A few  pics -- including several of Emily -- from the past couple [insane] days. More to come as I get time down the road to edit and compile.
Couple quick stories...refer to the pictures to help you along.
1. The cannon, the section of the Berlin Wall; the dive bombing German plane; several things we couldn't take pictures of; some that Emily has on her Facebook of me; and that parachuting dog and his testicles are all courtesy of the Imperial War Museum. Impressive building and great exhibits, including a Holocaust display that rivals DC's....and takes as much time. Very interesting from a nationalistic perspective though: The British account definitely puts an emphasis on how helpful the government and citizens were as soon as they found out the significance of what was going on, and how they responded quicker than other countries. In the US, there's a bit of a play of 'well, we didn't know what was going on, so we couldn't help.' Here, there's definitely a little more pride.
2. Post museum, we ended up heading down to the river, Big Ben, and a little pub to blow some time. Here's how small London is: in a scene that would be repeated several times the rest of the night, we ran into a girl who went to college with an ex-track teammate of mine who brought Emily to the prom....later it was a guy (I gaurantee his name was Sully or O'Doyle) who went to school with one of our friend's friends....there are more Boston area people here than in Worcester, I swear.
3. Anyway, that charming dude with Guinness on his nose: Insane dude named Alex from Liverpool, in town with his friends...(and after one day, I definitely fit in better). Aside from trying to convince us(Emily, Jamie Salo, and me) that he was joining the Royal Navy while he complained about being seasick from the Thames river ride. Aside from the fact that he was in rough shape after snorting chile powder the night before...and aside from the 30 minute conversation our group had with his about synonyms for 'drunk' ('Cocked' was his cue to put on the full flamboyantly gay Liverpool routine) ....aside from all of that, he was CONVINCED he was marrying Emily, and really didn't have too many limits as the night went on in that regard. Kept calling me brother, followed Emily and I and Jamie(who was with us) as we ran through Liverpool Station trying to lose them; tried getting a table at the 2hour wait restaurant we had reservations at with Dan(seen buying booze around the corner) and generally caused mayhem wherever we went.(He was debating pissing on a ticket machine at the Underground Station when his group couldn't figure out how to work it.) There was no room at the restaurant, so Jamie took one for the team, and brought them out to a pub. We later found out that Alex was convinced 9-11 didn't happen, and that he had the name of his ex-fiance tattooed on his calf. This part of the night will be a bigger story by itself when I have more time, but Jamie: I owe you.
4. The rest of the night (after the best Pakistani food ever) was spent at the uber-American Sports Cafe (although I've never seen cutoff polo shirts like the waitresses wore) where I watched March Madness on a TV positioned under a Patriots helmet.
A quick aside: In the Queen Mum's good name, what the hell is with girls wearing bizarrely colored and fitting short shorts with classy tops? I'm no fashionista, but it was 0 damn Celsius last night, and I felt like I was at a mix of teen night at Sh-booms and a Madonna concert circa 1985.
5. Today was a quick trip to the British museum, where I absolutely nerded out to the Rosetta Stone and a New World exhibit. Tonight was dinner with Phil Hale (an amazing artist you should look up) across town in Hackney. Real happy I got to get out of the touristy center and into the working class, post industrial areas a bit, although I would have liked more time for photos. Phil, Rachel, and the kids were great...gave me some great non-touristy markets to try out this week for cheap junk, antiques, etc....
Slang of the weekend goes to the girls on the bus who called the fare jumper an "Absolute twat-face."