Sunday, 28 August 2011
When you travel, it is easy to strike up conversation with anyone with that golden ‘travel’ chat. There is a real mix of people; I have played a game of pool with a political major Harvard student and an unemployed crane driver from Brittany. This travel conversation is fine for the first few weeks but fairly tiresome after that. – Where are you going? Where have you come from? How long are you travelling for? etc. I feel like everyone should have a t-shirt with this information on, but then what would we talk about!?
Some interesting travelling types I have stumbled across:
1. ‘ I have been working in the party hostel for four months, got put on a drip twice and haven’t managed to see the city yet.’ These hostels ensure that you need not experience any culture whatsoever of the country, they come equipped with restaurants selling shepherds pie and bars selling Guinness.
2. Conversations which follow; ‘When I was hiking in Peru…, when I was living in Mongolia…, I ate fried dog in Ljiblistan.’ Tip: if you feel less travelled against such people; Lie about your adventures. Just make up foreign sounding names and add –stan to the end.
3. Travellers (I have been frequently informed that I fall under this category), who believe, re-gurgetate and probably twist all travelling tales, no matter how sublime – ‘did you hear 10 Brits were killed by a llama yesterday!?’
4. The guy who is travelling for a year and is taking photos of each meal, this equates to over 1000 photos (not including snacks).
5. The guy who whilst on a 3 hour bus ride, videos the view constantly. Sure his family are going to be thrilled with 180 minutes footage of mountains.
6. Speaking with people who have English as their second language, your standard of English rapidly decreases, I have caught myself saying: ‘I have been in Cusco yesterday and the shower was having cold water’, people may be impressed at your standard of English but much less so when they realise English is indeed your first language. You could take the plunge and pretend you speak Quechua as your first language; this could bring on complicated consequences.
7. The American guy walks into the bar, talks about himself for an hour, leaves a card with a topless photo of himself on and his contact details. Can’t knock the confidence.
8. The travellers who have taken the travelling clothing to the extreme and after 3 weeks away from their London office job are equipped with rasta dreadlocks, ankle and wrist bands, Guatemalan colourful trousers and fake alpaca jumpers!
Friday, 24 June 2011
Gordon and Shirley
Gordon and Shirley go to Wimbledon every year, they drive from the country to London at the crack of dawn just to ensure that they definitely, under no circumstances, will possibly be late.
They are, what we might call, the 'what if' couple. They really have thought about every last detail for their big day out, in fact Shirley even keeps a list.
Sun lotion -
Rain coat -
Tea flask -
They are the king and queen of practicality, Gordon also has a copy of the financial times, the economist and a 100 sudoko puzzles (rainbreak entertainment you see!). Why should Shirley wear normal sandals when she can wear her robust, well padded, multi-terrain, velcro sandals?
Gordon's friends joke that he is stingy, he sees it as sensible. Why go to a café and spend £15.00 on sandwiches and drinks if you can sit under the brolly on court having a pre-prepared snack? However, in 1999, Shirley did pop out and spend a fiver on ice cold water - in her defence it was 35 degrees. They leave court at exactly 7pm, after the rush hour yet before the Wimbledon rush.
Paul is at Wimbledon on business, he eats lunch at an upmarket restaurant where one would struggle to leave without spending £100 + on minimilistic fine dining. Obviously this is on business expenses.
Lunch is followed by a brief encounter with centre court, however he isn't entirely disappointed that after 45 minutes of play there is a rainbreak. He heads back to the bar with his clients for beers and pimms. The truth is Paul hates tennis. Luckily for him when the 'tennis chats' commence, he simply glances at his 'comprehensive guide to Wimbledon' iphone application to appear informed on the matter.
Twitter: 'OMG, I am totally at centre court at Wimbledon, it's like sooo cute and British here'. - uploads photo imminently.
The debenture holder
These people wear a badge just so their message is completely clear:
'Unlike the rest of you plebs, we can buy seats for the whole of Wimbledon, for years'.
They dress in expensive outfits, hang out in the VIP restaurant (even Paul can't go here) and generally have a jolly good time!
The Ladies who Lunch
Wendy and Anne talk about anything and everything from gossip to well, more gossip whether it is break-point, match-point or the final. No matter how many evil glances Gordon sends their way, they are not perturbed.