Thursday, August 09, 2007

Packing Heat

If you don’t hear from me in a few weeks, then I would have been a victim of terrorism.

Brian and I are headed towards that hotbed of terrorist activity, that center of political unrest, that city of miscreants: London. Yes, tomorrow, we are headed to the United Kingdom, hopefully to meet royalty, the beloved leader of her people, whose profile adorns a multitude of official gear, Dame Graham Norton.

We had made our vacation plans before the latest bomb scare this past June and it was too late to make any changes; we would just have to pray that we would not witness anything scarier than poor dental work during our trip. I light a candle to all the saints that protect me, including the capricious saint of all vertically-challenged dancers, St. Elton John.

To be honest with you, until recently, I have never been particularly afraid of bombs since I am quite familiar with the workings, the recipes of various cocktails: the Irish Car Bomb; the Cherry Bomb; and the most dangerous of them all, the Jägerbomb. I know, because there have been many times I’ve barely made it home with my shoes on after imbibing these drinks. I prefer that when I am bombed out of my mind, that my skull remain intact during the process. Besides, I hear that blown-out brains stains like a motherfucker; it would totally ruin my carefully selected vacation outfits.

This is on top of the fact that I have acrophobia--a fear of heights, and by extension, I am deathly afraid of flying, you know, coach. I get a skin rash from the fabrics they use in Economy. Also, I need wine and caviar immediately served to me upon embarking to calm my nerves.

But since I am not flying business class, I am resigned to squeezing myself into a small compartment, with little leg room. It’s a good thing I am limber enough to fold my legs behind my head, which I gained from years and years of ballet, gymnastics and turning tricks. But let me tell you that it is extremely difficult to hold in a fart in this position. For an eight-hour flight, this will be a challenge worthy of a Ninja Warrior.

Brian and I have started packing for the trip over a week ago. It’s hard to decide which items to bring for a nine-day trip, since we are only planning to bring a minimum of luggage: two large suitcases, two smaller ones, a backpack and just a teensy weensy cosmetics case weighing 15lbs. I intend to use it for arm curls during the long flight to keep my muscle tone. Bonus: my skin will be flawless.

It’s hard trying to anticipate all the different outfits that I would need for the different situations I may find myself in. For example, I hear the Brits have this custom of getting together in the afternoon. I believe it’s called high teabagging. What do you wear for that? Normally, my outfit is the last thing I think about when somebody puts their balls in my mouth, but tell me, do you think I should pack a bonnet? Or a bib?

Thankfully, it’s also summer there (unlike freaky Australia where it’s like freaking WINTER) so packing for the heat means only one thing: I have to bring a swimsuit. To save space, I am trying to decide whether I should bring a pair of thongs or a pair of band-aids. I think the band-aids are more modest, so I decide to bring those.

And just the shoes alone can fill up a suitcase: black shoes, brown shoes, sneakers, sandals, flip-flops and that’s just what I need during the day. For the evening, I have similar items but more formal and tasteful, you know, with rhinestones.

Then, there’s also the uncertainty of the quality of the hotels. I hear that the star ratings of London hotels are wildly different from U.S. hotels. TripAdvisor.com had some very dire descriptions of the hotels. Whereas a five-star here means an Olympic-sized pool, in London, it could mean that they don’t have a pool of, you know, piss, on the carpet. We just have to bite the bullet, pick one and hope that even if it turns out to be a fleabag hotel, the British fleas won’t bite us out of disdain for Americans.

But joking aside, we’re pretty excited. We are totally looking forward to it. It’s going to be a totally different culture and they even speak a totally different language. I'm just afraid that if someone asks ‘you gotta fag?’ whether he wants me to give him a cigarette or an impromptu dance number.

However, just in case, I’ll pack some Marlboros, a lighter and of course, my tap shoes...

NEXT: Counter-clockwise

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Other places I've been:

Warmth - I slid into the warmth of Montreal. Thank God I brought lots of lube.

Wedding Party - We arrive at the City by the Gay, San Francisco, our capital city.

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