Sunday, May 06, 2007

Chotu and Motu go to Kenilworth

Chronologically, Chotu and Motu climbing the wrong mountain should come before this but I am too lazy to type that up right now.

Way back from Snowdonia to London. Crossing Birmingham.

C: You don't want to stop at Birmingham, do you?

M: Why would I want to stop at Birmingham?

C: I don't know. Its a city.

M: Thank you. I would never have known otherwise.

C: No, no, I meant its a historical city and all.

M: Its historical?

C: You know East India Company type history.

M: Oh, that way. So you want to see the city now?

C: Well, it sort of reminds of Pittsburgh

M: With good reason. So you are now Pitt-sick?

C: No, of course not. Yeah okay, a little. Its a not a bad town.

M: It is okay to like it, you know. You spent a good part of five years there.

C: True. But how do you admit to people that you like Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh, for God's sake!

M: Well, its not that bad. I mean, its not like you were in love with the downtown or anything. Yes, you like Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. Most people who have been there would see the point. Those are beautiful neighborhoods.

C: That's true. Especially Squirrel Hill.

M: Of course

C: What ofcourse?

M: Nothing

C: You think there's a Squirrel Hill type locality in Birmingham?

M: I doubt it.

C: How do we find out?

M: Look for signs which say "The highest SAT (or whatever the equivalent is) scores in the county"?

C: Very funny

M: I am serious

C: The English don't put up signs which say stuff like that

M: But it isn't really the English you are looking for, are you? So we will look for kosher stores, shall we, Mr Eli Feynman? Or why don't you look for men reading the Torah walking around?

C: Oh, come on

M: Hey, did you see that?

C: Ofcourse I did. I am the navigator, I see all signs.

M: And?

C: You think we should go see the castle?

M: Yes. But you know what this reminds me of?

C: Yes.


Circa 2003. One of Chotu's first trips to Chicagoland. Motu had just moved to Chicago and in true American tradition, bought a car. Chotu, Motu get up in the morning and decide to go see the Mississippi. Galena, IL. That's the place to go apparently. Some Lincoln and Ulysses (Grant, not The Ulysses) connection too. So they are whizzing through rural Illinois when suddenly:

C: Did you see that sign?

M: Yes, I did.

C: But its in NY, right?

M: That's what I always thought. NY or in New England. Woodstock in rural IL? C'mon.

C: Dude, this map here says there's a RR museum there.

M: You aren't serious?

C: It says so here.

M: You think we were wrong? Anyway, it can't be better than the museum in Cleveland.

C: That's not the point.

M: I know

C: Should we take a detour?

Motu takes the next exit. Seventeen miles later, they find themselves in Woodstock, IL. A large square where there's some sort of market happening. Chotu Motu park and get out. All eyes on them. All-white town. Uh-huh. After going around the square a couple of times and seeing no museum or signs, Chotu Motu decide to ask somebody.

"The museum? That building, right there. You came all the way to see this museum?"

"We were passing by and saw signs for the Rock & Roll museum and figured might as well see it"

The guy nearly dies laughing.

"I reckon you are atleast a 1000 miles off your museum. This is a RailRoad museum. The Chicago Union - Galena railroad, the first major railway in the States that connects to the Mississippi"


[End Flashback]

Yeah yeah, Chotu and Motu swore that they would tell no one, yes, no one about this ever, but you know, in my old age, I am allowed to change my mind.

M: But this is England

C: Yes, here they don't reuse names of places

M: Are you sure?

C: I think so

M: How far?

C: Just 20 miles. Not too bad really.

M: Hmm...we should do it you think?

C: You decide

M: This is some deja vu man.

C: Yeah

So anyway, twenty or so miles later, Chotu Motu found themselves in Sir Scott's Kenilworth Castle. Possibly the most imposing of all (ruined) sandstone castles I have ever seen but as expected, too many people around. Some junta in funny costumes playing Earl of Leicester and Queen Elizabeth. The idea apparently is to teach kids history. Seemed to work from what I could see, so I won't complain too much. Some random pictures before you go:

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