A Weekend in Liverpool

~LIVERPOOL, England: 28/11/09, 10:00pm.

[edit: I fail to mention that the first thing we see in Liverpool is a man covered in blood, walking down Leece Street like he has no idea why we’re staring at him. He looks at us, smiles, and says “Uh. Fuckin’ birds!” when a pigeon flies in Gam’s face. Another man across the street is screaming about chickens.]

Sitting in my hostel room with three French(?) girls and a German(?) dude who just surprised them by asking them if they were done with the bathroom in French. They had a mini conversation, like “Oh! How do you know French?” “sabuh-dah…” And then he had a serious conversational fail.
1) He said “Euh… et… le ‘same thing?’ ” LA MEME CHOSE.
2) He said “Et qu’est-ce que vous faites dans la nuit?”
Thus I revealed the extent of my French by nearly falling off of my bed, laughing. Instead of innocently asking them what they planned to go out and do that evening, it was basically the equivalent of asking them if they’re prostitutes for hire. The French girls knew what he meant, but they informed him of his grievous error in conduct.
What is it you do during the night? versus what are you doing tonight?

We got better acquainted and talked about Paris after I blew my poker face. When I told them I had stayed in Barbès-Rochechouart three weeks ago, their jaws dropped in amazement that I’m still alive. (I TOLD you Friends Hostel was a shithole!) And then the conversation was over and they switched to talking in Spanish.

Before that, I had walked into the room across the hall, which was filled with drunken Irish men who insisted I must be Danish because of my bone structure. Then they tried to offer me a billion drinks and I sprinted back to my room because a boy named Dave tried to stick his hand in my butt. (What is it with the Irish?! My first day in Dublin, a guy purposely shoved his umbrella into my buttcrack!) / (I’ve never met so many guys named Dave!) I doubt it’s any safer in here with my hostel-mates, but at least they won’t be sticking their hands anywhere.

John(?) from Cherry Hill/Pennsylvania, a biophysics major studying abroad in Leeds, sat down on the bed next to me and just taught me how to adjust the shutter speed on my DSLR. Interesting people you meet. He tried pretty hard to get me to go back out into the world with him and his mates (the German guy– Sebastian– and two Spaniards: Sergio and Alberto.) John left his Canon DSLR just sitting out on his bed. I told him that was a stupid idea, but he said he trusted all of us. Here I am, sleeping with my purse next to my face.

But anyway, I didn’t mean to start in medias res. I ended up alone for the evening in the hostel and denying 3+ separate opportunites to hang out with strangers because I felt like crapola. For a moment, I seriously thought I might’ve been developing swine flu. I even called my mom to check.

The run down: We woke up at 330am and left New Cross around 430am in order to get to Euston Rail Station for our 605am train. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but we were leaving so early, the tubes weren’t open yet. Gam and I both wrote down bus directions, but I forgot something and the buses were running so infrequently that we basically walked/ran from Tottenham Court Road to Warren Street Station. DUH. I was irritable at myself and everyone I was with.
The train to Stafford was alright, I guess. There was a man on the train who REALLY needed a tissue. I could hear him sucking up his mucus every 10 seconds even through my headphones.
We had less than 2 minutes to find the train from Stafford to Liverpool Lime Street and I wanted to murder everyone for being so American. I also wished Chris was there so I could make sourpuss faces at him.

Our first thought about Liverpool was “HOLY CHRIST AMONGST MEN, IT IS COLD.” The weather got worse throughout the day, as it tends to do when we’re out on vacation. We got there a little before 9am and walked to our hostel. We thought it was a nice place, until we saw the stains on the linen… Between blood, pee, and sweat, we half-expected the infamous Doodoo Bandit to show up and trash the place.

