From The Literary Archives
Humour, Adventure And Highlights From my trip to England One Winter long ago.
I am writing to tell you about my trip to England, England is very far away, I took the big Liat from Dominica to Antigua, In Antigua I took a big plane that was bigger and longer than the big Liat, they had many people who work on the plane.
In Antigua I had to remove my shoes 3 times, two times for a man and one time for a lady.
The lady also made me take off my belt and she put something on my back that was making a funny noise.
They were very nice to me on the big plane, they gave me food and juice from a big box which they drive around the plane to feed people.
I was a little confused because I booked non smoking and there were people smoking in front of me, when I asked a lady who worked on the plane about the people smoking, she said “the non smoking row stops here” she was very annoyed when I asked her “when is she going to put up the barrier to separate the smoking from the non smoking”
I had to fill out many papers which they gave me on the plane, you would have been proud of me, I only made one mistake.
The part where they have sex, I wrote “not yet”.
When the big plane landed I had to walk very far inside the big airport to go to the lady who was sitting in a cage, She did not like what I wrote on the paper about sex, I had to fill out another paper, this time I read the paper better and for sex, I ticked “male”, she took my passport, stamped it with a stamp and told me “welcome to the United Kingdom”, I told her “I thought I was in England” she explained that England was a part of the United Kingdom.
Then I had to go into another big place to get my luggage, I was met by a nice man who had a sign with my name, he drove me to my hotel and I did no have to give him money, he said that “it was all included” I was afraid to ask him “included in what”.
My room was very small only about 16 inches bigger than the bed, the TV was small I don’t like my room.
They have lots of cars here and buses bigger that KHATTS’ big, big buses.
I have not made any attempt to complain to the Prime Minister or the queen about my room. Still I am disappointed that neither of them has come to see me yet.
I hope that you are fine and not getting too frustrated with your work.
I miss Dominica but I am not crying, I will write to you often because I don’t have to post the letter, I have a little machine which I bought in America and it will send the letter to you right at your work.
I am staying in a place called London, it is bigger than Roseau and seem to have more people on the streets.
I took a train that drives underneath the road, I got off when a voice on the train said that we were in “Piccadilly Circus” no one seemed to know where the Circus was. I asked a lady “where is the Piccadilly Circus”? She said “you are in Piccadilly Circus” She walked away from me when I asked here to “show me exactly where the circus was”. Strange these English people, they recommended that I visit Piccadilly Circus and no one knows where it is.
One day when my hands were very cold, I went into a big big store with a lot of flashing lights to buy a pair of gloves, the cashier told me they were 95 pounds, I immediately knew that she was lying, while I was asking her to weigh them so I could see for myself how much they weighed, someone behind me whispered “don’t buy gloves at Harrods, go to Marks and Spenser”.
I am not complaining but these English people are very peculiar, again no one knew where Mark Spenser lived.
They tell me to “go to the station and take the tube” I go there to wait for the tube but only trains pass through the station.
When I decided to take the train it left without me because I was distracted trying to find out who was telling me to “mind the gap”
I moved out of my hotel with the small room, I am now staying at an apartment in a place called Kilburn, I have to learn how to take the train from Kilburn to Earls Court.
Strange place London, the sun over here is smaller than our sun and it sets at 3 PM, I prefer our sun in Dominica which is much bigger and last longer everyday.
I have moved again, I am now staying in a farm house in Wales, it is very cold here , the fog is very thick but it does not prevent me from walking through it and it does not cling to my clothes.
One morning I woke up and the grass was covered with white sand, my friend said that it was “snow”.
Feeling restless I went to Cardiff and took a train to London, from there I decided to go to Scotland, I heard that in Scotland, they had a monster called the “loch ness”, I wanted to see this monster.
In London, most places would not accept my American Express but I finally secured a car, I drove to Stroud and spent the night there.
This time my room and the TV was bigger and I could watch Mr. Bean better, it was good to see the Pirate Prince staring James Hazeldine and Tandy Newton because I worked on the part of the movie that was filmed in Dominica.
