Thursday, July 28, 2011

London - 30 Days from a Monkey's Perspective

Don't expect any ground breaking revelations here. Just go along with some of the random and in some cases offensive observations I've made her over the last 30 days.

Doors...In the U.S. fire code states that all public building doors must exit outward. In the case of a fire, riot or whatever the race to exit the building stampede is met with a door that will "go with the flow". The opposite would stop if many panicked people slam into it leaving them unable to "pull" it open due to the people behind them pushing them. Makes sense right? So I find two things here strange. 1. There is no such pattern here. Doors open any way they damn well please. In, out, sideways, whatever. No bid deal except that I pull, you need to push, I push you need to pull. I'm tired of looking like a moron. I'll get over it, at least until I'm killed in a fire unable to escape.

On the similar note, and it may be just my office buildings but what the hell is with the "Exit Button"? All doors leading to common areas or exits have exit buttons. Let's put the security thing aside for a second. Yes, on the outside you must use your security badge to gain access but going out you have to hit a little button like a monkey to get out.

This simply adds to my dismay of pushing, pulling, looking like a jackass while looking for a little grey button on the wall, on a stand, near my ass, who knows? I know what you are thinking, you poor kid, can't you remember to push the button before leaving the building? I can, but...these are everywhere. Stairwells, entering the lobby, another to leave the lobby, one going out of the kitchen, another going into a hall and another go get out of the hall. I'm a logical guy, help me understand the point of the button on some of the doors and why we need the button at all?

Bathrooms - Point one for the Brits. Full door stalls for doing your business. I can sit in privacy and wallow in my own smell. Negative point for my building, no urinals. I don't need the full suit for my standing business.

Walking - Negative points. Everyone is all over the place. Pick a side or a stream and go with it. People stop, cross randomly in your path, turn around in front of you. Granted this may be a tourist problem. Locals go on left, everyone else on the right (like you drive) so this conflict may be the answer.

Case in point. Positive points for escalators. Like a well oiled machine people stand on the right, pass on the left. You want to walk up or down a escalator, be my guest. No fat, stupid or lazy people standing in the middle gumming up the works.

People - ok so far people are really nice. May be the summer or we stand out as foreigners but so far we've met about a dozen random people. All have either bought us drinks or dinner or both. Last night 6 drunk guys bought us drinks after trying to pick up Amie right in front of me. It had to be a dare (no offense to Amie) but based on his line and the good nature of it all we had drinks with strangers again last night. We also had 4 Brits take us to dinner the first week we were here Amie met in a bar. Tomorrow we have dinner with the guy we met in a restaurant two weeks ago and his "American" wife. Hope she turns out to be normal and who knows we may hang out again. Anyway friendly factor 9 in London.

Talent - This town has a lot of talent. However gentlemen as they say on the tube, "Please Mind the Gap". The gap between the talented and the snaggle-toothed inbred freak is wide and deep. My god, inbreeding produces apparently a wide depth of outcomes. There is no middle. From a statistical perspective this would be an heavily biased inverse bell curve and if your in the trough good luck to you ma'am.

Butterface - Above comments generally applying to my ancestral and now resident country there is another phenomenon. The butterface. Most of these apply to what I perceive to be transplants or the outcome of those from certain other European countries mingling into the above described gene pool. To put it simply, "you have the body of an angel" but everything above the neck looks like it's been through a wheat thresher. Regardless, as long as I keep my eyes lowered on my way home it's motivating enough. Remember it doesn't matter where you get your appetite as long as you come home for dinner.

Side note: Yes, all the girls in Holland are six feet tall and blonde and above observations are strictly relegated to the greater London area. Can't wait to see Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Czech Repulic. French, German and Italian girls we already know where we stand, but that's another post.

Long story short, London is a great, fun, vibrant city with all the trappings of such. Food, wine and culture will be ongoing segments in this blog but I had to post some of the small, even offensive thoughts since it's he small things you notice appreciate and were afraid to ask.


Andy V said...

"everything above the neck looks like it's been through a wheat thresher"
ZING! Well written. Mind the gap, now.

FinnyKnits said...

Not surprising, I came away with the same thought as Mr. V.

I just wish I could say the same for the dudes. Any culture that holds Hugh Grant as their model of virility and ideal male aesthetic is hopelessly doomed.

I'm afraid the men all look like old potatoes. Lucky they have a sweet accent.

Rich said...

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

~kristina said...

Hi Amie,
Thanks for stopping by my blog (An Expat in London)-I decided to check yours out too. Love it-great plan to do 24 countries in 24 months. I hope it works!

I'm not stalking, but tell your husband I'm a fellow Googler too-noticed the picture of the 123 building on your recent post! :) I'm the only 'kristina' in London if he wants to give me a yell.

Welcome to London!

fred said...

Two to look out for --
1. Random pornography. The Page 3 Girl -- imagine if every day the SF Chronicle had a half-naked chick on a quarter of the first page.

2. A very different sense of "offensive" on TV. You can say "fuck", but not "retarded" or "that black guy". Mostly notable when watching American shows on Fiver.