Monday, 14 May 2012

From Earth with Love -or- Alien in Southampton

This is my second Writing and the Environment piece. This one had to be inspired by the field trips we took during the course. We went to St Catherine's Hill, the New Forest, and Southampton. It was during the late winter time so the places weren't too inspiring, there was just a lot of mud and naked trees. I had no idea what I wanted to write about. But luckily the deadline was pushed back until after Easter, meaning I had an extra four weeks to write something up.

I thought I'd write something about the New Forest, yet in the end I wrote something about Southampton. I didn't think I'd find a city more inspiring than the woodlands, having grown up near the woods and Dartmoor. Funny how things turn out. I was still at a loss even after I decided to write about Southampton. This idea only came to me when I was trying to sleep, as usual.

I'm not particularly happy with the title but it sounded better than Alien in Southampton.

From Earth with Love

I have arrived in Southern Hampton. I don’t know where Hampton is or even where the Northern, Eastern, or Western ones are. But then again, this planet is funny. There are so many places that have the same name. They even have new versions. New York, New England, and I suppose at some point there was an old Zealand too. They should just name their places after numbers, like us, it provides limitless possibilities. 610846738.92 sounds so much better than Southern Hampton, after all.

The name of the place isn’t the only thing that confuses me. For one thing their transportation is bizarre. I know I learnt all about it Earth Studies: Section 457 Transport, but seeing it in real life is just mind boggling. The humanoids crowd together in metal tubes on wheels, which roar by on tracks every couple of minutes. They look so unsophisticated; this humanoid technology is definitely lacking. I was teleported onto one of these ‘trains’ so my arrival would be less obvious, no one would notice another humanoid joining the horde. I wish I could have been teleported to a quieter place though; rubbing against perspiring humanoids was not how I imagined my first moments on Earth.

I was pleased when the metallic monster finally stopped and I could escape its confinements. I placed my first foot on solid Earth, and was highly disappointed. This was it? Everything was so…concrete.

The stations we have on 610846738.92 are much better than these Earth ones. We have easily accessible portals, which mean no queues and no waiting. It also means none of this pushing and rushing around. At least four of the humanoids jabbed me with their pointed appendages, called ‘elbows’. At first I thought this was their odd way of greeting each other, but after I did this with a smile to a humanoid myself and got yelled at, I realised I was very wrong. After that I kept my fake humanoid limbs to myself.

Outside I was even more surprised. The first thing I saw was this sign. A little white humanoid, a circular shape, and a ring. I thought back to my Earth Studies. The white humanoid was self-explanatory. The other two were more puzzling. The circular shape, with little hexagons, what was it again? It was some sort of ball. The humanoids played with it during a thing called ‘sports’. Oh, I remember now! It was a feetball. And the ring on top, that was a religious symbol, wasn’t it? Meaning angels? So was this sign was pointing me toward an angelic feetball? I shook my head, that couldn’t be right. Was feetball a religion, I couldn’t remember. I should have paid more attention in Earth Studies: Section 666 Religion, but it was so boring.

I turned away from the sign before I could confuse myself any further. The humanoids were much more complicated than I had originally thought. I walked down the street, which again was more grey concrete, and noticed more of the humanoid’s transportation. A metal two wheeler. There were loads of them, all stored in racks.

Beaks! These always looked so fun during Earth Studies. I hurried to the beaks and tried to get on one. It was tied up to the rack with a chain and I couldn’t get my fake humanoid leg over; they were hard to control, so different from my tentacles. I was half way on the beak when a humanoid ran at me. He was wearing a plastic hat that was buckled under his chin, and very tight humanoid clothing; I could almost see another humanoid appendage. His was screaming in the humanoid language, I think ‘English’ or maybe it was ‘Chinese’. I’ll be honest; I never got the knack of the languages. Something about a bike? What’s a bike? I didn’t stick around to find out. The first thing we learnt in Earth Studies was that if a humanoid was to attack us we were to press a button on our Interaction Transmission Band and we would be teleported home. I didn’t want to go home yet, so I leapt off the beak and ran down the street.

