lundi 7 mars 2016

London is for Lovers

Your favorite dead beat scumbag blogger is back~

Initially, I planned to write about France from an outsider's perspective. The events in this part of our journey take place only two weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. You may recall that I had just been there a few weeks prior-- six weeks, to be exact. What I did not mention was that due to my major, I had elected to take a French History course and completed it in the weeks leading into this trip. I was excited to revisit my favorite city and examine it with fresh eyes. This time, even though I knew dimanche was trash, I was able to see why. Then, of course, before I got around to writing about my experiences in Paris pre and post- Hebdo, the unthinkable happened. November 13th, I sat in stunned silence along with the rest of the world. I don't really want to get into that now because a) I don't even know where to begin, b) I have too much to say and c) I'm trying to keep it light here. Maybe some other time, perhaps in a book or something... so back to our regularly scheduled program.

Before I ever really conceived of visiting France, the only French I knew aside from bonjour, non, and merci was a mélange of cuss words and how to ask for a threesome. Although totally useful (should the occasion present itself), I wanted to expand my vocabulary and gain the ability to express myself a little better en français. So it began. I was always majorly into French culture, but I really set my mind to learn the language before I visited. Now, 500 visits later, I am worlds away from where I began and though I still struggle with the language at times (I'm looking at you, subjonctif), there is no better place than Paris to put my language skills to the test. Fuck yeah! Or shall I say-- BAISE OUAIS!

Let me backtrack a bit-- after yet another night of running through the streets of London, Salisbury and I were enjoying ourselves to the absolute fullest. Our departure loomed over us like a typical London cloud and we hated the thought of leaving. We celebrated our last night in LDN eavesdropping at the pub, indulging in 5 hour dinners, and visiting our fav detective, Sherlock Holmes, at 221B like the dweebs we truly are. I was really glad to see that she was having a great time in the city-- we hadn't even left yet and we were already making plans to return! The next morning, I realized my phone was dead and did not want to charge. Uh oh. I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour (word to Morrissey) but I was totally les mis now.

I had an entire week in Paris ahead of me and needed my phone, so I was in distress. I did not know if my phone was actually dead or if it was just the charger that decided to betray me. Salisbury and I headed out to the nearest Apple store-- which, unsurprisingly, was not very close at all. I'm the kind of person who will wait until things literally do not work anymore to replace them; this is why I walked into that majestic looking store with an ancient iPhone 4s. Really, this was a beautiful building. The ghoulish creature who was greeting everyone stared at me like a spaceship had just landed in the store and said she really doubted they still had a charger for those. Who the hell asked you?! I mean, I know I asked you, but whatever... bugger off. 

not the apple store

We walked past her and headed upstairs to wherever the Apple nerds who diagnose iPhones dwell. A handsome dude immediately came over to help (I love London!) and laughed when he saw my phone (I hate London.). I'm sure he detected my gauche American accent as soon as I opened my mouth to explain the situation-- it's like I completely lost my ability to speak. I was so flustered. He took my phone away and we walked over to charge it under a table, but before he could plug it in and check for signs of life, he turned to me and said: "You do know we have more power here, right?"-- fuck you and your good looks, Mr. Darcy! I wasn't expecting that level of sass from the man I was already planning to marry, so I rolled my eyes and told him that YES, DUH... I had been in London for a zillion years already and had no problems until now. He asked me how long I was going to be in town and I told him I was going to Paris like, now. After realizing it was just my Judas of a charger and not my actual phone that was the problem, he advised me to hold off on a new charger until I got to Paris "because the plugs are different there" (no shit!). We climbed out from under the table and he told me to wait a sec. He came back a few moments later with a brand new cord and took my old one to (presumably) throw it in a bucket of holy water. He was so sweet! I didn't even know what to do, so I just stood there willing myself to stop blushing. One of his coworkers happened to see this exchange and teased "Oh, I guess we are giving cords away now!". I was so embarrassed. Salisbury was loving every moment of this and chided me for not getting his number. I mean, come on though... What was I supposed to do? I was already leaving! So that's my story of the love that almost was. May this charger forever bind us together, my off brand Colin Firth of the Covent Garden Apple store. 

Next, we said goodbye to the Rubens and headed to St. Pancras station to catch our train to Paris. I wanted Salisbury to take a photo running into the wall at Platform 9 3/4 because we are shameless tourists. We had a bit of trouble finding it, so we asked an employee if he knew where it was. He gave us a blank stare and then his face lit up and said "Harry Potter?" YES! After some brief directions, we made our way over. We agreed that it would have been hilarious if he had told us it didn't exist. What a missed opportunity.

As we waited for our train, I was so happy to see a Eurostar ad by one of my favorite illustrators, Jean Jullien. It is interesting to note that he actually garnered a little more fame for his Peace for Paris illustration following the November attacks. 

Chocolate frog in hand, we boarded our train. Fuck, I am so childish. 

Hey, what can I say? I go all in for the things I love. I am surprisingly unabashed about my corny behavior. The muggle struggle is so real. For those of you who are wondering, I got an Ollivander card. You didn't expect him to stick around all day, did you?! 

...Same goes for me. On our next entry, we will finally get to Paris. GARGOYLES! DISNEYLAND! LES SOLDES! All of that and more when I publish the next round of posts... à bientôt!

jeudi 3 mars 2016

In Photos: The Harry Potter Experience

Here are odds and ends that did not make it into my original entry about the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.This was a wonderful way to spend a few hours away from the city. Even if you are not a fan of the franchise, I would advise anyone with even the remotest interest in movies to go and check it out.