Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

April 2005

TravelFriday, April 29th, 2005, (9:23 pm)

Got here this afternoon on what turned out to be a gloriously sunny day. The place feels very European and in the sun it’s at its best.

We wandered around this evening after going for a meal. It was the Queens day celebrations today, celebrating the official birthday of the Dutch Queen. Those celebrations will continue late into the night and all of tomorrow.

Sadly my mate Will was pick-pocketed while we walked around the streets. This was a bummer, but in such crowded street he wasn’t very wise with his choice of pocket for his wallet. The outside jacket pocket made his wallet easy pickings.

The canals make the city a really beautiful place in the springtime weather, and you will never have seen as many cyclists and bikes in your life! Cycling is the number one mode of transport here.

My Red Sox cap attracted the attention of an American Yankees fan who spent a while telling me that the Red Sox suck etc etc etc. But it was all in good humor and he stopped talking after I struck him across the back of the head with a broken bottle.
(Okay that last bit wasn’t true, I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)

To round off the day the 2.2Gb Micro-drive memory card in my camera failed just as I was hooking it up to my PowerBook to download todays photos (of which many were looking very promising I might add). The drive is dead and will have to be returned to the company in America that I purchased it from less than a week ago. When Will saw the card I was using, prior to its failure, he commented that those particular drives have a terrible reliability record, a few hours later he was proved right.

Just to add to that fun the USB ports on my Mac also failed at roughly the same time, so the PowerBook will have to be returned to Apple to be fixed once I get back to England. Funnily enough the European location for fixing PowerBooks is in Amsterdam!

Tomorrow the plan is to just kick around the city, take lots of pictures, people watch with out friend Mark. Sit in cafes drinking coffee and maybe trying some of the local leaves on offer in chocolate form!

The question many of my friends have asked is whether or not we plan to visit the red light district. My answer to that is… “When in Rome.”

General and TravelFriday, April 29th, 2005, (8:19 am)

I’ve discovered the cure for jetlag and it’s alcohol and karaoke!

So I’m back in the UK and feeling pretty good all things considered. Usually the jet lag is awful, but I think I have found the trick. The night before you are set to leave go out with friends to an Irish bar drink Guinness mixed with hard cider, then have a Tequila then chase that with beer. Karaoke may also be a requirement. A fairly merry rendition of ‘If you wanna be my lover’ by the Spice Girls could indeed be a part of the cure too. Sing that with two friends while the girls in the bar take lots of pictures with their camera phones – and you know that by morning you’ll wish you hadn’t done that!

The bar closed at midnight but we weren’t tired, so we stayed out till nearly 4-am then I had to get up a little before seven! I took Anne to work so I could borrow her car and do some errands I needed to get done. By later that afternoon I was SO TIRED! The transatlantic flight was a sinch. I Slept from Canada to Ireland!

GeneralMonday, April 25th, 2005, (11:30 am)

So I’ve finalized my summer travel arrangements. Despite the horrible welcome I’ll get when I land in America, I’ve booked another trip beginning at the end of June and ending at the end of July in the lone star state! Yes, that’s right I’m coming back to Texas!

The trip will start in Portland Oregon, then I’ll make my way down the west coast over a period of nearly a month before flying out of LAX to Houston (via Denver). I’m coming to see my wonderful friend Erin (and hopefully an alligator or two) for a few days before heading back to the UK. But while I am there hopefully I’ll meet a few of the those Houstonians among you.

The exact dates are : July 19th through to July 23rd. Lets all go out!

GeneralSaturday, April 23rd, 2005, (4:41 am)

I just got back to Boston from New York City. It’s pretty late here in ‘Beantown’ (nearly 3am) so I’m off to bed. But for those of you who might want to celebrate something a little unusual today, I thought I’d point out that today is St George’s day, Englands national day.

Everyone knows St Patrick’s day, and find some excuse to be Irish on March 17th, but nobody ever seems to celebrate being English on St George’s day. So folks, you might be American I appreciate that, but you know and Englishman, and somewhere along the line you might be related to someone English, so today maybe you’d like to enjoy England’s national day. St George’s Day – April 23rd.

I’m in America, but I’ve brought an English flag to fly on this day! (Honestly, I have!)

TravelWednesday, April 20th, 2005, (8:23 pm)

Well I just arrived in New York City. Took the Fungwah ‘Chinatown’ bus from Boston, a snip at just $15. I’m now situated in my hotel room on Park Ave and despite what the website for the place said, they do indeed have free wireless broadband internet access which is a bit of a result, in that I am somewhat obliged under contract to check my email and make sure all my customers are happy (which they are).

I’m hungry though, so I think I’ll just have a little shower and then head out into the city.

I’d post more, but hey, I’m on vacation!

Fungwah Bus – New York Boston for $15

TravelSaturday, April 16th, 2005, (11:00 pm)

So I am in America. Last night I planned to get to bed at midnight so that I’d get five and a half hours before I had to get up and catch a flight to London. In the end I got to bed at 3:30am, meaning I got just two hours sleep before having to be up again.

I ended up getting stopped by those friendly folks at the customs desk. They randomly searched my stuff. Just doing their job I guess. But given my annoyance at being fingerprinted and photographed, this only added to my feeling of not being exactly welcomed with open arms.

What made me laugh though, was that when my friend picked me up and we got in her car and drove away from the airport, the radio started to play Tom Petty’s song Don’t come around here no more.

Next Page »