Monday, August 29, 2011

The post about the ferry

On Sunday we got up at five thirty to drive to Manchester to catch a train that took us to another train that led to a third train that got us to a shuttle that drove us to a ferry that ferried us to Dublin where we hailed a taxi and went to the hotel we're staying in.
This involved a lot of carrying about suitcases and awkwardly shuffling around people on the train muttering "Sorry" and "It's alright" as they muttered the same things, and falling asleep in awkward positions for short periods of time.

The ferry was actually pretty amazing. It had various lounges with big comfy chairs, and bars and cafes, and a flat screen playing the football (English football, which is soccer) game, and another playing "Yogi Bear".
But then we got to Dublin.

First there was a person on the loudspeaker who told us to proceed to the stairs and go down to level six where we could board the shuttle we had been driven to the ferry on. Everyone went down the stairs slowly, getting bunched up on the landings and taking lots of small steps, and then we got to the sixth floor, opened it, and looked out.
There was the huge center of the ferry, like a giant warehouse. Right in front of us was a group of motorcycles people had brought on, and then three or four rows of cars, and then some big semi trucks. No shuttle in sight.

So we went down another level, following a group of people who seemed to know what they were doing, and looked out, and the same thing was on the level below.
By then everyone else had sort of drifted away on the various levels and gotten into their cars, so my dad and I went all the way back to the top in a bit of a hurry and found a staff member.
"Excuse me, do you know where the shuttle is?" I asked in my awesome fake Irish dialect.
"Level six on the far side," she told me. And then, in a terrifying moment, she checked her watch. And gave me a warning look.
I started toward the elevator with a sort of grim single-mindedness usually associated with mothers protecting their young or teen guys playing Call of Duty, because I was not going to get stuck on a ferry where the only movie was Yogi Bear, dammit!
"Better hurry!" called the stewardess cheerily.

A bewildered old lady in a pink pantsuit was in the elevator.
"Do you know where the shuttle is?" she asked hopefully.
"Not yet, but I will find it," I said grimly.
"May I come?"
"Feel free."

We got back down to level six. The motorcycles were gunning their engines now, anticipating the doors opening. It made me somewhat nervous (and by somewhat, I mean that I jumped and bit my tongue to keep back a scream of anger).
I asked at least four people where the shuttle was before finding it in the furthest corner of the room.

The poor lady in pink drifted off somewhere along the way though, and I'm kind of concerned that she's still wandering around in the bowels of the ferry with other lost souls, looking confused and worried.

Anyway, after all that the ferry docked, and everyone drove out, including our shuttle, and we went down the ramp, turned right, and... stopped.
It was literally about 500 yards from ferry to parking lot.


Update: Oh! I bet there's some sort of "fairy" pun that would work.

Other update: on the happier side of things there was a gorgeous rainbow that morning - actually, it was a double rainbow. All the way.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The post about England

This is my fifth day in England, and I'm having an amazing time. I've seen a lot of dead people's houses, and gone on a lot of walks, and drunk a lot of fizzy water, and leaned on a lot of stones.
I've also been buying many presents for some of my favorite people. If you don't get a present after I get home, that's your hint. Or I accidentally left it behind in a hotel room. Really, it's a 50/50 chance either way.
One of my favorite things here is translating English into American.
For example:
Boot --> Trunk (of a car)
Lift --> Elevator
Crisps --> Potato chips
Chips --> French Fries

These are all pretty common ones. But then there are others that I had to observe for a few days before figuring out. For example:
How long are you here? --> You're American, right?
*Unintelligible British mumbling* --> Do you want a beverage to start? OR You're American, right?
'e wos aright stan oop fellow --> Shakespeare was a pretty decent guy.
Are you ready to order? --> You're American, right?
Have you read the Beatrix Potter stories? --> You're American, right? Why are you at her house? We only get British and Japanese people here.

I can't wait to see how these differ from the colloquialisms of Ireland, where I'll be starting tomorrow! (really I can though. I have to wake up at five a.m., which will actually be around 8 p.m. tonight for most people reading this)
And maybe I'll find some time there to write a post about Wordsworth's houses, or Beatrix Potter's, or the amazing ruined Abbey I saw, or the rain (and rain and rain) or the hilarious boat tour with the British equivalent of my southern neighbor, or the slightly less hilarious and more terrifying adventures on the left side of the road, or David Tennant's clothes (sadly he wasn't there though) or the weird TARDIS phenomenon over here.

If I were in the states I would post a funny clip of British-speak right now, but I can't so instead just click here for the funny!