Thursday, February 15, 2007

Which side do I walk on here?

This is the question that bothers me every time I approach another human being in this country: to which side should I veer? In North America, the answer is always, "to the right," unless the person approaching you is stupid and doesn't know walking etiquette. But here? In a subway (tube/underground) tunnel, I saw a sign that told me to "keep left," which makes sense since this is the side of the street that cars drive on. But the reason I'm not convinced about local ways is that I get the feeling that sometimes people here want to do it my way, and not the other way. Hmm. Seriously, this is making me a little crazy. I don't want to appear a fool! Any help with this would be most appreciated. ;-)

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that when I got to the British Red Cross office, my contact took me up to the library instead of to the archives. The reason? The archives---located in the basement---were flooded! I don't think there was very much water down there, but still. What a potential disaster for us historians! Let's hope that at some point the records will be moved. Perhaps a group like this one will take an interest. (Please note that I don't mean to denigrate the British Red Cross or its staff members; I just hope there wasn't any damage to the holdings.)

But, anyways, back to me. Today I spent many hours at the National Archives flipping through some of the Paris peace conference volumes, the records of the Vladivostok consulate, and other pertinent records. I didn't find a whole lot of direct interest, but there was more good Canadian Red Cross material and a smattering of other things. I'm going to go back there tomorrow.

I am in Europe! How cool is that, eh? Before this week, I hadn't been to London since I was about 10 years old, and I hadn't been overseas since I was 16. It was definitely about time I came back. Too bad I feel the need to do work here. I know I'm an archives nerd and all, but it would be great to spend two weeks just being a tourist!

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