Footnotes to June (2014)

That’s right, it’s another edition of a month in bullet points.

As I explained previously (and will likely do every time this happens) I have been taking notes of on what I have been doing since I left New Zealand. Some of the notes are inane, some are illegible, but all are some form of insight into what it is like to be me (if anyone ever wanted that).

So, here is June, a month that had me staying in Cambridge, London, and Portugal - that’s almost four countries!

  • Eating totally gets in the way of things.
    I know people tend to think eating is important, and that eating is enjoyable, and those people might be right. But you know what else those people are? Inefficient. Sure, you could stop and enjoy meals, or, you could get around and see more things and do more stuff.

    Drinking on the other hand…

  • I can’t tell if this is a Portuguese thing, or a thing in non-english speaking areas, but warning signs for falling off high places are… descriptive?

Actually… it might just be a tourist area thing as we did see similar signs in America when wandering around the cliffs near The Breakers

  • According to everyone in Portugal, I really, really look like someone who is looking for drugs.
    I know I did already mention that elsewhere last week, but the fact it only happened there does seem weird.

    I guess the alternative is that everyone in Portugal sells drugs. Which probably is the only way their economy can hold up...

  • Speaking of the economy - screw Europe. In Europe (and to a slightly lesser degree England) nothing at all is open on Sundays. It is a legitimately jarring experience to wake up on a Sunday and expect to go somewhere, or to need to buy something, and to find out that you just can’t do that.

    What year does Europe think it is? Do they even consider if there is a relationship between not opening stores and the fact the entirety of the European economy seems to be constantly struggling?

    It actually isn’t just Sundays - most places also don’t open until after 10.30 or 11 the rest of the week either (though they do tend to stay open later than 6, which is a bonus).

    (This is something I am sure will come up again and again, but if I don’t keep talking about it, how will it ever know to change? This is apparently my ‘airport baggage carousels’ of Europe, which is strange because I will keep bitching about those too) 

  • Am I a crazy person or do other peoples ears hurt when they go through a tunnel on a fast moving train?
    I am not talking about on the tube, but on a train from London to Cambridge that has small tunnels to go through. Like a hard beating sound/feeling that isn’t so pleasant?

    Regardless, it is weird (coming from New Zealand) to see trains that move quickly. Such a novel idea.

  • Remeber how I take these notes all the time, even when drinking… yeah...

    “Low alcoihil isn't an excuse must douvke siulevl skogke .just lits more Happy firvstruftutsn wrajnrß”

    (ah… your guess is as good as mine?)
  • Why are there no street signs in England?
    Obviously, they are there… sort of… but they are in the wrong place - they are on the side of buildings (sometimes), so they aren’t actually always that easy to tell where you are or where you are going.
    Come on England…

  • Also about England - Hyde Park is a strange place, here are two reasons I have seen:

In Hyde Park I saw a group of people rollerblading. I also saw a guy playing with a yoyo.
Does anyone know what year Hyde Park is meant to be?

Check this out:

What’s going on here?

(Yes, I have now made to jokes about England/Europe being years behind the rest of the world, these things happen. Let it go)

And this applies for a lot of places, but this specific story happened in Hyde Park:

People have a fascination with talking loudly on cell phones in public. This is a serious problem if it happens in a confined place, but I guess I can’t be too upset with the lady who was yelling at her phone in Hyde Park. In fact, I can’t be upset with her at all because she was some kind of live-street-art-performance piece.

So, here we are, laying on the grass in the sun in Hyde Park. Minding our own business (maybe we were napping… don’t judge us, we were unemployed and homeless). Then, well, we start hearing a lady nearby.

She too was laying in the sun, but she was also on the phone. The phone call did not seem to be going well.

Though I can’t be sure what was said on the other end of the phone, this lady was ensuring [him?] that she had a dream. That’s why she couldn’t keep a 9 to 5 job (by the way, no one in England arrives at 9 am), and that’s why she always acted weird with him.

She then started crying, and, well, the phone call seemed to end. Until she called the person right back and continued crying, and asking him not to hang up again, and crying some more, and saying it wasn’t her fault she wasn’t working - it was everyone elses.

Yeah, apparently Hyde Park (which was quite busy) was the place to have this conversation.

  • Cardiff Wales Whales. That’s why Japan was right.
    (As I noted previously - sometime I take notes that I am sure made sense at the time, but when I look back on them are mostly gibberish. I can’t even be sure if I was drinking at the time or not. Any thoughts about what I meant? It was the 29th of June, if that means anything)

  • You do see more Smart cars in Europe. But that also means you get to see more Smart cars in dumb situations.
    Here was a Smart cars attempt at parking:

I have often told people “Just park here” when they are driving around looking for a park, but I didn’t really think people actually did that.


And that about wraps up June. For more details of other things that happened in June make sure you check out my blog about Portugal, and also my trip to Lord's.


Check in soon for a trip to Spain, and hopefully some more insightful discussions on politics and stuff.