Texan Abroad

The musings of a Texan ex-pat, living in London for the last 5 years.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tall Tales from Holland...

This weekend I went to Amsterdam for about the 100th time. It has to be without a doubt my favourite city in Europe (and not for the reasons that you're obviously thinking) A really good friend of mine--"V" happens to live there and has done a pretty good job of integrating herself into Dutch culture. So a bank holiday weekend is always the perfect excuse to head across the channel and soak up some rays as we cruise down the canals in her little boat and take in the beautiful scenery--which leads me to my next point.

I'm always mesmerized by the Dutchies. They are honestly the tallest people I have ever seen. Being tall myself (6 foot) and a woman this is obviously a HUGE draw for me. It's the only place where I have ever felt short. Take Saturday night for instance--after a Mexican meal with my Honduran friends we headed off for a night of mischief. Where else could we have possibly ended up but the karaoke bar "Casablanca" where you could spend the entire night lip syncing to the Dutch equivalent of Cliff Richard songs. Oh boy! We walked in and for a while I had a brief glimpse of what it must feel like to be short--all the view of the bar was completely blocked by a pack of 6 foot 8 Dutchmen. And they weren't the only ones, everywhere we went we were being followed by these beautiful tall creatures.

So I ask myself "What is it that makes the Dutch so tall?" We've all heard the stories about growth hormones in the milk, but somehow I have a hard time believing it. However, if this is true for the love of god why can't they put some in British men's milk??? Talk about slim pickings in this country if you fancy tall men.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Beginning

Well, here I go. This is my first attempt at moving into the blog age. I figured sooner or later I would surrender. I've been living in South West London for nearly 5 years now, and I've watched many a good friend come and go...Just recently my three best London friends have moved back to their respective countries of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. Given the transient nature of London, I often wonder--"Does it ever get easy to make and keep friends in this city?"

I think the answer is no. London can be an amazing place to be, but it's not such a great city when you're alone. I remember all too well when I first arrived, fresh off the boat in November 2001. At first I thought perhaps it was the fact that I excuded some sort of strange smell that no one would talk to me or acknowledge my existence, but then I finally realized that Londoners aren't the chattiest of peoples. Nice don't get me wrong once you get to know them, but they don't go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Normally it's more like--"Get the **** out of the way you're blocking the left side of the esclator!" Or "Get in the queue!"

I think of it as the funny little rites of passage that we Americans especially have to go through to earn respect. I recall one time on the overland train where I made the mistake of trying to strike up a conversation on a Monday morning with a fellow passenger...She looked at me as if I was an escaped mental patient. Perhaps she wasn't that far off...