Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying"*

As an American who had never been out of the country before, London was a great first international city to visit. There's a ton to do, the Tube is super easy to navigate, and they speak my language...well sort of. (Admittedly this story is from my first visit to London, which was last year. The trip I just got back from was my second trip. I just thought it was fitting to include this as my first travel entry.)

Now in my defense, I have "lousy sinuses" (as my doctor so scientifically described them) that tend to get backed up when I've been on a plane, especially when that plane ride is about seven hours long. Add to this only a few hours of plane sleep in a 24-hour period, and that was my state as I walked into the hotel in London.

A man stood at a desk. I looked at him, hoping to be able to check-in and fall into a nice comfy bed as soon as possible. He said something that sounded like, "Et on ou." I stared at him stupidly. "Excuse me?" I said. "Et on ou," he said with more emphasis on the syllables. Unfortunately I had no idea what those syllables meant, so more emphasis didn't really help me.

"Excuse me?" I asked again. "Et on ou," he said again. I was thinking Clearly I'm a stupid American, who can't understand a word you're saying. What sort of tongue are you speaking anyway? Open your mouth and enunciate, you fool. I, of course, didn't say any of this and just stared at him with eyes that could only be saying, "Why oh why can't I just check-in and fall into bed?"

My husband proceeded to usher me through a second set of doors. It took about three steps for me to have a revelation. The man was at the concierge desk and wanted us to move "Straight on through" to the check-in desk. Duh! So much for speaking the same language!

*Pink Floyd