Definition for Kayak :-)

Kayak [] n. 1. an oblong banana shaped boat with a hole in the bottom from which the occupant dangles. Can be propelled the wrong way up by experts. (definition courtesy of Pete Knowles)
(And I've got this one from Chris' Kayak Lexicon)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

London 2007: Emperor and Energizer Bunny – Day One

My trip to Europe is about connecting with good old friends who I haven’t seen in years and who I’ve written and talked to far too little. It’s also about returning to an old home of 5 years and as always discovering new things every day.

I had two things planned to do here on my stay in London: Visit my friend Adrian and visit the exhibition of the Chinese terracotta army. I give you another hint; Emperor was not the a.k.a. for Adrian…

Adrian is one of the best people you can meet ANYWHERE in the world!!! No seriously, you can meet him anywhere in the world! Adrian’s relationship to the world is that of a little boy on a spherical playground. The universe is finite, but the fun to be had really isn’t! He’s been everywhere, including Minnesota!

I love Adrian! He is honest, sometimes brutally, sometimes making you feel like the best thing in the world. He’s a great partner in all sorts of crime. And he makes a luvly cuppa tea! He is always fun, until after about 36h non-stop of Adrian, when I have to either throw him out of the window or better, just take the batteries out for a while :-)

Day one

Fun ad in the Tube

The first afternoon is a bit of a blur, but I remember splendid weather, dim sum at a fashionable London restaurant called Ping Pong and just wandering around feeling quite at home.
This is a very cool fountain designed by Jeppe Hein. It creates four separate chambers that people can walk into and then get trapped in for a while. Walls appear and dissappear on the inside as well as the outside. People were clearly having a blast. Since I was only on such a short visit I decided to enjoy it from the outside. But look at the weather!!!
I also remember getting in touch with things that were trivial tidbits of everyday life in England some 5 years ago. Mundanities like monkey arming your way up the steps to the second level of the double-decker bus, while the bus driver is trying his utmost to give as many untrained passengers a concussion as possible by alternating jet-like acceleration with sudden emergency breaking. I had to chuckle over the pastel coloured bathroom tissue or should I say loo roll? I had forgotten that you can buy this disposable in pink as well as assorted other light colors to match the equally pink or peach or light yellow or… bath tub. Luvly!

Brits have the best ads!

Well, I think I may have to make this post a little more British English and it’s not gonna always be as the Queen speaks, innit? Well the loo roll was still quite charming, but having a shower really wasn’t and made me homesick for the scorpion infested shower I remember from Costa Rica last year. Adrian: “What do you expect? The 21st Century?!?

For my American friends I have to explain a little what they would be looking at here. Imagine attaching this milk mashine like contraption with a woefully too short tube that leads to the rather measly shower head to the hot and the cold tap of the bath tub. And then you start “milking” the taps for water that is somewhere in a range that is agreeable to your average urbanized homo sapiens, while the inlet water temperature AS WELL AS pressure are in constant flux. And because aforementioned tubing is too short you are sort of wriggling your way through the “jet” (I am using this word very loosly here…) while being doubled over like the hunchback of Notre Dame. - I should ‘ave ‘ad a baf! Bu’ I ‘ate taking bafs!

Quite in contrast to that are the new Dyson hand dryers, that wouldn’t be out of place in the next Start Trek Series. And to find those the next day in the very Victorian Victoria & Albert museum of all places!