To quote Samwise Gamgee, ‘I’m back’

November 30, 2006 at 6:01 pm Leave a comment

And yes that is a Lord of the Rings reference.  I’m a geek, so it’s what I do.

So about my trip – I’m going to report on it in two ways for two different groups of people.  First, for all American tourists  that tend to be obnoxious, ethnocentric jerks while in other countries: don’t go to northern England.  It’s a terrible place, and you wouldn’t like it.  You’ll be beaten to death by roving bands of hooligans who will then proceed to make a hat from your buttocks and play a pick up game of five-a-side with your kidneys.  There is nothing to see, do, eat, smell, whatever.  It is a void – null space.  You would be much better off going to places like Cabo San Lucas or Ibiza, where your horrible behavior will fit in wonderfully.

For all world-wise, adventurous, conscientious American tourists: go to northern England.  It’s a great place that hasn’t been spoiled by the horrible tourists I described in the previous bit.  Manchester is a great city: incredibly cosmopolitan, populated by wonderfully warm people with a great sense of humor.  I regret having spent only two days there.  But then I wouldn’t have had to time to do all the other things I did.  York is brilliant for sight-seeing, although it can be a little pricy.  And Sheffield, while it may not have the tourism of York or Manchester, has some of the best ales you will ever find.  And it borders Peak District National Park, with some of the most beautiful vistas you will ever see.

On a related topic, I just want to say something about modern air travel.  The sheer number of security checkpoints I had to go through getting back was mind numbing.  I count six: one getting into the terminal at Manchester, one before getting onto the plane, one at customs in Philadelphia without my bag, another at customs with my bag, another about ten yards later where a woman checked my passport again, and a final one about ten yards beyond that where I can do have all my carry on x-rayed and go through the metal detectors AGAIN.  And never mind the fact no two airports in the world seem to have identical security restrictions.  Leaving from DC, I was allowed one carry on bag (my backpack) and one personal item (my camera bag).  Leaving Manchester, I was allowed one carry on bag.  Full stop.  I had to check my backpack, because I trusted my camera bag with baggage handlers as much as a mother trusts her newborn with a pack of dingos.  And because of all this hassle, I’ve decided one thing: if I ever meet any sort of terrorist, I will kick him square in the privates with a steel toed boot.  And then I will drag him before a line of people waiting to get through airport security with a sign around their neck saying “This is all my fault” and allow every person in line to put their boot in before they walk through the metal detector.  That may sound a bit aggro, but when innocent people have to jump through 8,000 hoops for doing nothing wrong, I think someone has to answer for it.


Entry filed under: Random Thoughts Projection.

Um, Yes, I’ll Have An Order of Cottonseeds Please Waiter otherwise known as Should I Eat This Or Wear This Person of the Year, It’s ME and well you too. ( otherwise known as, I can’t ever win this thing out right!)

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