of drive through establishments. I’m thinking what with having to drive on the wrong side of the road, from the wrong side of the car, coupled with an alarmingly limited number of cupholders, they just can’t add eating to the mix. Also, they do not have Mountain Dew or Doctor Pepper so be warned.
There’s no reason in any of this. A basic unit is a pound. Of course it doesn’t weigh a pound and you can’t get a pound of anything for it, but that’s the name. A pound is worth about $2,758 dollars, and it takes about two pounds to get a coke. You can get your head around that. But where you take a left into looneyville is that any Englishman can call any amount of money anything he wants, and somehow other Englishmen know what the hell he’s talking about., provided it is three syllables or less. Some examples you might hear are bob, quid, fiver, two-bit, joey, pence, looky-look, Lorne Greene, sterling, Hasselhof, etc.
Language and Accents
A typical Englishman will have some sort of accent, the type depending on where he’s from, that is quite pronounced when he is drinking. What it is like when he is not drinking no one knows as they don’t talk in their sleep. They will talk in your sleep, however. If you doze off during an English sermon, sorry story, even if you are the sole audience they will carry on with as much animation and delight in the telling as if playing to a full house at Stratford-Upon-Avon. They throw an occasional curveball in the word department too, but the only ones critical to an American are that fries are called chips and chips are called crisps, but beer is still beer.
England is the home of Stonehenge, which is of course the world’s largest henge (probably). England also has a proud tradition of soccer related violence. If you call soccer soccer instead of football, you might be killed by a chain-welding pipefitter. If you accidentally say the name of a disfavored team around a fan of another team, you might be killed by a pipe-welding chainfitter. That wouldn’t be such a problem, except the teams have names using words Americans have trouble avoiding. Examples include Arsenal, Darlington, the London Six-Packs, Birmingham Value Meal Combos, etc.
At least for the MLP meet, and the shop-owners who hosted us, you couldn’t possibly find a better bunch. Ready with a beer you hadn’t ordered yet but wanted, a kind word you may not have fully earned but yet fully appreciated, and story after story that make you wonder how television stays in business (to be fair, they only have BBC there so it’s no wonder they are conversation-sharp), they are all around top people. It’s an effort to host this thing, and it’s an effort to go. But most anything worth a damn is an effort. Getting to meet the people who made last year’s event was definitely worth the effort.
Proud Winner of 2010 Leumas Award!