things i’ve learned in london so far, part 2

4. These people take their sports seriously. They also take their sports fans seriously. As a result, they’ve got the funnest way ever to watch a game: with commentary from rabid fans of both teams. If you have Interactive TV (which a staggering percentage of people do), you just hit the red button and select which soundtrack you want to the match – the professionals, or the fans. Select the fans, and presto! You’ve got hours of screaming, cheering, hilariously impassioned play-by-plays, interspersed with unbelievably inventive non-obscene epithets (a favorite went something like this: “Go on! Tear his head off so you can drink Guinness from his neck!”). I love it.

5. Tom Waits does not work here. In the American city of your choice, you can put in your headphones, press play on The Heart of Saturday Night, and you’ve got a soundtrack for your walk, or bus ride, or train ride, or whatever. In London, it just doesn’t sound right. Something about the architecture, maybe – not gritty enough? Too pretty? Too old? Or maybe it’s the roads – too curvy? I don’t know. All I know is that’s the first time it’s happened, and I felt for a brief moment totally out of synch. I’m feeling much better now, thanks.

6. My hair hates the weather. It’s less cold, yes, which is nice, but it’s also a lot more humid. Which means gray, which can get depressing – but which also means that my hair is vacillating between Sly and the Family Stone reject mode and just hanging there limply, looking at me. Can hair look forlorn? I think mine does.