UK Experience (Part 1 of…who knows)

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Unrelated Shit

You may have noticed a lack of posts over the last week or so.  That’s ’cause I’ve kind of hit a bit of a wall.  So, any suggestions about topics or anything you’d like addressed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to accomodate.  I am still working on a piece about the Blackouts.

In the meantime, I thought I’d write about an experience I had five years ago traveling to the UK.  Back in the summer of ’06, I attended a week-long history conference at the University of Oxford.  It was one of the best weeks of my life.

We had to check in on a Sunday afternoon, but being a Beatles fan, I decided to come in a day early and go to Liverpool.  So I flew into Manchester airport on Saturday morning, completely exhausted from a lack of sleep on the flight (the older gentleman sitting next to me had this wonderful habit of jabbing me with his elbow just as I was falling asleep…happened like three times.)  I then caught the hour-long train ride to Liverpool, which faces the Irish Sea in Northwest England.

If you’ve ever been overseas, you’ll relate to what I’m about to talk about.  I had travelers’ disorientation going big time…a combination of the physical exhaustion and lack of familiarity with my surroundings in a foreign city.  I also found Liverpudlians difficult to understand.  Every sentence seemed to trail off into mumble-land.  I finally got tired of asking people to repeat themselves after four of five times, resorting to the standard “foreigner nod.”  Hopefully, I didn’t incite any international incidents.

I had scheduled a Beatles tour at 3 pm that afternoon.  Our guide must have been in his sixties and he freely talked about the Liverpool music scene of the late ’50s/early ’60s.  He met John Lennon when he was ten, and was in a band like everyone else at the time.  We stopped at Paul’s boyhood home…

Then, we visited two sites that inspired Beatles songs….

And of course, we had to check out the Cavern, the jazz club where the Beatles gigged prior to their superstardom…

Despite my excitement, I nearly nodded off several times during the tour–I was that wiped.  (I also think the “Peterman Reality Tour” flavor of the cassette tape our guide played…that didn’t help.)


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