Portsmouth at a Glance

27 05 2012

Because that’s all I really had to be honest.  My trip to England was more of a visa run than anything else, my vacation in France is longer than the three month landing visa I get into the Shenzhen area (am I the only one who thinks that sounds super chinesey?)  Anyway, I think I mentioned it but perhaps not, when I arrived I asked the immigration officer (who amusingly didn’t speak English, really at the international airport???) if England was in the Shenzhen region or not, it’s not.  So I popped over on the Wednesday afternoon ferry, let me just stop right here for a second.  I love boats.  And Ferries, just tickle me pink, I think it must be one of those childhood pleasant memory things, because I can’t get on a ferry without immediately going exploring and delighting at every little thing. Which is precisely what I did, I beelines to a nice little sofa area, got the old couple to watch my bad.. and disappeared for a couple of hours taking every staircase, elevator, and exploring every floor, room, deck, and nook and cranny of the place that was open.

I wasn’t even particularly interesting in most of the facilities available, but I was still delighted that they existed and where there if I wanted them (well wanted to pay exorbitant prices for them).  Including, two bars, and arcade, cabins, gift shops, restaurants, and all sorts of other little doodads.  Due to high winds, while we arrived on time, we weren’t actually allowed into the port for an hour, and I was worried because I had arranged to couch surf, and my host had offered to pick me up at the ferry on the way to the coach surfing social.  But luckily he’d been caught up at work so it all worked out.  So that evening we went to a pub, and hung out with some other couch surfers, it was very entertaining, and so delightful because everyone spoke English and while it’s not really an issue… it’s just nice to hang out with people who all speak your language fluently sometimes.

The next day, my host Chris had to work all day and didn’t have a spare key so once I was out, I was out till he got back from work.  Which was fine, and also he’s such a nice guy he loaned me his water/wind proof jacket which was quite the blessing a couple of times during the day.  I meandered down the coast using a little tourist map to check out any and everything free along the way (a bunch of pay museums too.. but I’m a cheap little thing, plus I don’t really like museums).  I took a ton of pictures (you can see them on Facebook.. but as usual I was too lazy to take out the good camera.. it’s not my fault it’s really big and heavy and I walked all over hells half achre for like 6 hours… I didn’t want to be lugging that monster along.

While in a bit of a shopping district I tried to find a little present to bring back to Regis, but everything was either quite expensive or something he didn’t need or probably wouldn’t want.  In the end I went into Boots of all places (a drug store) and got him a Cadbury Crème Egg, I really don’t like them… but they definitely don’t have them in France.  Besides other people go on and on about them.. he might like it.  Then I had a major brain wave and popped into a TESCO (a supermarket) and picked up a selection of beers for him to try.  Which of course weighed a ton and made the walk back just smashing :P.  But it was worth it, as he was absolutely delighted by his gift.

Anyway it was getting toward the time Chris would be getting off work so I started heading back (about a 30 minute walk), by the time I got there he’d already gotten in.  We spent some time chatting about where I went and what I did for the day.  We also had a really good chat about his travels in the States and plotted some nice gifts and things he could do for his GF who was coming to Portsmouth in a couple of months (she’s living in Spain at the moment).   Chris was greatly amused that I had compulsively tidied his kitchen (cleaned all the dishes and the stove and counter tops) and that I had actively stopped myself from doing the bathroom too.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t dirty, I’m just a nut.  Seems I’m a good house guest lol.. and he told me if I need a place to stay in oh say two weeks that would be just great..lol.   We had a bit of dinner and then headed to bed.

Because Chris being the nicest guy ever, he had offered to get up silly early in the morning to drop me at my ferry.  He works one of those jobs with flexible hours, so it worked out for him being Friday if he went in early he could go home early and start the weekend.  So we were up at 6-7am and off we went back to the boat.. YAY BOATS… (side note … I can’t hear, think, write or say the word boats… without thinking of that dude in Taipei that had named himself boats… not one boat.. several).   I hoped on the Ferry, had a long entertaining chat with this friendly older guy (who was quite the chatty cathy.. and this is coming from me of all people) who was going on a little one day hiking trip in France.  Explored a little, but as it was the same boat… meh.  And then back to France.

Oh, one last thing did happen, which amused/annoyed me.  To enter France (as in England) we had to pass through immigration.. on my way into England I got quite the grilling.. I mean she wanted to see my on going ticket back to Taipei… I was like why the hell would I have that with me??  And why do you care? You have my ongoing ticket back to France… plus I got a billion questions and warnings about taking work while in the country… um.  Do you have so many jobs that people are just flinging them at tourists?  I mean I’m here for like 36 hours… what could I possibly do in that time?  By contrast, when I arrived in the France the guy was like. Oh hi.. standard 1-2 questions, lemmi get my stamp.  😀  Meanwhile, I guess people from England just show their passport and walk through, this woman behind me was nearly apoplectic at the fucking 5 minute wait.  Which was all my fault for being a dirty foreigner, no she didn’t actually say anything but she was all big sighs, frantic eyes, and muttering obnoxious things like ‘oh for fuck’s sakes’ under her breath.  I mean for one…. Not a particularly intelligent way to behave at immigration, anywhere else and she would have been dragged off to a little room, but luckily for her the officer was 1 busy and 2 chill.  But it was so passive aggressively obnoxious, I wasn’t able to hold my tongue.  I finally said, (keep in mind she was being such a cow that I couldn’t keep from saying anything and this was like a 5 minute wait… at most) listen lady, they have to stamp my passport, it’s not my fault calm the fuck down.  You’ll get through in a minute.  So which she got all ‘well I never’, and insisted that she hadn’t said or done anything to the contrary.  I was like well quit the sighs and muttering comments and chill out.  I really just wanted to slap her :D.

Well that’s it.. 😀



2 responses

29 05 2012

Not surprised about the Ferry exploring did that on the ferry from Prince Rupert to Vancouver Island. Found YOU In the Bar at 1:00 am dancing to the music. Of Course you had on Blanket Jammies with feet and were 2 years old. You had escaped from the sleeping cabin we had. I had run all around the boat for 3o minutes before I found you entertaining all the late drinkers in the lounge. God YOU are the same girl now………LOL….LOL

30 05 2012

😀 shush.. I’m a delight

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