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London…Day 1/2

I am typing this from my hotel room in The Zetter, located in Farringdon, London. Matt isn’t here with his laptop yet, but this hotel is so much more tech than I am that it features a media center PC as the heart of its entertainment system…allowing me to update from my bed. And, oh yeah…unlike American hotels, it’s free.

So not a terriffic amount to report just yet. Flight was a bit of a nightmare…delayed an hour, giving me time to absorb three pints at the Sam Adams bar in Newark. Because of a nearly 100 mile an hour tailwind, though, the flight was only late by about 20 minutes, including a whole lotta time burnt circling Heathrow. Worst part, is I couldn’t sleep a lick, which is what I should be doing now rather than sitting in my hotel room blogging, but there’s time.

So, we land, and I am feeling very disoriented and weird at it suddenly being morning, and have to stand for an hour in front of customs. They are kind of charmingly threatening in the UK, it seems. It’s all very casual, very, “So, what do you do for a living? Interesting. And you are travelling alone? Well that’s nice. Ever had any trouble with the police? Of course not, of course not.” It was fine, but I could see the New Yorker next to me not handling it very well at all…screaming at the customs agent, who just smiled and explained that it was up to him whether or not he got let into the country or put right back on a plane. The New York guy couldn’t believe it, demanded supervisors, and got louder as the customs agent got more quiet. It’s amazing how few people get it.

Got asked for directions by two Brits. One laughed when I answered in my weird American non-dialect and said I obviously didn’t have the right accent to be able to help (in a very good natured way), the other, well, my advice was right, and he said thank you.

So far, I think what I am enjoying most is not knowing what the hell is going on. I have no idea where I am. I don’t know anyone. I’m alone, and I’m just doing it. It’s a pretty great feeling, being the foriegner. Jillian would love it here…the language is all used so precisely (“Station stop, alight for the planterium…”) and everything is so pleasing.

So the train from the airport to Paddington was weird. Maybe it was my lack of sleep, but I couldn’t help but feel like I could be ANYWHERE, including Minneapolis or New Haven. There were a lot of things I didn’t expect from home…grafitti, garbage, etc., and I definitely had feelings of dread. Has EVERYTHING started looking the SAME?

That all vanished as soon as I got to Farringdon, though. This is LONDON. The buses, the cars, the people, the architecture. Christ, what a relief…I thought strip malls had penetrated everywhere. I got hopelessly lost, and ended up just wandering up and down crooked streets for over an hour. I also ended up in the campus of some medical school, somehow. Much more to tell, but I have to try and get a few hours of sleep or Matt will yell at my amateur bar crawl performance this evening. More updates, pictures, etc. as they become available.

There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. Prepare yourself, bars close at an ungodly early hour of 11pm. So you better already be wasted.

  2. It’s London Baby!

    Glad you arrived in one piece. Start honing the accent.

  3. TOP SHOP, dammit

  4. Not any more Ursy baby…pub laws have changed…4AM, just like the rest of the free world. It’s changed the whole dynamic.

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