I only stopped running when I saw this fantastic building. I didn’t think I’d see any of these in Southern Hampton as I thought they were only made in a place called ‘Egypt’. There was a huge pyramid in the centre of town. I was amazed because I had learnt that great leaders, the Pheromones, had been buried inside them. If I remembered correctly from Section 756 Royalty there was a King Cnut. Was a King the same thing as a Pheromone? I tried to cross the grey rivers, or ‘roads’ as the humanoids call them, but couldn’t. Too many transportation devices kept rolling by. There were even some that had more than eight wheels. Were these the ‘road trains’? Every time I tried to step onto the road, one of these transportation boxes would screech by and honk. I looked at the pyramid from afar; it didn’t seem like I would ever find out who was buried inside.

Dejected, I carried on down the street. It wound endlessly and I wished desperately for a portal to ride. How humanoids survived with simply walking and their crazy wheeled contraptions, I don’t know. But eventually I found something of interest. Now, I thought this sort of transportation was only meant to travel on a thing called ‘water’, which I learnt covers 75% of the Earth. But this ‘boat’ as they’re called, was quite far into land. I think it was specifically a ‘croose ship’ called the Marks & Spencer. Now, I’ve heard that these sorts of ships are rather luxurious and cost lots of ‘money’ which is the humanoid currency. If I really wanted to go on it I would have to be cunning, as I can’t pay. We’re expected to visit Earth with no humanoid currency, it’s ridiculous, and something I’ll be bringing up with my supervisors.

Cautiously, I walked closer to the ship. I hurried up the steps and across a ‘courtyard’ where humanoids drank from tiny dishes with handles. I’m pretty sure this was the humanoids drinking ‘teaandcoffee’. I have had a sample of this concoction during Earth Studies: Section 432 Liquids and I can safely say it was disgusting. I kept my distance from the drinking humanoids and sneakily scurried to the entrance of the croose ship. Now I was stuck. I had never seen doors like this before. I thought there only was one kind of door. But this one was round and was spinning. I watched for a while as humanoids entered one chamber from the outside and span around to the inside. Was this their kind of portal? Eagerly I ran to the spinning door. I squeezed into one of the chambers and slowly span into the croose ship. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. No one had caught me at all. Humanoids were nothing compared to the genius of 610846738.92ians.

Inside the croose ship was not how I imagined it all. It was all marble and glass windows. I thought windows were to enable humanoids to see outdoors while being indoors. However, these windows didn’t show the outdoors, they showed artificial white humanoids, some didn’t even have faces. My first thought was this is where humanoids were made, but then I remembered Section 198 Reproduction, and this was nothing like that. I saw many humanoids admiring these plastic versions of themselves. If this wasn’t where humanoids were made, was it for something else? Past these windows and artificial humanoids I saw racks of colourful fabric. Ah, yes ‘clothing’. This was what the humanoids wore. On 610846738.92 we don’t have clothes; we let our tentacles hang loose. But who am I to judge? I thought I would get myself some of this humanoid clothing as a souvenir. But what type? There were so many different windows showing so many different styles. I looked at the signs that hung above these places and I couldn’t read any of them, I should really have paid more attention in Earth Studies: Section 05 Language. Then I saw a word I did recognise, ‘Senza’. On 610846738.92 this means something along the lines of masculinity. Maybe this is where you buy humanoid male clothes. The guys back home will be jealous.

I slowly made my way into the shop, La Senza, trying to look as normal as possible. These clothing items looked a bit flimsy, but maybe that’s how you showed off your manliness here. The humanoids in the windows looked pretty masculine to me. I didn’t know how I was going to get a piece of clothing without paying. That was until I saw a sign saying changing rooms. I understood now; you didn’t need to pay, you could just get changed and leave. Happily, I picked up a purple clothing item. I liked the colour purple because you didn’t get in on 610846738.92, it’s only an Earth colour.

I stripped down so I was only wearing my hairy, fake humanoid skin. I found it awkward to get my humanoid arms through the straps and I it took me ages to figure out how to do it up; why would you but a clasp at the back? Luckily, the other part was easy to work out. I just had to put my humanoid legs through the holes. Overall, the clothing was quite tight; the top piece cut into my chest and the bottoms got stuck in the crease of my humanoid butt. The fabric was so smooth on my fake skin; I wonder what it would feel like on my tentacles.

Proudly, I exited the changing rooms. I was pleased with the amount of attention I received. I must have been looking very manly. Unfortunately, I only got as far as the windows before a humanoid tackled me from behind. I screeched as the humanoid grabbed me and panic drove me to press the button on my Interaction Transmission Band. Within seconds I was teleported back to 610846738.92. I looked down at my normal tentacles in dismay; my beautiful humanoid outfit hadn’t been transported back with me. What a wasted journey.

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