To my dear reader, (follower?) I want to take this time and thank you for sticking around and reading our blog for the past few weeks, months, years, or what have you. To those of you just joining us, thanks for being fashinably late to the party! Now, let me be the first to welcome you to the newest section of the Two Britts’ Blog, the Throwback Thursday!
We started this blog in the beginning of 2011 right before we took off for six months to Turku, Finland. The goal was to keep our family and friends back home in touch and up to date with us. Never in a million years did I think this would take off and become a thing I would continue to maintain years down the road with hundreds of followers! Though this blog is still a spring chicken, BT and I are both well seasoned winter hens (?? Not sure what the opposite of a spring chicken is, but you get my drift) and have lots of travel stories that took place pre 2011.
On Thursdays (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, really whenever the mood strikes) I will be recounting travel stories that took place before the creation of this blog. Everything we do as far as travel is concerned is because we once did it wrong (or not at all) and have hence learned from our mistakes. May our unfortunate social blunders be a lesson to you all, or a verification for those of you who have made the same faux pas. We are all human (in case you forgot) and at times, we are all idiots, especially when we are traveling (which we happen to do quite a lot, so you can see where this is going).
To kick things off I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I was a terrible traveler as a child. TERRIBLE. My parents knew this, yet they continuously put me, and my younger two siblings (who, may I point out, we’re no Magellans themselves), on planes, trains and automobiles criss-crossing the country and eventually hopping the pond over to England and Scotland, where today’s story takes place.
When I say I was a terrible traveller, I mean that in every sense of the word. I never cried or threw a tantrum (and I still don’t, thankyouverymuch) but I most definitely, and almost always, made a scene. Case in point. The year was 1998, I was 11 years old and was with my parents and two siblings in Edinburgh, Scotland. I had vomited my whole way across the Atlantic, but having been on solid ground for a few days, I thought I was on the mend. The problem was that I wasn’t really sick. I’m pretty sure I was just a stress-puker, and the cherry on top of the proverbial vomit sundae is that I had little to no warning when I was going to be sick.
Moving on, we hadn’t yet mastered the new monetary system we found ourselves dealing with, and for some sick and twisted reason all of the public restrooms in Scotland cost money. Not only did they cost money, but they were guarded by a turnstile and, more often than not, a grumpy old lady. So, after hunting and pecking through her handful of pounds and shillings and pence, my mom clears the three of us kids through the turnstile and into the bathroom. We do our business, and after checking with me at least a half a dozen times about whether I need to throw-up or not – No, Mom, I’m fine! – we exit and go meet back up with my dad.
I can’t remember exactly where we were, but I remember it being a very crowded place. We were just about to leave the said crowded place, when it hit me like a brick wall. I didn’t even need to say anything, I just looked at my mom and she knew. Without hesitating she grabbed my arm and started hauling me back to the bathroom. With a hand over my mouth, and my eyes bulging, by mom desperately tried to jam any and all coins into the god-forsaken turnstile. It’s well known that the British (and Scotish, for that matter) don’t like to make a fuss, and are uncomfortable with those of us who do. So, without a doubt the woman “guarding” the turnstile that was guarding the bathroom felt deeply troubled at what I can only assume looked like sheer madness.
My mom was screaming and cursing the the blasted coins and the bathrooms that needed guarding and the lady guard who wasn’t helping, when I took off running. Not wanting to get sick all over the line that formed behind us, or the turnstile that the said line would have to walk through, I took off for a less populated area. I could feel my lunch making its way up my throat, and as I turned a corner I let it all fly. Literally. I wasn’t in the practice of crouching down and expelling of my innards in a quiet and descreet fashion like a cat throwing up a hair ball. No, I was loud and kept my head high. Projectile is an understatement for what it was I did, and on that day my lunch flew triumphantly through the air and came crashing down all over the front of one of the Queen’s Royal Guards.
Unfortunately for him, part of his job requirement is to remain on guard until relieved. Not, until someone is relieved on him, but until his replacement comes and replaces him. Let me tell you, this guy was a professional if ever there was one. He didn’t move a muscle. Just stood there and took it like a man, like a man dressed in a fancy red suit with a ridiculously elephantine hat. Luckily for him, the distance from which I hurled my lunch, multiplied by the force with which I did it, brought the projection to land squarely on his stomach and thereon down. I cannot even imagine how bad I would have felt had I soiled his huge, royal hat.
I simultaneously felt better and worse. Better for having got my lunch up, worse for ruining a perfectly good guard’s outfit/day. I apologized profusely, but because of the nature of his job, he just stared straight ahead as if nothing had ever happened.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why you always look for guards (and common folk, for that matter) before you puke, and get a handle on the money with wich you have to deal as quickly as possible!