Daria, Andy, Gam, and I hung out for two hours alone in the room until noon, when we took a BEATLES TOUR. Called the “Fab Four Taxi Tour,” we had our own personal tour guide who was also our black cab driver. He took us to places like: John’s birthplace, his university, Ringo’s “soap opera” neighbourhood, Paul’s house and the caretaker who looks like him, George’s house, Eppy’s birthplace/party flat, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and this church that had Eleanor Rigby’s grave, etc. So cool. [edit: I’m pretty sure we had THE BEST cab driver out of the whole lot, now that I’ve looked at the whole list on their website.]
What was not cool was the incessant change in temperature: in the cab, out of the cab, minimal warmth, freezing wet toes, no gloves. Daria and I had to pee. I started feeling feverish by the time the tour ended at 330pm and I just deteriorated every hour.
Danny, the cab driver, dropped us off at The Cavern Club and we watched a live cover band of kids my age. The Grace: http://www.myspace.com/thegraceonline They had an… interesting… interpretation of The Beatles’ “Taxman”, but I really loved their cover of Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust.”

Ah! Another two invitations to go out! The German guy, Sebastian, let me stay but a Spaniard (Sergio?) pulled me out of bed and dragged me to the door, despite my lack of shoes. When I feinted getting ready/looking for my shoes and he realised I wasn’t coming, he gave me what an American would interpret as the “I love you” symbol. Apparently it means something QUITE different in Spain. [edit: difficult to interpret, but I guess his gesture at me implied I am Satan’s whore.]

After Danny dropped us off at The Cavern Club with little idea how to get back, we wandered into some pub with INSANELY cheap food. It was next to the holiday skating rink, for future reference. I ate some crappy lasagne, even though I wasn’t hungry. I felt stupid, because when Andy and Gam asked me what was wrong, my voice quavered and I almost burst into tears. I wanted to crawl into my too-small bed in Spotswood and have my mom make chicken soup, listening to terrible TV shows in the kitchen while my dad yells at someone on the phone about gun parts.
To be funny, I ate all of Gam’s peas. The effect wasn’t very funny.

We wandered back to the hostel even though we felt like we were back in Amsterdam (a feeling I simply cannot describe.) All of us took an hour-long nap around 6 because we felt like death and we were all laughed-out over the “Doodoo Bandit” and his work on the duvets.
We went back out– after much effort and many complaints about the cold– to a pub at the corner of the street called The Flute. It was also a throwback to Amsterdam, with the lighting and couches and open space and circles of people doing their thing. I was delirious by the point. The bartendress told me bluntly she “didn’t have time for my questions,” which made her the ONLY person in the ENTIRETY of Liverpool who was less than cheerful and welcoming and fantastic.
We left The Flute around 10pm in search of more interesting pubs/night life, but I came back here and tried not to die. Here I am. It’s not 12:20am and no one in this room is content to leave me alone.

~LIVERPOOL, England: 29/11/09

I woke up, well-rested and alive, at 10am. We were downstairs by a little after 11am. Because we were lazy and the other three were in various states of their hangovers, we ate at the cafe attached to the hostel/hotel.
Something compelled me to order a vegetarian English breakfast, and now I’m seriously considering reverting back to vegetarianism for health reasons.
The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now?” was playing in the cafe and I nearly spit out my toast. I frenetically bobbed along to the music, paralleled by the cafe-worker, a bespectacled guy in plaid who looks like he could be from Williamsburg, or a member of Grizzly Bear, to be more accurate. We caught eyes mid-bop and exchanged a little courtesy nod in honour of Morrissey.

Sebastian wound up talking to me until 2am about everything and nothing. After initially offering me a cookie (IT WAS A TARWEBISCUIT!!!) we fell into discussions about different education systems and the class structure of Germany. He asked me about my honest traveller’s opinion of the world (London in particular) and he told me about his town in Germany. We also sat around and talked with the French girls, sabuh-dah, who were actually only 2/3 French. Cristina was from Spain, but Clemence and ____ were French, renting a flat in Paris.
(Funny story: They told me my French was really good. They were FASCINATED that I was American and that I was capable of speaking a different language. They admitted how mean that was, but it made me feel awesome. The three of them kept inviting me into the kitchen to share a bottle of wine with them, and they wouldn’t leave me alone until I told them off in French. MERCI, MAIS JE RESTERAI DANS MON LIT POUR LA NUIT. They applauded.)  

