This post is just a conglomeration of a bunch of little things I saw all along our trip--things that don't fit well with the geographic/attraction categorization I've been using.
Sign in the men's room at a rest stop along the highway:
Notice the blue "Yes" sign hung on this building in Edinburgh. Signs reading "No" predominated in the south of Scotland. We had to get farther north before we started seeing these "Yes" signs. In case you don't know what they're saying "yes" and "no" about, well, you haven't been paying attention to the news lately, have you? There's a big, big referendum issue for Scotland Thursday. (Notice also the clever name of the souvenir shop in the lower right corner: Thistle Do Nicely.)
The wheels of this bus do not go 'round and 'round. Note that that's a rear wheel, not a front wheel. It ain't supposed to look like that. This breakdown cost us a few hours while the tour company fetched a replacement vehicle.
Pigeons inside a bus terminal in Belfast:
At the Dublin airport, as we were taxiing to the runway for our flight home, I spotted these two jumbo jets through the window. They are an Emirates Airlines Airbus A380 and an El Al Boeing 747. If Arab and Israeli planes can live next to each other in peace and harmony, why can't the people? (There's your profound political thought of the day. Cue the Stevie Wonder music.)
I remember once when I was a very young boy going to a corner store while we were visiting my grandmother in Utah. I had a bunch of coins, and I wanted to buy some candy, but I had no idea how to count money. I just took all the coins I had, put them on the counter, and let the clerk pick out the right amount.
I'm not an international traveler. Before this voyage, I had made a one-day trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, and a five-day trip to Cancun, Mexico, but that was the total extent of my foreign travel. So handling foreign currency was basically an entirely new experience for me. I kept pulling out my change, looking at the unfamiliar things memorialized on the backs (the fronts all have a picture of the same woman--who is she, and how did she get to be so important???), and trying to memorize the denominations so that I could use them fluently. It never worked. Every time I tried to buy something with them, I was reduced to again looking around at each coin to find the number on it--1? 2? 5? 10? 20? 50?--then trying to add them up in my head, all while the merchant looked on with growing impatience. A couple of times I got so flustered that I resorted to the same technique I had used in the corner store when growing up: put all the money down on the counter and let the smarter person take what was required. It was humbling.
I guess this is where they keep the...oh, never mind. Make your own jokes. (London.)
I was one of the few fans of this TV show in the late 1980s. (London.)
Restrooms at a McDonald's restaurant near our first hotel in London:
How would you like to have to park your car in this space every day? (Stratford-upon-Avon.)
I had the shatkora in an Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon. I took a picture of the menu because I knew that I'd never remember the name of it, or what was in it. It was very good--the most citrusy main course I've ever had from that region of the world. (Note to girlfriend: See? Now I try new and different things in restaurants even when you're not with me!)
I amused myself endlessly every time I saw one of these signs by imagining that the letter "I" had fallen off, and they were really advertising giant restrooms, with various amenities. Because I'm 12. (All in Stratford-upon-Avon.)