So I flew last weekend to London to meet up with Brian to celebrate his birthday. We had a pretty fantastic time. First night in town we went out and about, no real idea of where or what to do. We ended up in a sports pub then at a delicious curry restaurant. After that, we decided to try to pub crawl our way home, stopping at any places we found interesting. Not sure how we did it, but we walked for 35 minutes from Victoria Station in the direction of our hotel and couldn't find a single pub. We were in the land of rich houses, hotels, and embassies. Then, when we had almost completely given up hope, we saw a group of people smoking outside of a pub. We'll take it! Once inside, we realized that we were at karaoke night at a gay pub in Chelsea called The Queen's Head. Brian, maybe the world's most awesome person, was like, "Let's do it! I want a drink!" He didn't care that he was spending his first night listening to old British queers mangling Lady Gaga. He is such a good travel partner; if you get a chance to take a trip with Brian, do it.
Side note: Have I talked about Hen Parties yet? They're the European name for Bachelorette Parties, and the women go all out. Sometimes they dress thematically (Cowboy Night, 70s Night, Black & White Night) so it already plays to my love of mass public costume. But these bitches travel in hordes up and down the streets, jumping pub to pub, doing crazy dances and playing crazy games and just being all-around fantastic. I've become a little obsessed with them and whenever I see one at a pub I go nuts and try to not stalk the hens but it doesn't always work. Anyway, because I'm so fascinated with them, I end up talking about them fairly frequently and I like it when people get just as excited as me about them.
Well I saw this old fag hag with her table of queers and she struck me as someone who would be totally fabulous (I saw her get all sassy with someone holding the door open and letting a draft in). So, relying on my Dutch courage, I went over to her. "Can I ask you a question? What do you think of hen parties?" She gave me a cold stare and said, "What? Oh, hen parties? They came from America and are ruining England." I tried to let her know that I didn't know everything about them but that what I had seen and experienced they looked fun and silly. She replied, "No one had hen parties 20 years ago. Now they're everywhere. All these girls are complete trash." I had hoped she would be cuntabulous, but it turns out she was just a raging cunt.
First, no one in America even knows what hen parties are. So to claim that they came from America means that this bitch just heard my accent, and decided to throw that back at me. And, second, they are NOT ruining anything. That would be like saying Jell-o shots are ruining anything, or that fun is ruining anything. They may not be your cup of tea, but get over yourself. She even had her table of groupthink queens back her up on this. Any homosexual who doesn't like the idea of putting on a tiara and gloves and then running around town playing drinking games is just a bad gay.
As the pub is closing (yes, we closed down the bar) we stopped by a group of fags and hags smoking fags and I decided to try my luck again. I talked to them about hen parties and they were much more approving. And after chatting for a while, they even invited us back to their apartment for champagne and dancing to Michael Jackson CDs. It was a really fun group and they renewed my faith in British people (although I then found out that 2 were Irish, 1 was Scottish, and only one was actually from England). But our first night in the UK resulted in us getting home at 4:30am, which I hear is late for London.
The next day we went to... wait for it... wait for it... ABBAWORLD. Again, Brian is the best travel partner because very few other people would be into catering to my whims like this. And this was a big deal. The day I flew to London, the earthquake happened in Chile, and the day that I actually went to ABBAWORLD there was a huge aftershock. I am seismically connected to Abba. My love for them is tectonic. As my friend Michelle stated prior to me heading to London, "Tom going to ABBAWORLD will result in something similar to Ben moving the Island." It's basically an exaggerated museum with some glorified video game aspects (Sing along with hologram Abba! Make your own music video!) but it's also strangely glorious. I mean, it's impossible not to be happy when listening to 2 straight hours of Abba music.
My advice, if ABBAWORLD comes to your town (I'm looking at you Melbourne, Australia) then you should check it out. But make sure you have an insane love of Abba.
Other updates: My last day at work is March 19, but my company has kindly allowed me to stay in the apartment until March 31, so that's when I'm flying home. But this gives me some time off, so I figured I'd fill it with a vacation since I'll probably never have the opportunity to visit Europe from Europe. After much deliberation and investigation, but ultimately decided in the spur of the moment, I'm going to Prague for 5 days. I was checking out flights and in one hour the price dropped significantly and it said it was the last ticket available (who knows if that's even true) so now I get to go to the Czech Republic for $88 round trip. Say what?!?!!?
Anyone who has been there that has suggestions, send them my way! This is going to be my first time in a big city all by myself, and I do not speak Czech. It's going to be an adventure!