I said goodbye to Sebastian and his friends three separate times at this point. Before he left the room the first time, he chucked a packet of Trolli Sour Glowworms (from Germany!) at my head. Maybe that’s a token of dour German regard, where he comes from.
It got me to thinking about Tidmarsh’s lessons during Shakespeare’s London, which made me miss Chris again. Jung’s coniunctio and fusion between individuals and all that cal. It was bizarre and wordly and true.

After walking around Albert Dock, we saw them AGAIN. Sebastian, John, Sergio and Alberto were sitting in the window of a restaurant. So grand total, we said goodbye to them 5 separate times around Liverpool.
Our group shuffled into a giftshop on the docks to get out of the rain, and the radio played a “new” Death Cab for Cutie song. I felt so acutely uncomfortable for not knowing it, which led me to ponder on exactly how long I’ve been away from the United States.

Albert Dock is the perfect place to meditate on your sorrows, we think. We stood over the water and fell silent. That’s how sombre it is. We cheered up by paying 5 pounds to ride Liverpool’s ferris wheel. Much like London has the London Eye, Liverpool has The Big Wheel.
Everything about it was retarded, in the most accurate sense of the word.
It was so incredibly stupid that it was actually worthy of 5 quid.

Lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen was no big affair. (Home of the MOST GORGEOUS BURGER.) The waitress gave us horribly wrong directions to get to The Jacaranda, which is this pub that John and Paul used to work in, so we hopped in a cab. Love how cheap the cabs are.

Jacaranda was cool. Someone selected Morrissey’s “Panic” on the jukebox and I nearly crapped myself –> fulfilled one of my bucket list wishes.
Jacaranda is also where I got married.

Just as I was discussing with Andy about how all these guys spend their days by going to work, coming home, and farting around a pub to shout at each other, these four guys come over and start talking to us. It’s only 530pm and they’re completely pissed. We didn’t really get their names, but they got our first names and continually asked why in hell we Americans were in Liverpool. Did they forget about the tourist lure of the Beatles? Probably. Duh. One guy, the nicest and most gentle, looked like Dave Foley. Another looked like he could be George Lopez’s cousin gone to seed. One guy was as rowdy as a five-year old boy who just got a new action figure and kept giving people high fives. And then my FIANCE was a larger balding gent who stole a ring off of a girl’s finger in order to propose to me.
This was all so incredibly hilarious and unreal that I had to immortalise it by calling my parents. I’m POSITIVE they were alarmed by the voicemail they left, but I prefaced it with “Please don’t be offended.” I hoped they saved it, because I could barely what they were shouting into my phone.
The rowdy guy bonked Gam on the forehead once (hilarious) and kept up with the high fives after everything he said. He tried to shake my hand when I said something brilliant and instead, I did the swipe-my-hand-over-my-hair move like those cool people do, and it was like I had just invented it, by the response those guys gave me. I felt like a million cool bucks and a number ten on the cool scale.
The Dave Foley look-alike told me that my fiance, who’s name is something like Mark McCally, is actually proposing to his girlfriend on Christmas Day this year and he wanted to get in a bit of practice.
Mark got down on his knee in the middle of the bar and presented me with the gaudiest blue piece of costume crap I’ve ever seen, but I did my duty with a perfunctory knod and a squeak. Everyone in the bar stopped what they were doing to stare at us. You should see the pictures Daria took on my camera.
What I was not expecting was when he picked me up and twirled me around in the air. Touching was limited to that, thank goodness, or there would’ve been a serious problem between our two parties.
When we said goodbye to these fellows, the mood shifted from conviviality to sobriety in less within 15 seconds. They clapped us on the arms and gave us each a kiss on the cheek (I got enchanté kisses on my hand instead, like a proper lady.) They wished us a safe journey to wherever we call home, and hoped we’d remember them all fondly.

