Firstly, clearly I have safely arrived in St. Ives. I have spent the past two weeks largely offline, because there’s nothing quite so fascinating as Alex, and were it not for the distance which is normally between us, I think I could be largely fine without the internet. In fact, most of our internet usage has been limited to binge-watching “Red Dwarf” on Netflix.
Secondly, I will get to the details of the travel itself at some point, but probably not until I am back in the United States. For now, I will just say that it was a pretty miserable experience.
Right now, I just want to babble about some of the things that I have observed thus far. May not be nearly so entertaining for you, but this is all about me, anyway, right?
The British may not be quite so polite as the rest of the world thinks they are. Or perhaps it’s just customs agents who are there to deal with inbound visitors arriving at stupid o’clock in the morning. Why am I crying? Well, it may be because I’m in a metric butt-load of pain, I haven’t slept for at least twenty-four hours, and I am 4,000 miles from home and you may or may not be allowing me entry into the country. That just might be why I’m crying.
Oh, and Heathrow Express ticket agent… gee, thank you ever so much for not asking me any other difficult questions after my experience with customs, and for charging me more than twice as much as I needed to pay to get to Paddington Station. That’s what I get for coming right out and saying that I was a hopelessly lost and tired American, I suppose. Those famous British good manners may just be a thin veneer coating their sarcasm and/or disdain, that’s all I’m saying.
I have also learned that the British have their equivalents of the pervasive American “hon” or “honey”. While I have yet to be called either of those things here in the U.K., I have many times been called “sweetheart” and “m’love”. Thus far, only one person has called me “m’love”, but she did it four times in under a minute.
“I’m not your sweetheart, honey.”
“I’m not your honey, m’love.”
“I’m not your love, wench!”
Lastly, tourists are tourists. Even people from this country seem to lose their manners while on holiday here in St. Ives. They can’t recall how to share a narrow side-walk with other people and will merrily force you into the street rather than walk single file with their sweetheart or child for a step or two. They will jump the queue in the shop or wherever, as if they suddenly forgot how it works. I have it on good authority that this can’t be so. The British are all born knowing how to queue.