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March 27, 2002 / Maleesha Kovnesky

London, finally!

I’m in London! To be exact, I am in a teensy weensy van which is driven by a stereotypical British fellow and let me just say they drive like complete idiots here. Now downtown D.C. can get pretty frantic during rush hour, but this guy just nearly got us hit by a bus. Not to mention the fact that they are all driving about half an inch apart from the vehicle next to them! For all the craziness, there aren’t any “flippings-o-the bird”, or cusses yelled out the window. As a matter of fact, I don’t even hear any horns blaring! I wonder what the secret is – no road rage. Perhaps fluoride causes road rage. I knew I should have been an environmental biologist.
11 PM – what a long day. We saw all the must-sees….Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, and Trafalgar Square. Five of us went to a funny play in the West End called “Caught in the Net”. Getting there was quite the challenge – we hailed a little black cab and had a good time running back and forth from the play billboard to the ticket stand – every time we got to the front of the line, the show we wanted to see would have JUST sold out. At the end, it was the principle of the thing…we kept trying just because we wanted to see SOMETHING, ANYTHING. I must say that I feel the Europeans really know what they are doing with coffee. It seems a lot better here, perhaps because I had it in a little London cafe in a tiny white cup and saucer, instead of the normal watered down filtered thru a gym sock and poured into a standard paper cup coffee whilst sitting at my desk in front of thousands of lines of code. That could be it. Now I am in the hotel room (I’m really not sure if it qualifies as a “room” by American standards… it is more like a “space” or perhaps a “nook”) watching the British version of “Survivor”. It’s a bit wilder than our Jeff Probst-ized version. And I finally have the burning question of my life answered – does a map in a foreign country have the same map that we have? No! Their maps all seem to be centered on Europe…go figure. Hey…I had to know for sure. Apparently there is no global standard on mapmaking. Satisfaction at last. Good night.

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