Monday, September 18, 2000

Hey, I'm in London. Cool

I just got off the plane in Heathrow and am waiting for my colleague to arrive on a flight an hour later so that we can hop in the rental car and head to Cheltenham. I doubt I'll have Internet access for most of the trip, but right outside customs there was this place renting access, so I thought, what the heck.

So what's changed in the 5+ years since I've been over here? Well, I have no idea; I just got here. The one thing I will note is that the stamp on my passport used to say "Leave to Enter for Six Months Employment Prohibited." That's now expanded to "Leave to Enter for Six Months: Employment and Recourse to Public Funds Prohibited." Glad they covered that loophole.

The thing I love about the British is how self-centered their world view is (unlike we cosmopolitan Americans, of course). To them, the British Open is just "the Open". And when they stamp your passport, it just says "Heathrow" -- of course the country is the UK!

I like getting my passport stamped; it makes me feel like a world traveler (which, I guess, technically I am). I'm always vaguely annoyed that the Canadians fail to do so. Looking back, I now have 2 Heathrow stamps, 2 Manchester stamps, 1 Gatwick and 1 Leeds/Bradford. As for those other countries, I have both an entry and departure one from Cyprus, one from Belgium, one from Finland, and oh, yeah, one from the USA. For what it's worth, all the other countries carefully stamp my arrival in the arrival section, and the British just stamp the arrival stamp wherever they feel like it -- arrival section, departure section, the middle of the page. Hmm.

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