Ketchup

Dear Frazer –

 

Wow hi, how are you? I really miss you a lot. It would be nice to have a TSA agent to hold hands with and defend me while I’m being brutally interrogated (seriously, I was one step short of being smacked across the face but not really but really they were being mean) at the train station border control between Paris and London. I also got asked out by a BBC journalist on the train, but we’ll get there.

 

LET’S START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING (or lisbon, portugal), A VERY GOOD PLACE TO START.

When we last spoke, I was in Portugal, that was a while ago, and there are several weeks (2) and several other countries (2) in between then and now. That was then, this is now, we are different people now then we were then let’s just give love a chance okay Frazer please I love you. So I was going to the Portuguese barbecue which ended up being unlimited sangria, a lot of tapas, a lot of bread, a lot of ice cream, and a lot of night clubs. Seriously. All for 9 Euro. If you can get a deal that good ever, you stop what you’re doing and then take that deal. Take that offer and ride it like Seabiscuit in whatever race Seabiscy is riding in at the end. It was such a fun night. The next day, I woke up and my friends Paula from Finland and Liam from Aussie walked around the city and ate crazy charcoal chicken that was delish. Then we saw Grande Revista a Portguesa, a Portuguese follies show that involved blackface for a good portion of the first act. It was…um…interesting. After that we got a late night dinner and then slept. Because the next day, my last in Lisbon, we went to see a giant statue of my Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, called Monumento Nacional di Cristo Rei a Almada. It involved taking the ferry across the river to Almada and then walking through a literal apocalyptic wasteland and I was waiting for the Careers to jump out from behind some door and kill me and then they’d be victors and live in glory for the rest of their lives and I’d be dead. #hungergames. Instead of that happening, we just got to the statue after a spoopy walk through the wasteland. Amazing views though. RIGHTEOUS. ¬†After that it was back to the hostel to pack before a quick dinner and I went to bed early because the next morning I flew to PARIS.

Took a super cheap taxi to the airport, where I got on my flight easily, and flew to France. It was an easy flight, except the seats on EasyJet and RyanAir don’t recline so I felt like I was in church the entire time, straightbacked and all that. Also I was seated next to a nun and her husband or something because she was clutching a rosary. I assume she was a nun because of the rosary, she wasn’t in a habit or anything. Perhaps she was just spiritual. #blessed. Then I got to Paris and met Cloud, who had a minor freakout in the Metro station because she was excited at the prospects of the different flavors of potato chips they’d have in Paris. This is not a drill. We got to our airport and set off for our first Parisian meal, on the Champs-Elysees. Cloud chose to treat herself to potato wedges and french fries from McDonald’s and I chose a croque monsieur and a Coke. Again, this is not a drill. Then we went back to the hotel to rest, I met up with my friend Nikki (Skids ’13) and her girlfriend and we got dinner. After that, I headed back towards the hotel, where Cloud remained asleep. I went back out and saw the Eiffel Tower light up which was really cool and exciting, except for the fact that I was alone and not with my husband/boyfriend/anyone to say wow with. But it’s okay. Went back to the hotel and got back into bed and cried myself gently to sleep.

The next morning we woke up and went to the Louvre, which was closed, so we went to Musee l’Orangerie, which was closed. We went to Musee d’Orsay, which was gorgeous and is my favorite museum of all time, sort of like how Kanye thinks Single Ladies is the best video of all time. Like that, but real and I’m more respectable than Kanye, I think. Don’t you, Frazer? Yeah, good. After that we got coffee at one cafe, and dinner at another. We headed back to our hotel and picked up our bags and headed to my friend Meagan’s aunt’s apartment where we stayed for the next two nights with Meagan (who I worked with over the summer) and her boyfriend Tommy, who was my sister’s boss over the summer. That was fun! We woke up the next day and did Musee l’Orangerie, Notre Dame, had some delicious food, and then watched the Olympics, the Brit Awards, and played Bananagrams all night at the apartment. The next morning, we left. Cloud flew back to London because her mom was picking her up at Heathrow, and I took the train.

