Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mind the Gap

Topher at Downton Abbey

Do you remember the summer of 2006? Let me refresh your memory: You were trying to get all your arty friends to watch a little TV Show called Friday Night Lights even though it was about football and you were super excited about a little TV show called Heroes and were certain that it was going to be a huge long lasting success (Spoiler Alert: it wasn't.) James Blunt was telling you that You're Beautiful and everyone, including your mom, had a blog. (Gah! Remember your mom's blog? It was so awful.)

Topher, if you don't know, runs the Study Abroad program for UVU. In fact, he is there right now. And back in 2006 when EVERYONE had a blog, he started one called Mind the Gap to chronicle his annual adventures across the pond (which is how Americans who want to pretend they are super continental refer to Europe.) It seemed apropos. After all, even your Aunt was writing a blog (about ceramics. Boy was it awful.) And then everyone stopped writing blogs, but Mind the Gap lived on.

Every summer for the month or so that Chris is taking students around London, Scotland and Paris he writes a daily account of where they went, what plays they saw, how many ghost tours they went on, where they ate and which places Topher decided to take a nap. Honestly, he takes a nap in EVERY MAJOR EUROPEAN LANDMARK. I imagine it is a huge promotional tool for the school and the study abroad program. How could you read it and not want to drop everything and spend 30 days in Great Britain? And if you are any sort of college student living in or near or withing spitting distance of Utah, you should do it. Take it from this bald, overweight, mortgage-carrying dad who wishes he had gone on a study abroad when spending a couple of fortnights in London was a conceivable idea.

You all know that Topher is a hilarious and witty writer and Mind the Gap doesn't disappoint. Here are a few totally randomly selected posts and my favorite line from each one:

  • "I screamed like a giant ladybaby." from hoo! hoo! by the beautiful sea.
  • "You cram so many people into the tube cars, and the heat goes up, and the arm pits come out, and people drop like flies." from for the rain it raineth
  • "One more dumb drunk word," said their eyes, "and I will cut you."from we happy few
  • "That’s what it means to be forty one. You are tall enough to see magical midgets!" from lord mary, lord titus
  • "She has yellow this, and white that. Also very stupid." from la vie en rose in which Topher relates the tale of his student getting lost in Paris and his enlisting of the french police to help find her with terrible French. 
So if you are stuck on this side of the pond with all the other boring Americans and want to dream about what it would be like to spend a month in Europe, see dozens of world class plays, eat delicious Nando's Chicken, Pizza Express and McDonalds, and take naps in all the great spots of English History, Mind the Gap is definitely the blog for you. And that is why it is my second favorite blog.

For the record, I'm sure Topher had no idea I was going to write about his blog. And I am sure he is really embarrassed by this. But I sure do love that blog. 
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