Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas
(I'm a tree, Mike's a cracker)
This year, for the first time since 2008, Mike & I are spending Christmas at home.  Honestly, I'd much prefer our original plan for this Christmas, which was a month long trip from Budapest to Berlin via Vienna and Prague, but that plan was scrapped soon after learning our visas were being revoked back in May.

It is no secret Mike & I like to travel during Christmas.  But, since we're moving back across the pond next week (already?!), we decided to save the money and spend Christmas in London, which is still a holiday of sorts but more like just spending it at home.  We'll still get to look back at this Christmas as the Christmas we spent in London though, which is still pretty cool.

London, however, is perhaps the worst place to celebrate Christmas that I've ever been in my life.  Seriously.  Even Christmas in Taiwan, where they don't really celebrate it, was more Christmasy than London.  Perhaps because the little bits of Christmas we encountered in Taiwan (e.g. bartenders wearing Santa hats) were unexpected, thus making them awesome.  Here, the UK forces Christmas on you, dictating how you should spend it.  All public transportation shuts down because you're supposed to be with family.  But, what if you don't have family, you ask?  People don't ask questions like that here.  What if you have to work, you ask?  No one has to work (yes, they do).  Apparently, the UK, during Christmas, becomes a one-size fits all place and everyone here doesn't need to get anywhere on Christmas, everyone has family, and everyone wants house guests from Christmas Eve through Boxing Day.

A common justification for this Christmas behaviour is that the UK is a Christian country (Queen Elizabeth is also head of the Church of England).  But, we've been to both Paris and Rome during Christmas and were able to buy things and get around just fine (and you really can't get more Christian than Rome).  If this Christmas behaviour has anything to do with religion, it's not due to Christianity because not all Christians are giant assholes.  The Catholics in France and Italy are normal.  It's the Anglicans who are the dicks.

Fortunately, both Mike & I are sick and the weather sucks so we're not terribly irritated that we're not able to do anything today.  However, if we had travelled to the UK for Christmas we'd be super irate.  As it is, we're tucked in on the futon with our mulled wine watching Christmas movies (Elf, It's a Wonderful Life, Bad Santa, A Charlie Brown Christmas).  Mike's making a delicious (and special) meal of roast chicken, gravy, and mashed potatoes and, because there are no pumpkin pies here, we've got apple with brandy cream.

We wish everyone a merry Christmas and we hope you're getting to spend it as you enjoy (rather than as 'The Man' dictates).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Updates and Exhibitions

Mike's first London exhibition begins on Thursday.  Espacio Gallery is a lovely gallery on Bethnal Green Road owned by a cooperative of 100 artists.  The show will be much smaller than that though, only showcasing a few artists.  Mike will have three pieces on display.  We're pretty excited.

The dude who hit me in the head with a bottle was arrested last week.  He goes to court today to enter his plea.  I know this because the British Transport Police have been calling me regularly with updates.  What I don't know, because I haven't thought to ask, is what he's being charged with.  I'll ask that next time I talk with them, which should be next week.

We finalised our New York City flat.  We'll be staying in a studio located in the basement of a brownstone in the Meatpacking District on West 15th Street.  You have no idea how unbelievably awesome we think that is.  We had been resigned to a lovely place in Harlem but we would've preferred a shit hole in lower Manhattan.  Luckily, a shit hole we did find.  We'll be sacrificing comfort for location, at least for our first three months.  After that, if we haven't found jobs yet, we'll probably be homeless in Bushwick.  Ah, sweet adventure.
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