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England: London: Sharon to the Rescue with Secret Cinema

April 30, 2011

semi-overcast 68 °F

I don’t know how it happened but even after unloading what looked like 4 bags worth of stuff we’re still carrying 4 bags? At least Tony didn’t have to stand on them this time to get them closed! Jeff and Samantha took us to the airport in Geneva. We are already missing the entire family; this week was so much fun :) We have a few hours in London then off on our flight to Egypt . . . or so we thought. We arrived at Heathrow and leisurely made our way over to terminal 5 only to find out that we had missed our flight to Cairo! Apparently they had changed the time (to four hours earlier) and didn’t notify us! OOPS! The girl at British Airways was trying to charge us 75 British pounds EACH to change our flight and acted like she was doing US a favor. Well, of course Ruby was so exhausted that she nearly paid it but Tony knocked some senses back into her and we went to go speak to another representative. We luckily found someone helpful who booked us some great seats for the flight tomorrow . . . and didn’t charge us either! So now we’re stranded in London on the weekend of the Royal Wedding. .. what to do?

First, we tried to book a hotel near the airport but they were 350 British pounds a night!?! Yikes, so next we called our friend Sharon who is a complete lifesaver! She welcomed us with open arms and tickets to an event called the Secret Cinema :) We hurriedly hopped on the tube and were at her place in less than an hour. We met her fiancé Chris, her sis Laura and Laura’s boyfriend Mike at the house. They were all dolled up 50s style and ready to go. So what did we do? Ruby unzipped her suitcase and threw on a suitable outfit faster than Sharon could put on her shoes and we were off! :) We wish we could have borrowed from our friends Toula and Mike McCarley’s wardrobe! They waiting for us so we were all running late by now and at one point Tony thought he might have to carry Ruby down some stairs because it has been a while since she’s had to run in heels!

On the tube we got some of the secret details. We were all given special ID cards before the event. It’s a really neat event where there’s an undisclosed film to be played but before the film starts the audience gets hints by immersed in the setting of the film through the surroundings, actors, music, and food. Even clued in, the only thing we knew was that it’s a film set in the 50’s. So we hop off the tube and head to a graffiti lined tunnel filled with hundreds of people all dressed up in 50s outfits, with actors dressed in military uniforms yelling in French! They were directing us into a small room shrouded in fog and covered in barbed wire. Upon entering we found a maze of different rooms, Arabic music playing, women fully dressed in white hijabs, schwarmas being served, and guards asking for our identification card. They even had a gendarmerie like the one in France that we visited to report the car break-in. Ruby immediately thought of North Africa, specifically Morocco—probably because we’re hoping to go there soon but she was wrong. Can anyone guess what obscure film it was?? We’re not sure if anyone could have guessed.

We chatted with Mike and Laura who are huge travel addicts like ourselves and after a few drinks and some delicious schwarmas the movie began. It turned out to be a French film about the Algerian revolution against French Colonization. Despite sleeping through half of it, Ruby could clearly see the parallels between the film and what is going on today in Egypt, Libya, and probably a few other countries but we haven’t been watching the news that much. Poor Tony couldn’t read the subtitles because earlier in the trip he broke his eyeglasses!
Afterwards we were all pretty tired and headed back to Sharon’s adorable flat to catch some ZZZZZZs before our flight to Egypt. Before Ruby went to bed though, she read an email from Nancy that made her laugh out loud, the subject heading was “Are you crazy???” and it had all her hilarious comments about our time in the Afar Desert and the Danakil depression. Ruby liked that one so much she decided to post it on the blog under comments. Thanks so much Nancy for the good laugh! We can’t wait to see you in NYC.


Posted by Tony.Ruby 01:53 Archived in England

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WOW What a great way to get stranded. You can never have too many friends.

by mom

No kidding. . . we are SUPER LUCKY to have such great friends :)

by Tony.Ruby

Secret Cinema sounds so fun! I was going to guess Lawrence of Arabia (I knew that'd be too easy to be true) or Lion of the Desert. Either way - wrong! :-)

by christysuzanne

Those are such BETTER guesses than ours! :)

by Tony.Ruby

I think they have Secret Cinema here in NY or LA as well... Gotta look into it! :)

by Tony.Ruby

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