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Want. To go. Back.

“Now pulling into the station … the Post-Vacation Blues Train, terminating at Slumpington, with stops in Daily Grind, Messy House, and Seething. (Heh. There really is a Seething in Norwich.) All aboard!”

It took more than a week to show up, but the P-V Blues Train arrived today with a vengeance.

Am I really not on vacation anymore? I’m back to cooking and cleaning and going to work like I was never gone?!

Is that really all the time I got to spend with my friends? Writing about Wendy really drove home how little time I had with her. And I haven’t even told you about R and M, and their two girls yet. But I miss them desperately, too!

Two Mondays ago I woke up in Scarborough. It’s on the eastern coast of England. Yes, I think it’s the one in “Scarborough Fair.”

I woke up really cranky that day, because I didn’t ever get to sleep.

I exaggerate.

I got about four hours of sleep.

See, we stayed in a youth hostel.

Stop laughing!

You don’t have to be YOUTHFUL to stay in one.

I booked us into a family room – two bunk beds and a sink, just for us. Shower and bathroom across the hall. Perfectly clean and respectable. I thought it would help us pay for the freakishly expensive trip if we stayed in youth hostels a couple of times.

Granted, it’s been a long time since I stayed in a youth hostel, but I remember that there are rules. If you don’t shut up at “quiet time,” someone in authority comes along to tell you to shut up.

Not at the Scarborough Youth Hostel.

No, if you’re young and high-spirited and imbibing, please … come to the Scarborough Youth Hostel! Start the festivities at about 10 p.m. Continue long after the quaintly posted “quiet time” of 10:30. Scream and preen because you’re trying to impress boys/girls!

Cole fell asleep before the noise really got started. And DH was so tired from driving all day on the wrong side of the road, in the wrong side of the car, on narrow roads with people doing seventy, that he fell asleep, too. I heard him wake up around 11.

I hissed my displeasure to him … from my Top Bunk of Righteous Indignation.

I saw no point in complaining. Clearly, whoever was supposed to tell the partyers to shut up was either gone, passed out drunk, not bothered, or IN THERE PARTYING.

DH fell asleep again while I scribbled furiously in my journal.

Let’s see what I wrote:

It’s almost quiet next door. Maybe they’re pairing off now, and will have drunken sex and fall asleep. Then I can get some sleep.”

No such luck.

The volume increased again, and continued until after 1 a.m.

At that point, I don’t know if I fell asleep despite the noise, or they finally went to bed.

I was awake again before six. The alarm went off at six, and we showered, got dressed, and headed down to the dining room to wait for breakfast.

Let’s check in to my journal again:

“While I’m feeling bitter and tired, here are the things I DISLIKE about Britain:

Butter on sandwiches.

If not butter, mayonnaise on sandwiches.

Radio One. In 2007, why should I have to hear Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’ twice in two days?!?! I remember that Radio One sucked twenty years ago … how do they manage to stay so consistent? Is it the same program manager?

Smoky pubs. We missed the July 1 date when they go smoke-free!

No paper seat covers in public restrooms. NOWHERE. It’s nice that they have public toilets everywhere, and they’re clean … but ewww.

The freaking exchange rate.

Separate hot and cold faucets, no matter how new the fixture. Why can’t we have WARM water, people? Why must it be scalding or freezing?”

See example:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You know the first thing I did after we left the Hostel of Horrors?

I went to the public library, got online, and found a hotel in Glasgow, so I could cancel our next youth hostel adventure. And the best part was that it was only 7 pounds more! I would have paid a lot more than that!

Our next lodging was like Paradise.

More later.

Good-night. I'm going to sleep in my quiet (note to self: is DH wearing nasal strip?), comfy bed now.


