How It All Breaks Down

Self can hardly believe it, but she’s been to four countries in something like 5 weeks:  England, Scotland, the Netherlands, and Paris.

She discovered that each of the four have reverted to their old currency.  The euro is not accepted at all in England and Scotland.

Scottish bank notes are not accepted anywhere in Europe outside of Scotland.

The British pound is accepted in the United Kingdom.  Period.

The euro is accepted in the Netherlands and France, but not in the United Kingdom.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Now That Self Is Back In the U.S. of Hoo

Apologies, dear blog readers:  She had to remove the photo of herself wearing her new handbag because —  it just made self look so much like a Philistine.  Like a person who only cares for handbags.  When, as dear blog readers know, self cares deeply about books.  And Culture.  And Scintillating Intellectual Conversations.  And Travel.

Now that self is back in the U.S of Hoo, it occurs to her that she has not, thus far this summer, exercised her right to fluff summer entertainment.  Enough of reading The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement and the New York Review of Books!  Self, you will soon be in Cali-FUH-nia!  So, without further ado, here are all the mindless beef-cake movies self wants to see:

  • No. 1:  that movie with Channing and A. Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey
  • No. 2:  that movie with Taylor Kitsch copiously covered in tattoos.  She thinks it was directed by Oliver Stone (whose trajectory lately has been more “shlocky” than “auteur”).
  • No. 3:  Something with Willem Dafoe called “The Hunter”

Self bought a paper immediately after she arrived on American soil.  Oh, how happy she was to see people in sneakers and shorts!  Meaning:  it was HOT!

She settles for way over-priced beef teriyaki combo plate at Sea-Tac:  $13

She can’t believe how —  well, how low-tech and tiny the escalators are.  You’d think Sea-Tac could do better!  And they’re directing the  British Airways passengers through some very grungy hallways.

But, self, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth!  Your American citizenship is what has enabled you to know your rights!  And have Obama as President!  And be free of worries like social status!  And to get free wi-fi wherever!  And to worship at the Church of Apple (Oh, BTW, the Apple store in Paris — when self saw it, she almost burst into tears.  For once, a sign that needed no translation:  the Apple Logo, in front of a stately old building, and inside —  techies galore!  No complaints from self about signage there!)

OMG, what is that squawking over the PA system?  Oh, it’s about her flight to San Francisco!  Delayed for an hour ???  She shouldn’t have rushed through her $13 teriyaki meal, then!  Delay due to Severe Weather Conditions???  Woman, are you crazy???  Self is at this moment looking out the airport windows at a serene Seattle evening, nary a cloud in sight.  Oh, the “severe weather conditions” were in San Francisco.  Self bets it was a little rainshower.  Dear Airline Announcer, unless you’ve been in Edinburgh in June, where one day it even poured hailstones —  until you have seen hailstones drop down from the heavens in late June —  self maintains that you can’t possibly understand the meaning of those three little words, SEVERE.  WEATHER.  ALERT.

Self surveys the disgruntled passengers collected at the boarding gate.  A number are wearing flip-flops.  Most of the rest are wearing sneakers.  They seem simultaneously resigned, patient, and restless.  Not as if they’re blaming the airline.  More a general state of dissatisfaction.  Oh, Americans.  How much energy you do project.  It’s a nice kind of nervous energy.  A “roll-with-the-punches” kind of energy.

But best of all are the English.  Though England is not the England she used to know, 15 years ago.  Belgravia is edging out into gritty.  Perhaps she’ll post more about that later.

But right now, she’s almost falling asleep in this hard airport seat.  She wishes she had the foresight to bring a pillow in her hand-carry.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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