Make You Mark

Tony and I took a trip to London while we were staying in France. We flew out of there at 11 in the morning and were in England by 2 in the afternoon. The flight landed at London Standsed airport, which is about 45 minutes out of London. We took the regional train system, which was much better than the bus that my friends and I had taken the last time we had gone to London. We got to see much of the English countryside and were able to relax and plan the rest of our trip.

We were staying at a hostel that was located near to an underground station; which made transportation for the weekend quite easy to access. It was a bit further out of the way than the hostel from earlier this year, but it was nice nonetheless. When we arrived at the hostel, we couldn’t quite believe our eyes, it was like a fairy-tale hotel! We had to check the address twice to make sure that it was actually our hostel, because on the outside it looked quite beautiful. It was called the Clapham Common Parkside Hotel, and we had found it, of course, on the internet.

Before we could go check in, however, we had some business that we needed to attend to When I had gone to London with my friends the first time that semester, it had been a question of whether we wanted to see a show or not, which of course we decided in favor of. In this case, Tony and me, as most of you will recognize, it was never a question of IF we should go to a show. It was WHICH shows shall we see?

We had decided even before he had arrived in Pau that we would see two shows. One of them only played Thursday nights, and it was for THIS reason that we left for London on a Thursday. Therefore, as soon as the regional train let us off on the underground system, we headed towards Leicester Square, where we knew that we could find reasonable, perhaps half-price tickets to the show we wanted to see. After we had purchased our tickets for that evening, we headed towards the hostel.

It ended up being a very nice place indeed. It was also VERY cheap, for London, which is the main reason we had booked it. We were shown a rather large basement room that contained, for a mere 33 pounds a night, two rather good sized beds, a closet, chest of drawers, sink, AND fridge! Perhaps the drawback would have been that the windows were barred shut, and the fire door which was located next to our room appeared to lead to an abandoned hallway.

HOWEVER, such is the life of young students visiting their way through Europe, and such is a HOSTEL. We were pleased to be insured of the fact that the sheets had been changed, because as we arrived, a woman was actually DOING this, and we had to wait several minutes before we could put our things in the room, and head back downtown for our show.

On Thursday night we saw “The Bible, abridged” which was performed by the same company that had done “The Complt wks of Wlm Shaskp.” that I had seen the last time I had been in London. It was a fantastic show, and was VERY funny.

Friday and Saturday we spent sightseeing in London. Friday afternoon we visited the wax museum, and took many interesting photographs. Tony and I were both able to stand with such celebrated figures as GW and Hitler, as well as the Queen of England and the Beatles. Being “theatre people” as we are, I can tell you that many of the photos were QUITE interesting indeed. We had a GREAT time wandering through the rooms and I believe that both of us took several rolls of film. It was a great day!

We ended Friday by taking a walk to Abbey Road. Its one of my favorite places to visit in the entire world. There is something just WONDERFUL about walking across that famous crosswalk and taking pictures of each other and ourselves together. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of being at Abbey Road is to read the scribbles of the people who have visited before.

People come to Abbey Road from all over the world to take their photographs in the very same crosswalk. The traffic stops of course, because the crosswalk is one that ALWAYS gives the right of way to people walking across the street. The drivers seem to understand that people will forever be walking across the street at this very point, and there aren’t even too many horn honks as they come to a halt and wait for fans to cross. Tony and I dared even to step into the street and halt, waiting for another tourist to take our photo.

After you have walked across the crosswalk and found the studios, you write your name and date and place on the wall. This has been done for years and years, and it is beautiful to read. “Long live the Beatles!” “I love you John!” and “we will never forget!” are scribbled across the wall surrounded the studio. People want to leave their mark, and its expected to do so. There are things written in all sorts of languages, things drawn, song lyrics, and many, MANY different names.

And of course we added our own. “Here Comes the Sun, Tony and Liza” we wrote on the wall, and on the ‘Abbey Road’ sign, as well as on the light pole in front of the crosswalk. We then left Abbey Road, content in knowing that we, too, had left our mark.

ON Friday night we saw The Lion King. The show is absolutely fantastic and beautiful. The people who have done the sets and props and costumes have done a fantastic job of creating a truly African cultural experience. The songs and dances and bright colors work together to form an amazing show that simply leaves the viewer on the literal edge of the seat. Tony and I had a most fantastic evening.

On Saturday we tried our hardest to see all that there was to see in London. Of course, since Tony and I have both been to London before, there was no pressure to see EVERYTHING. We walked around the Tower of London and shared some Tango and Kindereggs in front of beautiful buildings. We saw some of our favorite sections of town, and even visited the mall that was near the place we had both stayed before, many years ago. It was a rewarding experience for both of us, and brought back many wonderful memories to share.

Saturday night was the only night we ate in a restaurant. We are poor students, you all realise. We ate some fantastic Mexican food and stood in Leicester Square sharing a bottle of wine. We watched people, and we talked to people. After about an hour, shortly after I had finally gotten a hold of my littlest brother to wish him a happy birthday, we heard a street preacher talking in a megaphone. Tony, who had been practicing his English accent the entire weekend, was keen to engage this man in a conversation about the bible and various religious things the man was saying.

