99 - Deep Thoughts

Ever here of "deep thoughts with Jack Handy"? 
Well this is kinda like it...

Are your speakers on?  Turn them on...

Deep thoughts on England...

PRO - So much to see.

CON - You see most of it in the rain.

PRO - They speak English.

CON – Not really. Not well.

PRO - They have walled stalls in washrooms.

CON - They sometimes try and charge you a few p to pee.

CON - Toilets do not flush well compared to home, not water pressure problem, but a bowl design problem. See video.

PRO - So close to Europe.

PRO - Great theatre.

PRO - You can find clothing deals.

PRO - Food looks reasonably priced.

CON - One cannot afford to live or live the life in London except as a visitor, either from out of country, or out of city.

PRO - Transportation system is probably the best you could build and maintain.

CON - They number floors in a very odd way. G for ground, floor above it is 1, then 2 then 3, etc. So the 6th floor is the 7th level of the building. Below G is SG or sub-ground and below that is a crap shoot. It could be B for basement or S1 (ie the 2nd floor below Ground). Suffice to say, when anyone says the n’th floor, they mean nth+1 level. One could argue they start counting floors at zero. But that doesn’t make sense either, because 0 means none and so there should not be a level at 0. If I have 0 ice creams, I don’t have 1. If you want to meet me in 12 minutes, you don’t mean 13. I think you get the point.

PRO - There is a lot of history here.

CON - Much of it related to killing of rulers and stealing form others. How else does one quickly get power.

PRO - Pubs.

PRO - Fish and chips.

PRO - Pay first, order food from barkeep. Ie they do not nag and nag you every 10 minutes like they do here at home for another and then when you want another, they are no where to be found.

PRO - Pints.

PRO - Humor of the weathermen who gave up and said on national TV “… such is the fate of the atmosphere…”, wish they were as honest back home.

PRO - Starbucks on all corners and streets, they are everywhere.

CON - Their English. “take-way” means take-a-way or take out. “strahaw” is extra-hot, which you should get it you want to take-way.

PRO - Tipping. In pubs when you go up to the bar and pay for your beer. Nope. When you go up to the bar and order and prepay your food. Nope. You can tip after the meal. In restaurants, be careful, some add a 12.5% gratuity automatically (which you can refuse to pay). If they don’t add it, you usually give up to or a bit more than the 12.5%. For cab rides, Tony says round up to the nearest quid especially if it isn’t one of the black cabs. So you have to figure people have a higher minimum wage or get actually get paid better than our hospitality people back home. Like the tipping.

PRO - Look left. Look right. If you remember my France/England 2005 blog (if not go read it), I mentioned that in the city streets they write this on the road just off the curb at crosswalks. At that time I jokingly said it was for the Londoners and not the visitors because they too get confused with the driving on the wrong side. Turns out I was right. There are cars coming from so many directions (at many of the circuses or roundabouts), and there are so many boulevards or islands at crosswalks to step onto when you are only ½ or more of the way across the intersection. Well since there are so many permutations. It is there to advise all pedestrians which way the traffic is coming. And this is good!

PRO - Drivers and their horns. It often takes 2 or 3 lights to cross one road (because of traffic patterns and the little islands of safety mentioned above), so people often instead of waiting look where told and j-walk. If they didn’t, it would be impossible to get anywhere. But if you are in the wrong and hear a horn – RUN! It means a double-decker or a cab or car is coming and they are warning you they will not stop nor slow down. RUN!