Monday, September 27, 2004

"But they went the long way, and saw the elephant."

Been in London on Saturday, went to the Natural History Museum and saw a lot of stuffed elephants and other wonders. The Natural History Museum is an amazing place and probably the biggest and richest museum of natural history I'd ever seen, but it's not that much better than the one in Brussels and, unlike the one in Brussels, is overrun by an incredible number of families with ill-behaved children. The little monsters scream at the top of their lungs and have no concept of queuing, keeping their hands to themselves or self-preservation. Terry Pratchett's words "disqualified from the human race for shoving" came to my mind many times. Still, the visit was well worth it.

After the museum I went to Camden town in the hope of seeing no more children, and there really wasn't any. Camden town is a place full of young adults and small shops that sell shoes, jewelry, drug paraphernalia, magic mushrooms, souvenirs, scarves and scary pants. The place is really fun to stroll around in, although the shopping in expensive and not very good. They only things I would have possibly wanted to buy there were shoes, and I couldn't buy any shoes I liked since they definitely would have not been allowed on a plane as would have been considered a deadly weapon, and probably you need a tractor driver's license to wear that kind of shoes anyway.

Then I went to hang out in Leicester Square and to Chinatown, which was full of cute young guys, unlike Boston's Chinatown, which is usually full of senior citizens who look like they were not particularly pretty when they were young, either.

The morning flight had a screaming small child sitting in the row of seats behind me. The thing was screeching so horribly I sometimes wondered the windows did not shatter. Several times I turned around and gave it a glare of death that was meant to make it understand that screaming is not a good survival strategy right now, but it did not help. On the evening flight, OTOH, there was a nice couple sitting next to me who turned out to be as child-hating as I am, and we spent the flight in a pleasant conversation about whether children are at their best with garlic sauce or brown gravy and mashed potatoes.

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