I have to say that it was interesting to hear his opinions and views, and it was also interesting to see the way the street preacher, who at first glance might SEEM concrete in his ideas and views, had no answers for Tony other than more biblical quotes. The man got frustrated with him I believe, and left. Later on, we saw another preacher who was doing a much better job. While the first one was simply shouting quotes into a megaphone, this man was standing amongst a crowd of people and he was not simply repeating the same verses over and over again. He was preaching love, and he was using the crowd to make his point.

We very much enjoyed our evening, and managed to just barely catch the final train back to our hostel. The train was full, and we were talking rather loudly. Of course, by this time, Tony had convinced me to practice my own English accent, that I wasn’t even aware I had the ability to do. I am sure I didn’t do it WELL, but it was well enough for two young and very nice English men to turn to us and start a conversation. Wisely, I stopped talking, knowing of course that Tony’s accent was by far the better.

The two young men tried to decide where on earth we were from. They knew that Tony’s accent wasn’t LONDON English, but they couldn’t guess where else it might be from “Cyprus? Greece? Italy?” They guessed, over and over. The United States was about the 7th place that they guessed, and they laughed when Tony said he was from there. “We don’t believe you!” They said, and we both laughed. They then asked Tony to “do your American accent!” And when Tony said, in his normal voice “I am an American from South Dakota” the two men laughed and looked at each other. “Wow! ” They said “He does a GREAT American accent!”

Tony and I laughed as the men continued to try to guess WHERE on EARTH we could have come from. “Nah!” they finally decided “He’s putting us on! He’s English!”

Sometimes its fun to pretend to be who we are not. It is fun to talk to others and to try to figure out what others are thinking, and where they are coming from. Part of the fun of being an “actor” is trying to make other people believe you are who you are pretending to be. I haven’t done theatre myself for quite a long time, but I remember the feeling very well. That of stepping into another’s place and wandering, for just a bit, in their shoes. Sometimes, by listening to others as they try to ‘devinir’ where it is exactly you come from, one can learn a great deal about themselves.

Yes, it is fun to pretend.

And other times, it is important to be completely yourself. To leave your mark on society and be certain that the people around you know exactly who you are and what it is that you stand for. For much the same reason that people come to Abbey Road from all over the world to leave their own mark on the place that helped to contribute to some of the greatest music ever recorded, it is important to leave your own mark on the things that are important to you.

Sign a guest book for somewhere you have been. Scratch a smiley face into the dust of your best friends rear car window while you wait for them. Write your name in the sand on a completely empty beach and walk away before the words are washed out to sea. These things, too, are important.

When Tony and I boarded the plane that took us back to France, we left knowing that we had left our mark, in some small ways, in London. The young men on the train might not have been able to guess where exactly we were coming from, but the wall outside of Abbey Road bears to this day our own words.

“Here Comes the Sun, Tony and Liza”.

Find your own symbolic things to leave your mark on. Have fun, sometimes, pretending to be what you are not, but always know for sure, who you are. And when it is important, leave something of yours behind to prove that you have been, that you are… that you exist.
Greece? Italy?” They guessed, over and over. The United States was about the 7th place that they guessed, and they laughed when Tony said he was from there. “We don’t believe you!” They said, and we both laughed. They then asked Tony to “do your American accent!” And when Tony said, in his normal voice “I am an American from South Dakota” the two men laughed and looked at each other. “Wow! ” They said “He does a GREAT American accent!”

Tony and I laughed as the men continued to try to guess WHERE on EARTH we could have come from. “Nah!” they finally decided “He’s putting us on! He’s English!”

Sometimes its fun to pretend to be who we are not. It is fun to talk to others and to try to figure out what others are thinking, and where they are coming from. Part of the fun of being an “actor” is trying to make other people believe you are who you are pretending to be. I haven’t done theatre myself for quite a long time, but I remember the feeling very well. That of stepping into another’s place and wandering, for just a bit, in their shoes. Sometimes, by listening to others as they try to ‘devinir’ where it is exactly you come from, one can learn a great deal about themselves.


Yes, it is fun to pretend.

And other times, it is important to be completely yourself. To leave your mark on society and be certain that the people around you know exactly who you are and what it is that you stand for. For much the same reason that people come to Abbey Road from all over the world to leave their own mark on the place that helped to contribute to some of the greatest music ever recorded, it is important to leave your own mark on the things that are important to you.

Sign a guest book for somewhere you have been. Scratch a smiley face into the dust of your best friends rear car window while you wait for them. Write your name in the sand on a completely empty beach and walk away before the words are washed out to sea. These things, too, are important.

When Tony and I boarded the plane that took us back to France, we left knowing that we had left our mark, in some small ways, in London. The young men on the train might not have been able to guess where exactly we were coming from, but the wall outside of Abbey Road bears to this day our own words.

“Here Comes the Sun, Tony and Liza”.

Find your own symbolic things to leave your mark on. Have fun, sometimes, pretending to be what you are not, but always know for sure, who you are. And when it is important, leave something of yours behind to prove that you have been, that you are… that you exist.


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