Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Amanda, Day 1 in the country side

Revelations about the rest of the world.

To sum up:

1. Right hand drive is terrifying and should be banned.

2. Every village in England will bring you to tears with its flabbergasting charm

3. Leicester is the most unnavigable, undrivable, untenable city in the world.

4. America does not hold the monopoly on shirtless rednecks.

To elaborate:

We began this morning (hung over, it must be said), with Will retrieving our rental car from the Avis around the corner. Our Volkswagen Polo is, to paraphrase Richard Hammond, like a little donkey. Very hard working, very sweet, endearing, but not very powerful. We drove out of London to the West, me resisting the urge to shriek on a minute-by-minute basis as I adjusted to the terror of right hand drive. We eventually left London behind us on the M1 and entered CHARMING ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE!!!!!!!(Insert guitar shred here) Almost immediately we were plunged into impenetrable traffic on the outskirts of the Formula 1 metropolis on the approach to the village of Silverstone.
Fast forward to the track, on past hungover unpleasantness in the traffic jam. As you enter the grounds of a European Formula 1 track, it is immediately apparent that blobby shirtlessness is the name of the game. The English are somewhat unhandsome to begin with, and the out of doors only enhances their lamentable paleness and lack of muscle definition. There are also a great number of Italians, French, Spanish, etc. doing their part to get sunburned and drunk. Americans, not the only ones.
Now, onto the racing. As a relatively recent drinker of the F1 Kool-Aid, this was a very momentous first for me.
Confession: my heart may have been beating a little faster as we moved into our seats minutes before the cars came out for the afternoon practice session. I don't think it was just the Cornish pasty. The cars are ostentatious in every way. Sleek, slippery, almost eel-like bodies, unnaturally fast and unbelievably loud. Americans would eat this business up if only they could handle the Euro. Taking in the crowd is a truly satisfying part of the F1 experience. The shouting, aggressive, unshirtery is something to behold. An Italian near us fist-pumped every time Schumacher drove by. Germans blasted air horns. The English dads in front of us solemnly handed beers to their 14 year old sons. Missing teeth abounded.
Sadly, McLaren did not do so well with the "advancements" they brought for the car, so we'll have to see how they do in the morning practice tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me, it's a long day of watching cars go around in circles and observing Europeans in their natural habitat.

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