Sunday, 10 October 2010

Jet lag

Just got a mobile internet thing sorted out and am ensconced in the UK. First thoughts; how do people live in anything this small? Cars, houses, roads, minds. Second thoughts; who are these people wearing black tents? Third thoughts; my body clock stopped ticking for a while there, and instead started going ping-chok-bok-whing-cuckoo! At intervals of it`s own choosing.

We flew over first via Floatplane, which was fun, and thence on what we've taken to calling 'Air Cattle Truck', on a charter flight. The Floatplane I'd gladly do again, the charter flight no. I've had a bellyful of cramped seats with no legroom, and being woken up by a massive crackling, rustling, sussuration as a tin cylinders worth on humanity latches on to the paper and cellophane packed content of the 'complementary meal'. Meal yes, complimentary no. There were calories in it I'm sure, and it's amazing what you'll eat and drink when you're hungry. I even tolerated instant tea performing it's Torquemada like ministrations on my tastebuds. It goes without saying that sleep was at a premium.

Well, Mrs S and I are in the UK currently visiting friends and family, being interrogated by mine in a "What were you doing? When? Ve-are-asking-ze-qvestions-pigdog!" Fashion, and getting the big huggy tearful stuff from hers. I don't know which style feels worse. Fortunately we have now have a little USB mobile internet thingy, which puts us back in touch with the online world. Thank goodness also for old friends who bring a drop of sanity and laughter to our mission here.

Said mission is the arrangement and despatch of the last of our worldly settlement effects to home in Canada. There looks to be less of it than I remember. Which should reduce the bill somewhat. Mainly books and photographs. We won't be taking DVD's and electronics. All our old stuff is way out of date now. The recycle store looms for much of it.

As an aside. Re; British TV. I don't know how anyone watches that without a total suspension of disbelief, or disconnect of their critical thinking facility. Was briefly treated to the pseudo-emotive claptrap of 'Strictly come dancing' and like all unpleasant experiences, was deeply grateful when it was all over. Whiskey was required.

On that subject I have to watch the alcohol consumption as I'm driving. We hired something from the local rent-a-wreck equivalent. What the hell, it was cheap. But the engine sounds rough, and the passenger side door has a large quadruple ding in it like it's been sideswiped by a bicycle. It was like this when we picked it up, and the fault was registered, so no penalty payments on our credit card. No cyclists were harmed. Allegedly.

Driving in the UK again takes some getting used to. Still not fully up to speed, and steering to the windy side of the law. Don't you guys use your horns a lot? The almost sedate point and shoot (By comparison) Canadian style driving is much less stressful. Even the road works are different. In BC you don't see so much highway coned off and unattended. The construction crews come in, fix the problem and disappear. They have a bunch of guys with walkie-talkies and some 'stop' signs organising the flow of traffic in a folksy kind of fashion. You even get almost balletic performances and cheerful waves from them.

The recession over here has meant oddly enough, that customer service in some stores has improved. The surliness quotient of the average UK desk clerk has reduced to almost pleasant, but the remainder seem to be puzzled by this as if it isn't natural, in a way simply not British.

What the hell, I'm no longer a native here. I'm a tourist. In the very land I was born in. Weird sensation really

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