And here is where the adventure begins. Okay, okay. So I was told, “Bring a bottle of wine for the train ride home from Paris to London, it’s a really beautiful ride and it’s a nice way to pass the time with a book.” Okay, so I did that and it was a beautiful ride, but little did I know how badly I’d need the wine after my stressful interrogation. I seriously felt like I was being Zero Dark Thirty’d and I don’t even care if that’s too real a reference. I showed them my passport and my previous visa stamp for entry into England, from back in January. They immediately said come with us please, and so I did, asking no questions. Two of them and me in a room. Good cop, bad cop, and the perp. Except this time the perp had no idea what he’s done wrong. They asked me literally every detail of my life in England, in Lisbon, in Paris, and home. Where I go to school, why I chose Goldsmiths, how long I was in Goldsmiths, where I was living, do I prefer cookie dough ice cream over Phish Food ice cream, why theatre major, why go to Paris, why go to Lisbon, where else I’d be travelling, if the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit, all these questions. I answered them all very calmly and when they’d had enough, they stamped my passport and sent me on my way, visibly shaken up. It was seriously scary in the moment, and I thought I was going to get terminal’d, like Tom Hanks in that movie, but not the one with the volleyball or where he plays Disney. Anyways, I got on the train, and I guy sits down next to me, which initially made me annoyed because it would mean if I had to use the loo, I’d have to ask him to get up for a second and then he’d know I was in the loo when I came back emptyhanded instead of going to the snack bar. About halfway through the ride, we got to talking, and became friends, I eventually found out he works for the BBC and then he very abruptly asked me to get drinks and dinner sometime in the next week. He gave me his e-mail, and I e-mailed him. But he never e-mailed me back. But it’s okay. Oh well. Then I got off the train, and went to see a wonderfully acted play that night.

The next day, Friday, I saw The Drowned Man again and went to a dance party at this weird warehouse that I got lost on my way to. It was weird.

Went to Central for dinner at this burger joint called MeatLiquor with my family friend from home, Sheila. Then I went to bed.

The next day, last Sunday, I woke up late and went to my friend Graham’s house in Honor Oak Park. He’s in Spamalot on the West End. I met his dog Henry, who is HILARIOUS. Woof.

On Monday, the highlight of my day was cooking perhaps the spiciest thing I’ve ever cooked, and this is coming from the young gay sportsman who on Tuesday night, accidentally knocked an entire bottle of red pepper flakes into his curry sauce. It was hotter than that by accident. I have no idea how. I was sweating so hard I needed to change my shirt before going to the theatre.

On Tuesday, after the chili flake incident, I saw the worst musical I’ve ever seen.

Wednesday, went to see a pretentious performance art piece that made me really uncomfortable. Its themes were: phones are good, but they are also bad, goodbye.

On Thursday, Graham and I went to an exhib at the Royal Academy that was all about these crazy architects. It was beautiful and playful and spoopy. Then, Anya and I met up for dinner, and we ate at a restaurant that was seemingly an Italian Panera. Which sounds weird in concept, ordering from the counter and all. But it was OFF THE CHAIN. Clearly fresh pasta, fresh basil plants on the table to garnish, it was all so fresh. #fresh #blessed #me. After that, we saw Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. It’s a gorgeous operetta that made me think of you, Frazer, and how we have to tend the garden of our love. But seriously, the finale sent my body into rigor mortis. Especially considering that the finale was sung without microphones. A single tear fell from my eye during the final blackout. And then the most explosive cheer I may have given to any theatre performance yet in #London2004. It was brilliant and beautiful. Like you, Fraz.

Came home. Packed. Three hours later I left for Dublin. We saw most of Dublin in one day, and did everything you’re supposed to do in Dubs: the Trinity Old Library, Jameson Distillery, Guinness Factory, and the Irish National Art Gallery. It was so fun.

On Saturday, we went down to Cork for the day and had a blast at Blarney Castles, exploring the caves and kissing random rocks, and then even kissing the Blarney Stone! Seven years of Blarney for me. Yum. Then we came back and went to bed because three hours later I left Ireland and came back to London.

I slept most of the day away in London, and then saw friends and gave them gifts from Dublin.

Then I saw Beyonce. No big deal. I cried. I laughed. I broke my voice a bit. I needed a diaper change at the end. Oh well. The show was at the O2 Arena, which is massive and has an awesome vibe and One Direction have performed there, so I’ve breathed some of the same air they’ve breathed, which is a lovely thought. But Beyonce. Yeah.

Today, I went to class, food shopped, worked out, and was about to start cooking dinner, but my friend Jessica Dickey, who wrote The Amish Project (which, as you should know, is the first play I ever directed, at Skidmore, in my freshman fall), was on Facebook and I knew she was in London, so I messaged her and we met up for a super quick super impromptu dinner before I finally saw Spamalot! It was so great to see her and so great to see the show.

Tomorrow, seeing the first preview performance of the English premiere production of an American musical that was written in response to an English musical that makes fun of American musicals, performed by an entirely English cast. If you’re confused, good. Also, the musical is called Urinetown. Mmm, urine.

Wow, it’s 3am. Time for bed. Miss you Frazer. Love you to bits. Love you to the moon and back.

XOXO Gossip Girl.

 

Cheers,

 

Kev

About Kevin Berry

jamba juice. mennonite. enneagram.
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