In Legoland in Denmark:
Me: A small popcorn please. (Expecting a numerical statement of price.)
Counter guy: (something that doesn't sound like a number)
Me (aside to Frank): I have no idea what he just said.
Frank: Large or small! Dude, he said it in English!
...much frivolity ensues...
What's wrong with this picture? Jeez, I've been driving by braille all week, I can't believe there's anything left of the car. The fact that Anne and Frank decided to rent the biggest friggin car on the island doesn't help any, this giant bright-red Audi.
Update: don't even ask me about how badly the left-hand side of the car was trashed from driving too close to hedges on those narrow country roads. First time I've ever had to pay damage on a rental car. Oops!
Latest in the sequence of SIM card adventures, we tried putting Anne on Lebara in London, but their website doesn't take credit cards with American zip codes. Later we tried using our host's credit card to just top up the damn thing, but apparently it doesn't take English credit cards either.
Lebara 4 teh lose. We switched Anne and Frank to Meteor when we got in to Dublin, and it's already better than anything we've had so far, including AT&T, which totally sucked. Still need to figure out if we can send SMS between my Polish number and their Ireland ones tho....
Now in London, looking at all the pictures in the galleries at the Royal Naval College, I noticed two things: first how these are all pictures of the sea and people doing stuff on it, as opposed to the Louvre, where it was nothing but pictures of famous people, sometimes interacting with other famous people, but hardly anywhere of anybody with an actual job getting something done. Comparing Paris to London, on the most shallow and facetious level, walking the streets of Paris you see bodies in chairs at the street cafes, in London you get the sense of working folk getting things done.
The second thing that really struck me in the pictures at the Royal Naval College was how much the sky and the clouds figured in the pictures. Some times nine-tenths of the canvas would be clouds and sky, with a little row of tiny figures at the bottom doing their business. You can see how folks working on the sea would worry about the sky a lot. Coming out of the museum I noticed how the sky actually is quite prominent in London, especially when you're out on the river.
It was a little rainy in London today as we walked down to the river, and maybe you could say we got a little damp. The storm did not abate, indeed one might say it began to feel more confident and asset itself more vigorously as we boarded the quaint river boat to Greenwich, but we weren't let a little lack of sunshine and a smattering of droplets upon the window-panes dampen our spirits, oh, no! We have nothing but smiles and good cheer for each other. Indeed, it brought to mind the words of the Vicar of Wakefield when he wrote
My children, the offspring of temperance, as they were educated without softness, so they were at once well formed and healthy; my sons hardy and active, my daughters beautiful and blooming. When I stood in the midst of the little circle, which promised to be the supports of my declining age, I could not avoid repeating the famous story of Count Abensberg, who, in Henry II's progress through Germany, while other courtiers came with their treasures, brought his thirty-two children, and presented them to his sovereign as the most valuable offering he had to bestow.
Seriously, he was just making funny faces at the camera. I think that's got to be the best holiday snapshot ever. Just to keep us even, here's my being in character later on in the Museum of London with an authentic medieval hood:
Now it's ok to bring cameras into museums. When did that change? Out of my like hour in the Louvre, here were my favorite bits:
This guy is being entertained during his convalescence by two nice young ladies singing him some music. Given the eye roll, my take is that he'd rather be out riding to hounds
Then I spend like half an hour of my limited time in there enjoying this one picture. After all the kings and Greek gods and statues of Roman emperors, after the hour in the hall with the large-format oils like Napoleon's coronation, I found this little two-foot cabaret scene just really compelling, especially when you look really closely at all the faces and the little dramas and romances going on in it.