Sonntag, 26. Oktober 2008

Stratford Day 1 Or: Sorry, I'm German.

This is going to be rather longish because it is my first trip of that sort and, you know, I can't just cut it short. Sorry for that.

It's Saturday morning 5:30, and after a really short night (my flatmates just plainly suck) I get up, pack the rest of my stuff and am off to the airport. After a major freak-out because of not feeling well for the whole week and being afraid I couldn't go on the trip I feel remarkably well. (Sorry to Hoppi once more, because I managed to freak her out too.) I arrive at the airport, go to the Check-In, think for a moment, and call my mom to tell her I'm going. She almost drags me through the phone. So I go through the first security check, then to check-in where I tell the guy "Hi, this is my first flight, so I'm gonna need a little help with all this." He tells me what to do, where to go and when I leave check in I start missing my luggage. They took my luggage! I feel almost naked without my luggage! I usually go by train, and there you practically sit on your luggage!

Anyway, I go queueing for the next security check. I take off my coat and scarf, go through the metal detector and "BEEEEEP!" Uhhaa. The nice lady does the whole check with the small scanner and I realize I forgot to take off my belt. *cough* Oops. I pass on into the shopping area, look to the right and there it is: a plane. I briefly ask myself what on earth possessed me to decide to go on one of those things. Boarding and everything happens relatively fast. I get a window seat, although I doubt my own sanity for a moment for wanting to have a window seat. But then I doubt my sanity most of the time. So I sit down and the flight attendant introduces himself: his name is Craig and according to his accent he is from Scotland. I try desperately not to squee. Craig is hilarious because he talks and talks really fast and the accent just makes me smile, so I utterly forget to panic. Then we accelerate and take off, for a moment I think "Oh my God!" as I am pressed into the seat. Then I look to the left out of the window and think "Oh my God, how cool is that!" Which is the state of mind I remain in for the rest of the flight. We have quite good weather and I enjoy the view. Land from above, clouds from above, sea from above, all great. So: good first flight besides the pain in my back because the seats are just horrible.

We arrive at Luton on time which is remarkable given that we started about an hour too late; ten minutes later I have my luggage and find a cash dispenser to get money. Then I head for the toilet to store the money away in my bra. I just feel safer that way. I briefly wonder how I'll get the money out of my bra discreetly when I want to pay at the B&B but decide I will take care of that problem later. I head to M&S and grab some water and a sandwich. After some thoughts I head in a second time and get some fruit too. And before I know I'm wandering around a bookshop. And find out that it is actually cheaper to buy English book in Germany. I sit in the waiting area for an hour and then head outside for the bus stops. National Express is easy to be found. I lean on the seats, or I should better say leans, because you can't sit on them, you can just lean. A guy leans next to me and asks something. I ask "Sorry?" because I can't understand what he says, he repeats twice and finally I get it: he wants to know the time. I apologize for being so slow, adding that I'm German. After a second I realize what a dumb excuse that is. I look at my watch which still has German time and is five minutes ahead as well. That's just too much for my poor brain to process after my first flight ever, so I stare for something like ten seconds and then tell him what I've found out. That poor guy must think Germans are not able to read the clock. Great first impression I've made there. :ugly:

Well, the bus finally arrives. On time. I am delighted, so far this is better than I could hope. We go through Luton and I see the first cute English houses. Then we head for Coventry and I get to see some English landscape. The weather is brilliant and I enjoy the trip. At Pool Meadow bus station I get off and wait for another hour for the next bus to Stratford. That one is on time as well, the bus driver says 'luv' and gets my bag and I'm on the last leg of my trip to Stratford. And it has only lasted 9 hours yet. This time the bus driver announces the stops yelling through the bus. I get a wonderful view of Warwick castle as we go past, and fifteen minutes later I am dropped off at Riverside bus station in Stratford. Perfectly on time and still more than an hour before the others arrive. I decide to find out where I am and where the B&B is. I try to buy a map from one of those machines but the damn thing eats my pound without giving me a map. Bloody thing. I look at the map that is there, memorize the way and ten minutes later I head up Shipston Road. Not long and I stand in front of The Sunnydale. Way to early. A stray cat greats me. "Hey, kitty cat, meet stray tourist." We shake hands. Kitty-cat looks like having been in a fight with its face all swollen up on one side.

I decide to go into town and head back down Shipston Road. I find a bridge and park at the river, and sit down. On the other side of the river is a huge construction site and I think "This looks like the perfect place for a theatre." I am not mistaken because I sit opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which is being transformed at the moment. Now of course I realize I should have gone into town, wander around and grab something decent to eat but hey, this is my first trip anywhere on my own, so give me time. After enjoying the view for a while and writing I head back to the B&B. So I stand there again, stray cat with swollen face joins me once more, and nobody else comes. I begin slightly to worry again.

After waiting for another twenty minutes I knock on the door and meet Mrs Kim who welcomes me warmly, gives me the keys and sends me upstairs. I enter my room and settle in. I have never seen such a tiny bathroom in my life. And because I am not used to the fact that things sometimes just work out perfectly I go on panicking. I had wondered what was meant with tea-making facilities. A kettle of course, cups and tea. :ugly: Great, I decide to make some tea, have a bite of my sandwich. And wait a minute, didn't the website say they have TV sets in every room? Where is the telly? I look up and there it is perched in the corner of the room. I switch it on and the first thing I see is Anthony Steward Head. :-) My panic subsides for a moment. While watching Merlin and a bit of that dancing show (on which John Barrowman briefly appears :-)) Mrs Kim asks me if I could answer the door because she has to go out for ten minutes. She comes back but no Hoppi or El yet. I decide to go to the garage on the corner to get some chocolate and cookies, and leave the key to the second room with Mrs Kim. On my way down the road I see three girls with luggage on the other side walking up. Hmmmmm. That could be them. But I am not settled in enough yet to yell across the street. I buy my sweets and go back up the street. A guy yells "Excuse me!" from across the street. After the third "Excuse me!" I realize he's yelling after me without having any of the reservations that I had earlier. He asks for the way to I don't remember what and I yell back "Sorry, I'm not from here!" refraining from revealing my nationality this time. Back at the B&B the key is gone, and as I head back up the stairs Hoppi is about to put a sign on the door telling me that they have arrived. Horray! We hug and settle into room 5 and chat for some hours, before Hoppi and I head over to our room.

The funniest moment comes when Hoppi gets out of the bathroom after she has changed into her pyjamas: red plaid trousers and black shirt. She looks at me wearing my pyjamas: red plaid trousers and black shirt. The next morning we find out El is also wearing red plaid pyjamas. The definite proof that the forum shares a collective brain. We all hear the song of the Ood I guess. I just never figured they sing about pyjamas. Hoppi and I sample a bit more of the English TV programme and watch Never mind the Buzzcocks before we fall asleep. And I realize that sometimes things just simply work out.

3 Kommentare:

hoppi hat gesagt…

"(Sorry to Hoppi once more, because I managed to freak her out too.)"

No problem, although you did cause me some stomach-ache. :grin:

Great entry, I think I will simply redirect all the people from my LJ here. ;)

amanda james hat gesagt…

can't wait to hear more!!!

Purslane hat gesagt…

No problem, although you did cause me some stomach-ache. :grin:

I'll not do that again, I promise. :nick: