Tuesday, April 15, 2003


I'm finally rested after my sixteen hours aboard a cramped bus making stop-and-go progress across Belgium, the northwestern tip of France, and southeastern England; oh, and yes, my day in London. Good time had by all. A couple of notes:

1. Subway's new Chicken Tikka sub tastes better than it looks, but beware the indigestion.

2. The Georgian House Hotel is a lovely value -- a decent enough location, helpful staff, and, if you can get one of the student accommodations, about as cheap as a nice London hostel.

3. I throw my two cents into pile of anecdotal observations that London's congestion charge is a good thing.. In your eye, New Labour!

4. If the the White Stripes' UK tour is any indication of what they've got planned for the US, BUY A TICKET!! (By the way, the review I just linked to gets my prize for line of the weekend: "The new 'Ball and Biscuit' - Elephant's filthy blues heart - is also astonishing, with Jack White playing on his knees, his sexual promises punctuated by liquid guitar emissions. His tight trousers make some pretty clear claims, too." Oh my.) Katrien and I saw them play at the Brixton Academy on Saturday evening, and, after fleeing the moshing mess -- it would not have been so bad, really, had the two fat guys in front of us not seen the need to also whip their heads back in some kind of carefree orgasmic revelry, oblivious our faces being crushed toward the oncoming battering ram -- were treated to one of the best rock n' roll concerts either of us have ever seen. Took me back to the good ol' days of the Afghan Whigs, the best live act I've ever seen (those of you blessed to see one of their shows back in the '90s undoubtedly know the kind of energy I'm referring to here.) Don't make my mistake and be put off by the hype, the false promises of their being the saviors of rock, or their unseemly association with the Strokes or the Vines. Doesn't sound like they're going to be around for too much longer, so just enjoy them while you can.

5. I took the Eurotunnel across the channel twice this weekend. It's quick, sure; but for some reason I missed the seasickness I'd always get on the hovercraft between Oostende and Dover. Well, there was that, and then there was the pain-in-the-ass two hours security and passport control on our way to London, in which, mysteriously, a good one-quarter of our bus never returned. You asylum-seeking Silentio readers out there, beware the Eurotunnel.