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Guestpost: Across the Pond by Motherbumper

Katie = Motherbumper = Wicked Cool!  I have never known so many Canadians in all my life and I wasn’t sure what I expected when I started meeting these other bloggers from across the border.  Would they all like hockey? Would they be wearing clothing made of something they killed and skinned themselves? How many times could I get them to say the word “Mounties” *snort* {because I AM a 9 year old boy, you know} Would the faint scent of maple syrup follow them wherever they go? (The answers are “pretty much yes”, “only a select few”, “directly related  to the number of drinks you’re willing to buy them” and “YES! NOM NOM NOM”)

But the international love fest that is my affection for Katie only grows stronger with each day I know her.  Plus? She’s the only person that tweets to me in French, everything looks cooler in French, AND I love when she uses all those crazy extra u’s in her words.


Across the Pond

Hey, my name is Katie, though I more commonly go by the CB handle of motherbumper and while I don’t actually own a CB radio, I’d totally use one if I ever laid my hands on it. It would be like twitter without limitations and lots more hairy men.

Anyhow, do you know what happens each time someone asks me to do a guest post? Oh you know it, I get a case of the writer’s block. Big ol’ blockage of the inner writer. Blockage so big, it has gypsies living in it, and they have squatted for what appears to be the long haul. It baffles me why I always choke lately when I get an awesome opportunity like this here blog sit for a lovely lady Anissa who I happen to actually know in the flesh, like real live FLESH, and what flesh it is.

Where was I? Oh right…. writer’s block.

So today I was reminded of a story that happened a few years back and thought I’d share it here since I find it so hard to be pleasant in my own corner of the blogosphere. Anissa will probably be mad that I didn’t swear like a sailor, talk about running over celebrities with toilet paper or tell some screwed up story involving threesomes, but I’m sorry, my neighbours are all being normal this week and I got nothing like that to scare, I mean share with her beautiful readers.

Instead, I offer this:

My first trip to England was like a demented and glorious homecoming. I’d never been there before but from the moment I arrived the sense of belonging was undeniably there. It was weird considering I’m a fiercely proud Canadian. In fact, when planning the trip I had no idea what to expect on arrival. All I can say is it was a place I often dreamed of visiting and couldn’t believe it took me that long to get there.

Anyhow, after getting past customs I stood in Heathrow without a real plan. I had the numbers of friends but it was barely 8am on a Saturday and I couldn’t be that cruel. So armed with just a station name near my friend’s flat, I tried to find the Tube.

Okay, can I just say the word “tube” is just one of those words that makes me giggle. Say tubular and I’m on the floor. But I will go down no tangents today!

Yes, so I had to find the Tube (giggle) which I did and after figuring out those forsaken machines, I descended to the platform to see a train just leaving. The only other person around was a man in a uniform. He looked official so I asked if this was the Piccadilly line. He said yes and this train would be leaving in two minutes. I said cool and got onboard. No one else was around so he stuck his head in and asked in that totally clipped awesometastic British accent “Where are you going, Miss?” I told him Brixton and he immediately asked “Why? Oh no, you don’t want to go there” which made me laugh.

Usually I would totally have lied if a stranger asked where I was going because I’d want to make Oprah proud but there was something about him that totally disarmed me. I told him I was meeting friends and he shook his head  in what I’ll assume was disbelief all while reminding me what station I needed to find to do my transfer and wishing me a fine day.

A minute later the near empty train left and I got my first fix on London. The train filled up fast and I tried not to look too touristy counting stops like a country mouse. Of course it didn’t help that I had an oversized backpack, slept-on-an-airplane clothes, and Pippi Longstocking braids. Paint me wide-eyed and I was ripe pluckings for Fagin. I knew we were hitting Green Park soon and was completely intimidated by how fast people got on and off this cramped cigar tube of a system. So I hovered near the door, bag in front of me, so I could jump off the train movie-style if it called for it.

As we entered the station, I listened closely to make sure my calculations weren’t wrong and I was jumping off a stop too early. Concentrating hard, I listened to the tin voice say “Green Park. Next stop Green Park. Transfers to Jubilee and Victoria Lines. And for the little lady with braids in her hair, this is your stop – be safe and have a safe trip. Mind the gap.”

Now why can’t people be like that all the time?

8 Comments on “Guestpost: Across the Pond by Motherbumper”

  1. #1 Maria
    on Jun 24th, 2009 at 7:27 am


    Marias last blog post..there is a reason

  2. #2 katie ~ motherbumper
    on Jun 24th, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Thanks Maria, it was probably one of the most heart-warming things to happen to me while travelling and I thought sharing something happy would spread some good stuff. Yes folks, I’m a total sugary marshmallow treat with no calories.

    katie ~ motherbumpers last blog post..little fish, big smile

  3. #3 Stimey
    on Jun 24th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Awww, that’s such a nice story! Isn’t it amazing? Something so easy for that guy to do and you remember it this long later. Small acts of kindness totally do make a difference.

    Stimeys last blog post..Camp Stimey Returns!

  4. #4 Tatiana
    on Jun 24th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    How totally sweet of him! I love that. I’m always SO antsy when I get on trains/buses/subways etc … afraid I’ll miss my stop & whatnot.

    You made him smile, he made you smile… very cool. I agree that more people need to be considerate and take tiny actions to make someone smile like that.

    Tatianas last blog post..Our Father’s Day

  5. #5 Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire
    on Jun 24th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    that is totally awesome! I do wish more places were like that.

    Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaires last blog post..The Yanni Post: Two weeks 6 Days later edition

  6. #6 Brittany
    on Jun 24th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    OMG this story totally made me smile. It’s like a movie!

    Brittanys last blog post..Daddy

  7. #7 Dawn
    on Jun 24th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Can I just say as one of the very few English people who keep in touch with Anissa – maybe even the only one as far as I know – (gosh what a responsibility for the whole of England!!) – sorry I’m digressing. It’s just that I would have also said “No, you don’t really want to go to Brixton do you?”. Anyhow, you obviously got back out again alive. LOL. Hope you had a great time over here and got got to see a bit more of England apart from just London. BTW it’s great to know the good folks of British Rail can still be both polite and helpful!

  8. #8 katie ~ motherbumper
    on Jun 25th, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Dawn, I love Brixton — too many friends live there not to love it — but yah, I get why. I think it’s akin to showing up in LA and saying “which way to Compton?” which I’m sure is full of wonderful people and locals but not exactly a tourist place.

    I did make it out of London many times and I’d say by far my favourite place outside the city was Bath.

    katie ~ motherbumpers last blog post..contagious illusions of grandeur