The train station was freezing cold again, so we spent the hour waiting in the only enclosed space in the vicinity, which was a pub. Naturally. Things of note about our time spent in the pub: 1) Another drunken Irishman tried to cozy up to us, but split when Andy came back from the ATM. 2) One of the bartenders selected Peter Sarstedt’s “Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?” on the jukebox and I literally did not know what to do with myself. This would’ve been on my bucket list if I could’ve even considered it as a possibility.
It was outrageous. I was so happy.

Train back to London Euston was boiling hot. Andy and Daria wrote the first two scenes of a play and performed it for us. I passed out. Getting back to New Cross is always really GLLAIGHT** when we come back from a trip. Hot showers and dry socks.

———————————————————————————-
Overall, Liverpool is probably worth another trip, if I had a different group of people to go with (ie- my parents.) They’d love to see all of the Beatles junk, plus it’s a completely underrated tourist location. The people are all out-of-this-world friendly and it’s the cheapest city I’ve been to in Europe thus far.
Plus, the accents are the best. Since yesterday, we’ve been yelling “GREAT” at each other in the Liverpudlian accent (which has a Welsh twang to it), so our GREAT would phonetically be spelled as “G-L-L-A-I-G-H-T” **
GLLAIGHT. gll8.
IT WUZZA GLLAIGHT RECORD, YEA?
The end every sentence with “yea?”
So now we end every sentence with “yea?”

Today I felt like crap again, and my politics seminars were made exceptionally difficult.
I somehow- somehow– thought this could be cured by eating Iceland fishcakes and Thai chilli pickles. I was wrong. There is NOTHING more masochistic than eating my Thai chilli pickles. I was actually crying and yelling when I made them last week, they’re so spicy. I could never get chillis like that at home, much less from a screaming Cockney vendor off of the street. Brilliant. Another thing to miss.

GLLAIGHT BLOG POST.

it’s all around you

I’ll go back and write more about Thanksgiving, but for now, this is important: Not being home for my first major holiday was really weird.

I was hanging up wet laundry and listening to big band swing and I teared up. I was cooking with Chris for 7 hours and I cried a little bit. We had our emotional around-the-table thankful confessions and we all wanted to cry.
Paul McCartney’s “Little Willow” came on and I cried.
I ended up listening to the entirety of Flaming Pie while making lyric signs out of ten pieces of paper. I hope to hold them up in different places around Liverpool, but we’ll see how that goes.

Hopefully I can understand Liverpudlians more than Manchesterians.
They both sound like gobbledegook.

I have to wake up at 345am just to get my butt moving and be out of here before 430am. Train from Euston Station at 605am which normally wouldn’t take over an hour to get to. We’re leaving so early, the tube stations won’t even be open.
Be back Sunday night!
I hope it’s not a “damp squid” of a trip.

I PROMISE throughout the following week, I’ll blog about the trip abroad. I’m supposed to be writing THREE very serious papers for my three serious classes (Shakespeare doesn’t count as a class, because it’s more like a therapy session. More on that some other time, too.) So I’ll use blogging as both procrastination/reward.

NEVER COULD BE ANY OTHER WAY.
NEVER COULD BE ANY OTHER WAY.
NEVER COULD BE ANY OTHER WAY.
NEVER COULD BE ANY OTHER WAY.
NEVER COULD BE ANY OTHER WAY.

Ha, ha.

BELGIUM: Nov. 6th 2009, 2:45PM

I know this is skipping ahead of Dublin and Amsterdam . . . I just opened my notebook to rip out a clean sheet, and I remembered I wrote a bit of a mini-entry while on the bus to Paris. I drew little accompanying pictures as well.
(I can’t bear to go back yet and write everything down now.)
Forgive me.

