My visit to the British Museum left me thinking I might have hit my limit. I knew they had a lot of stuff in the museum but I had been encouraged that the recent
thefts at the British Museum might have pared it a bit.
Actually it was not the amount of stuff, it was the number of visitors. Perhaps owing to my entry time, my reservation was for mid day on a weekday, the number of visitors gave the pretty museum a tube car at rush hour feel. It was too much. And why are all these people here? Is it the Rosetta Stone? And why am I here?
So I applied my packed-tube strategy (no, not Ativan) where I wait on the platform for a better tube car. I found a bench, sat awhile, a little Chopin nocturnes for piano in my earbuds, took some deep breaths, then calmly entered a less-packed gallery, a gallery of truly insignificant things, and was amused to find the first item on the wall to be a sketch of a mister Andrea Doria. This was encouraging, not because he was bereft of clothing but because of the Seinfeld reference. If you do not know the story, well here goes.
George is in competition for an apartment with a survivor of the Andrea Doria sinking, the Andrea Doria being a passenger ship, and in the denouement George wins the sympathy round but loses the competition because of a bribe. I know, George's story has nothing to do with a crowded museum, it is just funny to a Seinfeld fan, and I briefly took it as a sign to persevere. Briefly.
Ahh, the Andrea Doria. I remember several years ago, we were in Naxos. We looked out our apartment to the sea and saw a big ship. I tele-photo-ed the ship, found its name, and looked it up. It was the ship that struck the Andrea Doria (in 1956, three years after being put into service) off the coast of Nantucket. The Andrea Doria slowly sunk into the sea. One of the survivors, and most of the passengers survived, lived on to be the (fictitious) fellow who competed with George Costanza for a NYC apartment. Yes, we Seinfeld fans are a bit obsessive.
But Andrea Doria could not save me. After an hour I abandoned the British Museum. Another day perhaps, but likely not.