Friday, May 15, 2009

Press Ups

The first thing I need to do is apologize to Alysha for a insensitive and careless comment I made in my last post. I am sorry.

Since my last post I have been very busy. Wednesday morning Clay, Jordan, Brittnee, Rachel, and I met in the lobby with intentions of seeing the Prime Minister take questions from Parliament. The PM only sees Parliament on Wednesday mornings at 11:00, and they leave forty spots open to the public. Well when we got there the House of Parliament guards told us that all the spots were already full and that most people make reservations months in advance with the help of a representative. Dang. Not to worry, Westminster Abbey is right across the street. We walked over and paid our 12 pound student fee and picked up a headset for the self guided tour. The Abbey is incredible. It was finished in 1065, one year before the Norman invasion of 1066, and is the last Saxon style church built in England. Most churches built after Westminster Abbey are known as Norman style churches, or as they are called on the mainland Romanesque. However, very little of the original church is left because different monarchs have added rooms or done renovations. I saw the tombs of Elizabeth I, Geoffrey Chaucer, Handel, and almost every other monarch and famous person from England. When I was about to leave a priest came up to me and asked if I was there to attended the service. I thought about it for a split second, and didn't see any reason why I shouldn't attend. So, I said, that is exactly why I am here. The service lasted about 30 minutes and consisted mainly of sitting, standing and reading responsive prayers out of the bulletin. The cool thing was at the end they said if you would like to receive communion please come and kneel at the alter. I went down and knelt at the alter and priest handed me a wafer off an extremely shiny plate, then another priest tilted my head back and poured some very odd tasting wine in my mouth. The priest then dismissed us. I didn't really know what I was doing the whole time but the lady next to me was dressed in nun gear so I just followed her lead and everything worked out alright. I think it is pretty cool to have taken communion at Westminster Abbey.

We then walked past the Prime Minister's house, into Trafalgar Square, past St. James Park (I think), then to Buckingham Palace. The palace is a site to see, but that is really all one can do. There is a big fence and guards in tall hats with automatic weapons guarding it. We stayed about ten minutes and then took the tube to the Tower of London. We walked around Tower of London and then across the Tower Bridge, not to be confused with the London Bridge (which was bought by an American and is now in Arizona), to the south side of the Thames. We stopped and got a drink at this really cool bar over looking the Thames, Tower Bridge, and Tower of London. It was pretty dark by this point so we decided to head home.

The next day was Thursday, and on Thursdays I have class from 10:00 to 5:20 with only a 30 minute break for lunch. So nothing too exciting happened during the day, but that night everything changed. The four guys decided that we would go to Camden Park and walk around for awhile and grab a bite to eat. We ended up eating at this place called Woody's Grill, an appropriate name for a restaurant made entirely of wood, however not a very appropriate name for a Middle Eastern restaurant. Being guys, what originally attracted us to Woody's was the two huge spinning things of meat in the window. We walked in and what they should have said is "Welcome to Moe's", but they didn't. Woody's was a Middle Eastern Moe's. I got a lamb burrito looking thing. They kept asking me if I wanted different things on it and since I couldn't understand what was being said I kept saying yes. My buritto was huge. When I put my burrito down to pay it rolled of the counter and they had to make me one again. We ate pretty fast then headed back to dorm to meet the girls to go out to a few pubs. Once we got back to the dorm we sat around and waited on the girls for about 2 hours. By this time it was 9:00. We walked to the Globe Pub, Sir Arthur Doyle and Charles Dickens drank there, and ordered a few drinks. We had been there about an hour when this extremely drunk and British 50 year old man came up and started hitting on Leslie, a very attractive Auburn coed, so naturally I acted like she was my long time girl friend. Well he kept telling me and her that she was the must beautiful girl in the bar and that if she was his girl he would treat her like a lady should be treated. He also told me that I was the ugliest person in the bar with my curly hair and big nose, and that she was way out of my league. I kept telling him that we were in love and that I would be willing to fight over her. Jokingly of course. Well he said he accepted my offer and so I stood up. Well I guess he didn't realize it when I was sitting down, but a good head taller than he was. We both then decided that we shouldn't fight over her and that we should have a press up competition instead. We quickly cleared the air that a press up was the same as a push up so I accepted only on the grounds that he go first. I didn't think he would do it, but never underestimate a drunk person. He got down on his hands and knees and did about ten of the worst push-ups I have ever seen. I am far from Trent or Chris Goodson when it comes to push-ups, but I was able to do a few more than ten. The most surprising thing is that he then shook my hand and left with out really saying a word. We then sat around and laughed for a long time about how strange it was and that I might have been the first person in the 250 year history of the Globe Pub to have a push up competition. That pub closed at 11:00 and so we were forced to go to a few more pubs, but none were as exciting as the first.

This morning we had to be at the train station at 10:00 to go Hampton Court Palace. Hampton Court was the royal residence for Henry VII and for about 200 years after him. The palace is very neat, but the gardens around the palace are wonderful. We stayed for about 3 or 4 hours eating, walking through the house, and around the gardens. There is a maze on the grounds that was very disappointing in its difficulty. We then rode the train back and have been hanging out in the dorms every since. It is raining pretty hard.

Tomorrow we go to Canterbury which I am very excited about, but I am probably more excited about the two hour train ride through the English countryside. Pray for good weather.

1 comment:

  1. Joe! I'm so glad you're blogging your experiences! You are hilarious. I love thinking about you taking communion at Westminster Abbey. I love imagining your rolling burrito and doing push ups for a girls honor. And you're so right, never underestimate a drunk person...HA!