All this happened, more or less...

My name is G and these are the true stories of my adventures.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

London, Day 5 Brighton

When I first started planning this trip to London, I thought, "Yay! I'll get to see British people!" Just the first indication that I didn't really know anything about London.

If you don't know anything about London either, you may be surprised to learn that there aren't actually very many British people there. Especially during tourist season. London's one of the most diverse cities in the world, which is awesome, and it's full of incredible and interesting people, but if you really want to see British people, you're barking up the wrong tree.

S and I brought this dilemmna up with Our Rob, and on his advice, we took a day trip to Brighton to see the sea and the British people.


On Thursday morning, our brand new set of roommates woke up about 4:45 and started getting dressed. All four of them slunk around like ninjas so as not to disturb us. They eased their suitcases out from under their beds and sifted stealthily through them. They gently coaxed the door latch open and closed on their way to the shower. When speaking was absolutely necessary, they kept their voices so low and hushed that I could just barely make out that they were speaking Mandarin. They even pulled the curtain shut to keep the sun from coming in. I was, of course, already wide-awake, but I appreciated the courtesy. Asians are fantastic that way – aware of others and conscientious not to offend.

Then one of them started blow-drying his hair.

S was already awake too, so it didn’t really bother either of us, but we laughed about it all day and teased him relentlessly when they got home that evening.

We actually got out of bed at a more reasonable hour and took an epic bus coach ride to Brighton. The trip was damn bloody long but well worth it.

Brighton Pier is a Victorian era vacation spot, a relic of a time when doctors used to prescribe a “trip to the sea” as treatment for a wide variety of ailments. We needed a little reprieve from urbana, and Brighton promised a relaxing afternoon.


When we arrived, we headed straight for the pier. The sky was a bit cloudy but not gloomy enough to threaten rain, and the crowd of merry-makers was thin enough to be comfortable but steady enough to be interesting.

We crossed paths with a few particularly note-worthy folks in Brighton. As soon as we got to the beach, a random old guy approached us and insisted we take a picture with him. Okay, crazy Uncle Walter. Whatever you say. On the pier itself, we spotted a fellow who appeared very average from his head to his waistline... and then was sporting the shortest pair of short-shorts any man has ever worn. So short, in fact, that his undergarments were visible beneath. That’s what the Japanese call “sekushi.”

The pigeons were just as entertaining as the people. Of course, London pigeons are world-renown, and we’d been enjoying them all week, but the pigeons were out in full force in Brighton as well. Some of them were probably local Brighton pigeons, but a few were clearly Londoners on holiday. There was a pigeon waiting at the bus station in London, first in line for the coach to Brighton. Perhaps his doctor prescribed a day by the sea. The big city must have been giving him headaches. They wouldn’t let him get on though. Something about his ticket... and him not being a person. Then there were pigeons shopping along the beach, browsing water shoes, plastic lobsters, and other holiday essentials. A pigeon even came into a cafe on the pier and ordered a latte. The barista threw him out. Racist.


In the evening, we returned to London and walked over to the British Museum. This time, we had checked the guidebook, which said the museum would be open until 11 p.m. Unfortunately, we failed to realize that only the Great Court was open that late; all the actual galleries closed at 5:30. While you can still go in the museum until 11, you can’t actually see any of the exhibits. Ah! Foiled again!

To cheer ourselves up, we found a red phone booth full of stripper flyers and sang selections from “The Phantom of the Opera” in it. That helped.



neverbelieve said...

Brighton is the gay capital of the UK - I don't think it's overly representative of real Britain. :P

G said...


well, that explains the short-shorts now, doesn't it?