wtf that’s all about

A couple of years ago I won a trip for two to England. A builder had this contest for the top sellers of their homes and I was one of about 15 Realtors to win this trip. I’d never been away from my children.

Blane stayed home with the kids and I took Angela on my free trip. The first night was pretty rough. I missed the family and was pretty miserable. So I did what any self respecting woman would do.

I overdosed on chocolate.

What we found out right away was this bus load of Realtors was a bunch of Bush supporters. Angela and I were not. Never were. Never would be. Our tour guide for the week, Pricilla, a British woman was not, she did a lot of Bush bashing. She didn’t believe such a thing as a Bush supporter existed, but she was indeed on a bus full of them. We pulled her to the side and told her.

Then we just started ditching events. We couldn’t stand being on a bus, preferred to see the sights on our own, so one day we skipped it and hitched it to town.

Went to a tower and just loved this poster.

Note the write ins for “others.”

Took some photos of some punks:

And some punk dog:

In Europe the biggest problem is always where are the damn toilets? “If we could just find a McDonald’s,” we kept saying. And then, there it was:

Damn that’s a fancy McDonald’s.

Oh. Fuck. That’s a furniture store.

So we had to walk back to the hotel (did you really believe we hitched into town?).

When the trip was over, everyone flew out of Manchester to go home. Everyone but me. I flew to London all by myself to meet my daughters who were flying in later that day.

I don’t usually take photos from a plane but had to this time. I was trying to capture the strangeness I felt.

I was all alone, for the very first time in my life. On the other side of the world. All by myself.


15 thoughts on “wtf that’s all about

  1. Cool pictures. I think I would kill myself rather than be on a bus full of loud Bush lovers in Europe. Oh the horror. Talk about [not] blending in with the natives.

    How did you feel being alone on the other side of the world? When I’ve done it [I went to China by myself] I found it both scary and exhilerating. There was a sense of freedom and possibility.

  2. Love the punk dog.

    After wandering around a foreign country for a while the real culture shock is always hitting the airport to head home and being surrounded by other Americans again. It is so loud. We are not all that loud. But ugh enough of us are it is embarassing and takes adjusting to be around again. I usually hide in a corner and try to look French.

  3. That’s exactly how it felt, Michele, scary and exilirating. Not lonely. It wasn’t that. Just overwhelmingly liberating. Like driving a car all alone for the first time in your life, multiplied by about a hundred. I felt like a big shot.

    Max, that’s hilarious, “try to look French.” I wonder how many more of us are in corners being quiet? Maybe most of us are not loud, but that crowd is the one that gets us stereotyped.

  4. I swear there should be a test you have to take to travel outside the country: Will you embarass your fellow travelers and the nation abroad? And if you fail the test, no ticket for you till you go to finishing school or something. Of course then Mr. Whitehouse would not be allowed to travel either. Not a bad thing if you think about it….

  5. I am shocked to hear that was the first time you have travelled alone. I think it is a weird but liberating feeling.

    That punk dog probably walks the street with attitude too. Being a small dog, he had small dog attitude to begin with, but the mohawk just makes him a pack leader.

  6. I’ve travelled on the other side of the world with 2 small children, just them and I, but all alone, just me? That was the very first time, and it didn’t last long.

    Punk dog was really friendly, he let us pet him, and he licked our hands. The punk people were friendly as well, complete camera hams. They loved having their photos taken. One would guess a punk would say, “fuck off” if asked to be photographed, but it’s the exact opposite. That punk with the red mohawk did all sorts of funky poses for us, and it just makes me laugh every time I look at those photos.

  7. Cool, cool, cool! The first time I travelled abroad alone was 2003, when I flew to Milan. And Alitalia lost my luggage. So I had fun finding a department store and buying underwear on my first day in the fashion capital of the world! (Yeah, I did get my luggage, a day later…)

  8. Boz, I’ve never had my luggage lost. Of course I never check baggage. If I can’t carry it on the plane I don’t bring it.
    Fancy undies, I bet! Milan, wow. I’ve heard horror stories about Alitalia Airlines. Never flew them myself. The craziest plane ride I ever took has got to be the little plane I took from Belize City to Ambergris Caye. The pilot (there was only one) had a cigarette dangling from his lip and the windows were open. I thought we were going to die that day, but the view was spectacular.

  9. I’ve travelled alone, but never across the pond. Being on the other side of the world would feel odd. I use carryon luggage, too — but when we come home we sometimes have checked luggage because we’re bringing home “stuff.”

    I would put up with the Bushies to get the trip. I’d also skip out a lot.

    I am loud.

    Does that mean I don’t get to go any more?

  10. Well you’re worth listening to, so yes you get to keep going. Plus, you do more to encourage British tourism than the British minister of tourism (they should give you an hororary title).
    In fact, I will give you one right now, Lady Pooks. There.

  11. Sounds like a fun trip. Love the pictures.

    Max, when I was coming home from Germany for Christmas there was a group of Americans in line behind me at the airport. They kept saying “Heil Hitler” and bursting into laughter. I wanted to crawl in a hole I was so embarassed. On the plane they were serving Starbucks coffee and all the comments about “real” coffee were almost as embarassing.

  12. I so know that feeling Zee.

    Kitty, you know the visine trick? I thought only bartenders knew the visine trick. Oh, and Kevin. Who obviously kept very bad company. Oops.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s