27 August 2010

England Vacation Part 2

It's 8:30 in Calgary and 3:30 in London, difference is that in London, its tomorrow. We're somewhere in between. We are 37,000 feet over Greenland, Godthab to be exact. It's pitch dark outside and I'm reminded of the last time I flew over Greenland, it was a few years ago. OK, quite a few years ago... let's put it this way... there was smoking in the plane, not a smoking section, every seat had an ashtray and you could call the women working on the plane stewardesses without upsetting them. It was 1979 and we took a family vacation to Italy.

Today, our trip is to England and my kids are 13, 9 and 9. Old enough to enjoy and learn from an overseas trip and young enough to keep Karen and I on our toes. I hope they look back on this as fondly as I remember Italy.

Before we left, we were in a toy store at the airport and the kids were looking at die cast cars and I was reminded of the car I bought outside of Napoli, a silver Mercedes 450SEL - my favorite car of all-time (at that time). I guess I've wanted a silver Mercedes, ever since I was a kid. Somewhere in a box in the basement, I still have the toy car and in the garage is now the real thing.

Three hours left in the flight and I'm certain my kids are wishing we were there already, because I am too. In this age of instant downloads and access to anything it's still hard to get your head around the fact that we can only move so fast on this planet. Someone's gotta come up with some kind of hi-speed mode of travel.

We are now midway over Greenland. I was reminded of the subtle differences in culture just now as I ordered a drink. The crew is all British and when asked if I would like one or two shots of rum, I held up two fingers. Realizing quickly that I just made an obscene gesture to the man, I quickly reversed it, gave him the peace sign and apologized to some laughter. It's gonna be fun. They use the same language, but words have different meanings - a fanny pack for instance is a verb in the U.K.

I have come to understand the pronunciation of certain words to like Glouchestershire - it does not sound like it looks. I suppose, if I make a fool of myself and say the wrong things, I will simply say, "sorry, that's not how we say it in the good old US of A!"

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