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Jul. 10th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
I hate those faucets, too! I, like, try to zip my hands backandforthbackandforthbackandforth REALLYREALLYFAST so I can delude myself into thinking I'm using warm water.
Jul. 10th, 2007 08:59 am (UTC)
Sorry you had such a rotten time. I sympathise - been there and suffered that. I was born into youth hostels (actually born in Scarborough but not in that youth hostels)and yes, they have changed - though not always for the worse. I spent last week in London and they were a cheap and convenient alternative to the accommodation there but I didn't have children with me.
A lot of what you describe about Britain rings true. It can be a great place when the sun's shining and people are considerate and friendly however...
I hope it doesn't put you off returning - maybe when we join the euro.
Jul. 10th, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
Oh no, I'm not put off at all!

That was really the only unpleasant part of a wonderful vacation.

And my list of complaints was meant to be, er, humorous.
Jul. 10th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC)
*Note to self: Never ever stay in European youth hostel, and don't forget to bring rubber sink stopper in purse.*
Jul. 10th, 2007 01:03 pm (UTC)
There was a stopper ... but I was too full of righteous indignation to use it.

And next time I'm packing paper toilet seat covers!
Jul. 10th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC)
LOL - you know it's bad when you're hoping for drunken sex! :)
Jul. 10th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
And I'm so mean I was hoping they would have QUICK drunken sex!
Jul. 10th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
There's really a Seething?
I love that!

But I'm sorry you're down in Post Vacay Blue-land.

I dislike butter and mayo on sandwiches, too. Bluck.
Jul. 10th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
Re: There's really a Seething?
Yes, there really is a Seething! Check out my place names entry from a couple of posts back!

And mayo: just NO. Not unless it's tuna or egg salad. Or potato salad.

Jul. 10th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
Oh man, do I HEAR you on the post-vacation blahs thing. I was happy to come home but then there is the crushing realization that one must provide food for oneself again that does not come from a restaurant, and do laundry, and such.

And what paradise do you live in where you expect paper toilet seat covers? I'd say only 10% of public toilets around here have them. I view them as a glorious luxury item. And oh, man, I hate those separate faucets sooo much.
Jul. 10th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
I got a little shock in every single public restroom ... always thinking, "Nope, not here, either. Sigh."
Jul. 10th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
I am right with you on the post-vacation blues--ugh. I am enjoying hear about your trip though!
Jul. 10th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Jul. 10th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
As I was still single during my trek, I stayed at a 'rent-a-bed' in London. It had loud moments, but I was young enough to be okay with that. Well, I must have been, because I slept a lot ;)

However, my aunt and I took turns driving, and the days that I drove, I was always exhausted! That's a lot of thinking -- plus, we had a manual, and the stick was on the wrong side too.

Our worst B&B experience was in Scotland -- for our 'breakfast', the woman put out a few tiny boxes of Rice Crispies and some warm milk (gag).
Jul. 10th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, poor Hubs was pretty fried at the end of a whole week of driving. Glasgow nearly broke him.
Jul. 10th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
Sleepy rage! I feel your pain, sister!!!! I sometimes wish my 70-yr-old nasty neighbor would have quick drunken sex and shut her TV off IT IS 2AM STOP BLASTING IT YOU DEAF OLD BITCH!!!!!!!!


As for mayo on sandwiches: at least that makes sense. In Japan they put mayo on pizza. Oh, and corn--corn is also a pizza topping. Mayo and corn. And anything else they can think of. Once I went into a pizza place and (this was early on, before I knew better) ordered a "vegetable pizza"--because, you know, at least it wouldn't have anything weird on it. Like tuna.

But! What do I get but a pizza crust covered with lettuce, mayo, and corn!!!!

I pointed & said (in my horrible Japanese): "There are no vegetables!" Until they finally sensed my displeasure & took it back. And what did they bring next?

A plain crust. I guess since lettuce & corn are technically vegetables, they were flabbergasted by my nonsensical complaint--and thought I meant "no vegetables!" A vegetable pizza with nothing on it.


Jul. 11th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
Three words I never thought I would see together in my life: mayo and corn.

Jul. 11th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
Oh, but this was fun to read. :)
Jul. 11th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was fun to write.

Have you boarded the P-V Express yet?

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