The following day I left Stroud with the belief that I was going to Scotland but I ended up in place called the Lake District.
I really liked it there but the paucity of my pecuniary resources did not allow me to overnight there so I drove on into the night until I arrived in Edinburgh, I spent two days in Edinburgh exploring then I moved on to Aviemore.
After checking into an Inn, I started making inquiries about the monster, the inkeeper, a lady, assured me that the monster was real and was “there all right”
With confidence that I woulkd soon see this elusive monster, I went to bed and slept peacefully while snow covered all of Aviemore.
.The following morning when I went outside, everyghing had dissappeared, where the ground, the cars and everything used to be, were all covered with snow.
It took me what seemed to be a very long time to uncover my car from the mountain of snow under which it was buried.
I had never driven in that kind of snow before but a monster was out there which I had to see.
After breakfast, I ignored the advise of the innkeeper to “stay indoors today” and headed out with no clear idea of where I was going, somewhere along the way I impetuously decided to take a ski lift into the Cairn Gorms mountains.
It seemed like fun at the time because I had often contemplated that if I ever visit Scotland I would go hiking in the Cairn Gorms, unfortunately my contemplation did not did facture into the mix being caught in a snow storm.
I descended form the ski lift in the mountains and started hiking, to where I had no idea, I was hiking in the Cairn Gorms and that was all that mattered, well that was before the snow storm unleashed its fury upon me.
Visibility, zero, storm intensity extreme, orientation, lost, the storm raged and raged with no signs of abating, this may sound strange but I felt no panic.
I slowly started trudging in the direction I believed that I came from, I guess that is that they call “retracing your steps” miraculously, I made it back to the lift station but it had closed down due to the intensity of the storm.
My real dilemma was that it was already getting dark and there was no way of knowing if the ski lift would re-open.
I could not depend on the lift but I could depend on me, so I started the semi vertical descent to the base.
The full force of darkness and I arrived at my car at the same time.
The storm was still raging but I decided to move on to find lodging somewhere, driving through a blizzard on a dark night is not recommended for anyone unfamiliar with those conditions.
I lost control of the car, ploughed through a fence and ended up in a field but still with my wheels on the ground.
I did not feel so bad when I saw two of what the British call “lorries” with their wheels facing the skies not too far from where I was stuck but with my wheels on the ground.
I learned form the tractor driver who later pulled me out that I like the lorries ran into “black or block ice”, (not sure which) that made my ego feel better it was the “black or block ice’s” fault.
Back on the road in the blizzard I continued with no idea of where I was or where I was going to.
I have always heard people say that they “caught something out of the corner of their eyes” I am not sure if I caught the motel sign form the corner, front, side, back or centre of my eye but I have no active recollection of ever being so elated to see a motel sign.
The motel would not take my American Express, after a long discussion about exchange rates, they reluctantly accepted my US dollars.
The following morning the snow had stopped falling but all trees, roads and fields were blanketed with snow.
With some specific directions about the location of Loch Ness, I was back on the road again, I made it safely to Loch Ness and waited for several hours but the monster did not show up.
While deciding if the lady at the inn lied to me about the monster or if I should wait longer and it would show up, it started snowing again.
Since not even my overactive imagination could conjure up a monster, I moved on. The snow continued to unleash its fury but by this time I was more confident driving under those conditions.
My plan now was to overnight somewhere and the following morning take a back country road from Scotland to Cambridge, where I would deliver a letter to the sister of a friend.
I checked into a nice little cozy and secluded inn for the night, hoping that the snow would abate and give a chance to drive to Cambridge the next day.
From here on my recollection gets a little hazy, I started out the following morning looking for the “back country road’ to Cambridge, I remember finding what was supposed to be the road but it was closed due to the heavy snowfall.
The long drive back to London is a little vague to my mind but I got there safely. Some days later I drove to Cambridge under near perfect conditions.
I don’t know what happened, the jar in which I had put some snow to take back to Dominica had only water, even the snow in England is strange!!.