Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 146: Back in the UK... and Queuing

(The proper British experience- a queue)

I'm currently sitting in the Barbican theatre in a queue of far too many people, waiting for tickets to David Tennant's Richard II. My friends Hannah and Molly are probably at the Domar Warehouse (a smaller theatre in the West End) queuing for tickets for Tom Hiddleston's Coriolanus. If all goes well, I should get to see both today, one matinee and one evening. At very least I'll get to see Richard II, since I'm currently person forty in the queue, and they have sixty day seats.

All this theatre madness means, of course, that I'm back in the UK. London, specifically. It's fantastic to be back here, to have all the signs in English, to hear the British accents, and to be in a semi-familiar city. I may not have spent much time in London, but I definitely know it better than Budapest!

The strangest thing, actually, has been the language. It's been almost as jolting as when I got home from my Quebec trip- I was so used to hearing another language all around me, to not being able to read signs, and to speaking slowly when asking for directions from a local. Getting back to all-English was an unexpected shock. 

It's also funny how London feels so homey. As soon as I got off the plane, almost literally as my toe hit the tarmack, I felt like I was back where I belonged. The little happy voice started chattering in my head, and I immediately began talking in a British accent. I picked up a bit of an accent over Christmas, lost it while travelling, but as soon as I got back to England, even before talking to a single British person, my accent was back. 

I'm in London until Monday afternoon, hanging out with Hannah and Molly at this really posh flat in Chelsea, a nice area in west London. It's been great to see my friends again and I love getting to visit London with some other people. Hannah is also into rather different things than I am, so we're going to a lot of different places than where I went last time. If this was my first time in London I'd be disappointed that we weren't going to the famous sights, like Big Ben and the London Eye, but since I've been here before it's nice to see new stuff. 

This queue is ridiculous. It's now 9:30, which means I've been here for over two and a half hours. There are likely about twice as many people behind me as ahead, meaning that there are about 120 people waiting for day seats... about twice as many as there are seats. I have no idea why people near the end are still here. I suppose it is the last day the play is showing, so they're probably just holding on to the vain hope that someone will return a ticket. Still, it's another hour until the box office opens, meaning they'll probably be waiting for nearly two hours still only to be disappointed.

(Later note: I got tickets to Richard II! Unfortunately, we didn't get Coriolanus tickets, but I probably would have picked David Tennant over Tom Hiddleston, if push really came to shove. As I post this, it's the interval between the two acts of Richard II, so I have seen David Tennant! So much excitement!)

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