At a stop in Rotterdam, FLANDERS. Karen “Ther” Bates just got off the Eurolines bus, ordered McDonald’s, and paid 30 cents to vomit. In Belgium. She is Tinkerbell.

Paris in 6 more hours, and the next stop is Brussels/Bruxelles. So basically, someone’s thrown up in almost every country. The Vomit World Tour.
England- me
Ireland- Gam
Nether./Belg.- Karen
France- ______???

This land is FLAT.
Listening to Beirut’s “Interior of a Dutch House”, driving through the Dutch countryside. I’ve seen things that some people will never see. I guess that makes them beautiful: constellations from the other side of the world; rows of wind turbines in a flat land; a lone basket of marmalades and “chocolade pastas”; an old couple sitting together silently in a park; a girl younger than me, selling herself in a window. You wonder what sort of sacrifices she makes.

Writers sometimes refer to a traveller as a purer form of being; DeLillo and Eggers come to mind, because they’re so obvious about it. Even though we’re doing a highly organised version of backpacking (that is, we made reservations and bought tickets beforehand rather than “going with the flow”…) it takes an enormous amount of your old self out. I have to learn how to be patient and forgiving to the people I’m with, deal with their idiosyncrasies and sometimes HUGE FAULTS while managing my own, having a 3-day purely natural crash course in the local culture or language.
(I know “enough” Dutch now. I can read commercials.)

The pure traveller should collect scenes and people and conversations and moments. All I’m collecting are little scraps of paper and mounting irritation at how self-perpetuating the stereotypes against Americans are. Basically the “What the hell IS THIS? How do you even pronounce that? Who speaks English here? I’m freaking out.”
So freak out.
Get on with your life and stop embarrassing the normal meshing/existence of people around you. Maybe they don’t have a common language with you, but getting progressively louder and shouting in their face will get you no where except kicked out.

I WISH I could go with the flow and travel as I like, but there are so many problems with this. A girl surrounded by strangers rarely bodes well, in the long run. You either need to have a lot of money or a complete lack of… shame? self-regard? You need to be willing to do what you have to do to get around. I’ve seen these people already, with their cardboard signs and offers of “barter.”

Okay. Donc.
-I notice I’ve been speaking [to our group] in terms of “we” and what “we’re” doing, etc.
-I’ve lapsed into a mix of English, French, Dutch, and Spanish. Chris has, as well. We are communicating in a messy language soup.
-Living entirely in the present somehow means I remember very little of what we do every day. (Busy absorbing foreign data rather than collecting and cataloging.) One advantage of living in the past: you remember things because of comparing them.

Antwerp, Belgium looks a lot like Troy, New York from the highway.

TROP DE BRUIT.
“Would you like to go out tonight?” Said Tristan to Iseult. We’ll be out in Paris tonight, which is très bizarre. Spent my entire life wanting this. It’s been 3 years since high school and wanting to “get out.” The past week has felt like a year. When this trip is over, we’ll have been in 5 different countries, which is mind-blowing.
I’m eating a “chocolade tarwebiscuit”, which brings me back to my days of Keebler’s Fudge Ring cookies. (Chocolade Tarwe biscuit–> “chocolate wheat cookie”)
We stop in Brussels soon, so I imagine we’ll be picking up a lot more passengers. Right now, everybody has their own double seat, with 2 extra left over on the coach (because they’re suspiciously damp?) So we all took a quick nap.

It’s just hard to accept that I’m driving through a chunk of Europe on a bus, listening to a carefully-constructed playlist I began way back in high school. More crowning achievements in my life.

Sitting on a park bench that’s older than my country.

Hydroplaning coach bus. Ok, full bus.
The outskirts of Mons, Belgium look like North Brunswick.
WHERE ALL MY WALLOONS AT!

Photo-things

1) I’m drinking a homemade macchiato and eating sultana scones with Nutella and Madagascan vanilla bean chantilly. I couldn’t POSSIBLY be any fatter today.

