Friday, December 31, 2010

The holidays

Everyone from Europe clears out of here. Leaving the place pretty dead. All that is around is the Australian, some Chinese students and me.
Christmas Day: Everything shuts down around here. Apparently it is supposed to be really cool to walk around a deserted London. I wouldn't know because the tube and buss lines were also closed. It's kind of funny that the people that yell for capitalism the loudest in the U.S. are usually the ones that are religious ones that think that no one should work on Christmas holiday. But the socialist government here (in comparison) has it as part of the tradition. OK rant over. Instead L. and I went for a walk down to the Thames river and walked along that until we decided we didn't want to slip on the ice any more and came home.
Apparently the tradition here is that Christmas is turkey and Brussels sprouts. Now no one likes Brussels sprouts, so no one eats them, but they must have them at every party since at least one person likes to keep the tradition alive. (I love them baked, but not the traditional boiled they do here.) The local Tesco ran out and there was enough of a riot that it made it into the paper.

Boxing Day: This is the equivalent to Black Friday (The day after Thanksgiving) in the U.S. The only problem: The tube workers decided to go on strike. To go on strike on the biggest shopping day of the year seems like a real "up yours" to the British economy. So instead L. and I walked to the local shopping center. When we got back they were having a little get together in the Village hall so we went and talked and had some mince pies. These little mini-mince pies are everywhere. Luckily I like them and have been munching on plenty. Even the British people didn't know why it was called Boxing Day, there are only rumors.

New Years: Some of my Chinese friends went into the middle of London to see the fireworks. They waited three hours standing with people pressed against them, no thanks. Instead L. and I went to a local dance club. When we got there at 10:30 there was only maybe 5 other people there. It quickly filled up and we had fun dancing to midnight then took the free bus home. (The Tube ran free all night too instead of closing at 12:30 like usual) When we got back we played games with some guys in the village hall. The card game here that is all the rage is called Fluxx. (Of course they are hard core settlers of Catan players too.)

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