Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Jason Robards Helps Me Smuggle - England I

We sped back to the airport in Essen much the same as when we had arrived that morning. But the plane we boarded to go to merry old England was on British Airways. I was thinking, finally, everyone will speak English. Then the stewardess came over and asked for my beverage order and when I asked for tea, she said something absolutely unintelligible. Her pronunciation was so clipped, that I could not make out the consonants at the beginning or end of each word. It sounded like “'ah’ or 'oh’”. A nearby passenger had to lean over and say, “She wants to know whether you want your tea hot or cold?” How embarrassing.

We landed at Heathrow in no time and grabbed one of those clunky looking old black cabs to take us to our hotel for night. It was a pretty nondescript joint and the food was typical English fare; uninspired was the best you could say.

Raz picked us up the next morning for the appointment with the doctor in Oxford we were meeting. It was nice to see him again. Dr. D and I did our show for the doctor and it went well. He indicated that he would participate. Hooray!

While there, we toured the Oxford campus and I bought an overpriced sweatshirt with the Oxford University Crest. We saw the famous Blackwell’s Book store and Dr. D had to go in.

I decided to check out the Adventures of Tintin books, which were written by Herge, that I had seen on display in the Brussels airport. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

When I was a kid, my older brother always had them in French. I, not having learnt French yet, could not read them, but was fascinated by the pictures. What really intrigued me was that Tintin, a journalist who lived in Brussels, traveled all over the world (and even off the world to the moon). I think that these books fed my wanderlust early on. The books are now published in many languages, including English and I figured that I could buy some for my nieces and nephews for the holidays. I loved looking at the covers of the books. But, I was packed so light, that I didn’t want to carry books in my bag. I decided that I could order them on Amazon when I got home and that is what I did.

Then we went to the Ashmolean Museum to see their Egyptian exhibits. I am always completely mystified by Egyptian artifacts. There were tons at the Ashmolean. Vertical glass cases from floor to ceiling lined the walls and horizontal cases filed the middle of the rooms. Free standing statues dotted the rooms here and there.

Bronze Bastet

I keep thinking that real people used these artifacts long, long ago. Pots, dishes, lamps, tablets, jewelry, just so many little bits of the stuff needed for life. These people existed and lived their lives just as we do. How did they get by? What did they do? Sometimes when I look at statues of people’s faces I can imagine them as alive, even though they lived millennia ago. I am also fascinated by hieroglyphics and can stare at them endlessly. I have always wanted to visit Egypt and see the pyramids, but it has been too risky for a long time now. I bought a small mug with hieroglyphics on it for a souvenir.

It was time to hit the road again and drive to Manchester for our next potential investigator visit. We all piled into Raz’ car and off we went.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site. Keep working. Thank you.