2) But you know what makes me really angry?
How I live with idiots who do shit like this:

Haha, I’m sure your friends had a quality chuckle for a good 10 seconds.

3) Nevertheless, look at how huge this Bramley apple was:

That’s my largest mug. That apple was as large as my face!

4) I live here.

Another friend

It totally throws your life in relief when people visit; DeLillo’s right yet again. Small tics, foot shuffling, unnecessary explanations, a slip into dialect, compulsive cleaning, one random wet towel. Whatever.
Our 48 hours together were a crash course in London’s great sights.

Yesterday was Emily’s only whole day in London, so: we had English breakfast; caught the end of a mass in St Paul’s Cathedral (I lit a candle for my family and cried, like I did in Sacre Coeur); walked the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern; made fun of their modern art; ate a pasty in Waterloo; South Bank for the Cologne Christmas festival; experienced German mulled wine and took pictures of the Eye/Big Ben/Parliament; Parliament to Trafalgar; Covent Garden; British dinner at one of my favorite pubs and introduced her to Strongbow-with-black; “scenic” bus ride back to New Cross;  cocktail at Amersham Arms with Chris; finished with a box of Square Pizza.
She explored by herself today when I was busy nodding off in classes. I sincerely hope she enjoyed herself, despite my need to spit out every historical tidbit I’ve learned about places here.

The art in the Tate Modern is RIDICULOUS. Some of the rooms are really cool, but a lot of the stuff would be an entirely blue canvas or some scribbles I could probably paint with my toes. After awhile, our brains hurt and we began making up our own titles to the pieces. Most of them were Freudian in nature.

And I’ll be spinning in my skirts
and knitting tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny little hats.
And when my breath becomes an island,
I won’t be dancing on that roof anymore or wearing these crazy boots.
I just saw her off at the railway station on Liverpool Street and made the 40-minute trip home at my leisure. I made a conscious effort to walk as slow as possible. People looked at me funny.

I am so lucky to be here.

Chris and I are organising Thanksgiving for this Thursday to honour our heritage. We hope we’ll do it up right, but it’ll be a lot of effort and money.

Four of us are going to Liverpool this weekend. It’s costing me more money than it’ll be worth, I guarantee, from the round-trip train, hostel, Beatles tour, and food combined. Most importantly, I need to go to Wales. I need to make that pilgrimage.

On Being Realistic

Emily Carroll will be in Heathrow airport in 8 hours, so I think I’m going to pick her up. Not only is that a terribly nice and friendly thing to do, but it’ll also give me a feel for how long it’ll take me to get there when I need to do it by myself… in 25 days.

Taking the tube to Heathrow is going to suck, no mistake about it. I should look into taking a train from one of the main stations, but I also need to consider how I’m going to be hauling a backpack and two suitcases (one of them old, unruly, and wheel-less from the 1970’s.) Definitely not the suitcase I would’ve brought, had I realized its wheel-lessness in time.
I might buy a new one from Jubilee Market Hall, if it’s okay with you, Mom. I know it was yours, so maybe you’re sentimentally attached to it.

For my personal reference:
Trip #1: train to London Bridge, Northern to King’s Cross, Piccadilly to Heathrow.
Trip #2: train to London Bridge, Northern to Monument, District to Acton Town, Piccadilly to Heathrow.
Trip #3: train to Charing Cross, Northern to Leicester, Piccadilly to Heathrow

Barf.

Killer decisions: I’m not going to Barcelona with the rest of the gang in 2 weeks. I’m not sure if the entire “gang” is even going or that they can rightfully afford it. That’s fine. I keep telling myself that this isn’t the only time in my life that I’ll travel Europe, so if I say it out loud, it must be true to myself.
Poop on you, if you don’t believe me. This is where I one-up you and comfort myself: I’m a business major. Someone who will have a job, nyah nyah. But on a serious note, all that needs to be done is put money away every paycheck. Boom, that’s it. It’s what I’d been doing all summer at JCPenney and I made enough there to be able to come here for 3 months even without my loan refund money.

