Friday, May 05, 2006

"I am alive and well and unconcerned about the rumors of my death. But if I were dead, I would be the last to know."

Paul McCartney, 1969

I'm in Liverpool, alive; hence the Beatles quotation. Which is kind of apt at the moment. I'm down to my last hundred bucks and I still haven't got my money from France. If it doesn't arrive today or tomorrow I will be officially dead. Either by my own hand or my mother's, that's still undecided.

I'm also exhausted and cramping. Hello, Universe? This was supposed to be fun, remember? (File this under How Not to Do Europe)

But it has been fun, all the same. And I'm sure it will be awfully romantic, looking back on it when I'm an old fart, "Ah, remember the good old days when I wandered around Europe broke and hungry and having lots of casual sex with strange girls?" Ha.

Seriously, though, Cardiff was great. Winter and the gang at Mind the Gap! are totally cool in addition to being incredibly generous, taking in a strange American they've never met and buying her alcohol. Even their cats are hip (I wonder if cat-ownership is a hidden prerequisite for being a member?). And Cardiff, thank god, is super pedestrian friendly which meant no hassling with bus schedules or subway maps. Winter (incredibly cute, scarily intelligent) and I hung out my first night, drinking wine, listening to indie grrrl bands and swapping war stories from the feminist front lines. The next morning I visited Cardiff Castle in the city center, a grandiose absurdity built by a filthy stinking rich Victorian with too much time on his hands and too much Sir Walter Scott in his library. Complete with a moat and screeching peacocks. Then spent the rest of the time in Bute Park, sweating in my too many layers, on an absolutely gorgeous day, because the UK finally gave up the ghost and admitted that it was spring (just in time for summer). Sunshine, trees in bloom, daisies, children eating ice cream, French teenagers who asked to take a picture with me. "Um, but I'm not English. Or Welsh". Which didn't faze them (When are we going to set up this Adolescent Quarantine Center I've suggested? Necessary public service).
And then that evening I got to meet the rest of the group, Naiades and Siberian Falls and the other non-bloggers, at a local cafe. Not only do they have international members--a couple Germans and Finns--they have a Token Male! I was quite impressed. We drank more wine and embarked on a very profound intellectual investigation on the politics of lesbian pole-dancing, and I elucidated the intricacies of American culture ("We're crazy. I have no idea what's going on.") It was a blast. Gappers (as I've started thinking of them) are funny and cool and interesting (well duh, they're feminists). It did me good, it's been so long since I've been able to shoot the breeze with other lefty activist types. I only hope I didn't bore them too much...


At 6:04 AM, Blogger Winter said...

Awww that's so nice. It was an absolute pleasure and no one was bored I assure you. I thought you might enjoy a bit of sociability after travelling around alone for a while.

No one ever used to refer to me as "cute." I seem to have developed cuteness quite recently -not a bad thing though!


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