While it’s going to kill me that they’ll come back from Barcelona spouting about how they had such a good time and the weather was great, sabuh-da, I don’t want to “do” Barcelona in only a day and a half. Instead, I’ll be seeing Twelfth Night and going to Stratford with my Shakespeare class.
Such is my serious hysterical devotion to this class.

Yesterday, after our typical 3-hour chat, we reconvened at 2pm to take a walk to Christopher Marlowe’s grave in Deptford. We took turns libating and left quality chocolate after having a quiet sort of (hilarious) ceremony.
After that, we hop-scotched over to this bizarre statue on an English midget covered in flies next to a very tall Russian man with a tiny head. (Peter the Great)

After a snack-like dinner at The Gipsy Moth in Greenwich, Dyanna and I decided that now would be the greatest time to see New Moon. No one else wanted to come… I wonder why?

As we should’ve guessed, the 6pm showing was sold out. This nice lady put our names on the top of a waiting list (how embarrassing) and we had another snacky dinner at the tapas restaurant attached to the picturehouse. Great tapas. Fantastic.
At 6:10, we got okay seats and settled down. The movie that ensued was so awful that I gave up writing a review in my head about 15 minutes in. I literally could not think of words to describe how I felt about it. The cinematography was awe-inspiringly bad.
However, gauging the audience’s reactions was pure joy. The gasps and cries would follow our chortling reactions by an entire second, which I found odd . . . As if the teeny-boppers had no idea what was coming next. Aside from drooling all over their copies of Stephenie Meyer’s bull and reading it like a bible, the movie is formulaic. Get a clue.

Five noteworthy things I concede to:
1) The soundtrack was really good when it wasn’t Muse
2) Greatest ending scene. Shitty predictable dialogue and it went to credits.
3) I was entertained, but there was something sordid about it
4) The actor for Jacob got seriously ripped.
5) For stemming from books with strong messages against pre-marital sex, the director took a bit of liberty with the whole let’s-make-out/let’s-not-make-out/but-let’s-share-a-bed/walk-outside-naked-in-the-sun thing.

When I was standing off the queue for the toilet, these British girls were like “Well, she [Kristen Stewart] has no personality, I don’t like her. . . aaaand she’s a bitch.” Imagine this in an English accent and you can understand why I was close to having mirthful tears rolling down my face.
And not that I have reason to defend Kristen Stewart, but I’m 90% sure both of them were high the entire filming of the movie.

I’d like to see it again with Liz. I’d probably pee my pants.

Ratatouille

Now that I’ve been to Paris, I find watching Ratatouille again a complete joy.
I quote it all the time as it is (“A little saffron would MAKE THIS.” / “So let’s DO THIS THING!!!” / “One can get too familiar with vegetables, you know!”)
I actually said this out loud in France:
“Ah.. Symphony of crackle. Only great breads sound this way.”

Things I’ve noticed:
Gusteau’s restaurant is set in the city centre.
Linguini’s studio flat is awfully close to the Eiffel Tower for someone who needs a job so badly. I thought it might’v’e been Montmartre at first, but no. Too close.
When Linguini goes to kill Remy in the beginning of the movie, he takes him to this sidewalk part of the Seine by Notre Dame that I stood over for 15 minutes.
There are a crapload of cafes to the north of Notre Dame that circle around a fountain, which might be the one where Gusteau’s is.

Skinner, the “evil” chef, is actually Ian Holm. (Bilbo Baggins)
Colette is Janeane Garofalo.
LOL.
Ratatouille came with my order of pave saumon on our second or third night in Paris. I liked it. It was quite tasty. This is what it looked like:

I also really love the song from Ratatouille. It’s called “Le Festin”, and is performed by Camille. Today is a day for chanson.