“and I’m glad you feel the same”

7/27/10   –   20:36

Severest apologies. I’ve gotta keep on with the bullets, otherwise I’ll never catch up.

– The bus goes from Paris, north to the coastal town of Calais and then takes the Eurotunnel to London. The Eurotunnel is sort of like the tunnel under the English Channel with the train, except this one takes cars and buses. Before we got to go in, though, we had to pass through both French and UK customs. They were pretty mean and held some people back because they didn’ t have the right papers. There was, however, this one worker lady who was on her break and she wanted to buy a drink. And I did too, but I didn’t have coins. So she gave me the pound she was going to use so I could buy a drink before I left. Yay, kindness of strangers!

– Hey there Eurotunnel. You look like a starwars hangar. The bus gets into this narrow hallway/tunnel and it has all these different lighted control panels on the side. It makes you feel as if you’re about to blast off at lightspeed.

– I might as well have been going at light speed, though. I mean. The longest part of the trip was Paris to Calais. The actual tunnel part was about half an hour. Or that’s what it felt like. I guess the English Channel isn’t that big to begin with. I mean. People have covered that distance swimming. Craziness.

– I closed my eyes and fell asleep in France, and woke up with everybody on the wrong side of the road. You see, this would’ve been scary had I been the driver, but no. It was just a little strange. I like, however, that there are signs to aid the pedestrians painted on the crosswalks. They help me a lot. If it weren’t for them, I’d be run over by a double-decker bus by now.

– Among other observations: Kelli. It’s like everyone here has your speak-in-a-British-accent disease. And sometimes I forget that they’re not faking it and that’s just how they speak. -_-

– The hostel is great. It’s in the pretty affluent area south of Hyde Park in South Kensington [that even sounds high brow and fancy] The rooms are very big, there’s free breakfast, and FREE WIFI which means I can update regularly. They even use the fargriks from IKEA that I have at home. And everything is clean to the point of sterility. I love it.

– I changed my money and watched the total diminish because the Euro is weaker than the pound. Then I got a million coins of all different sizes and a whole bunch of bills with the Queen’s face on them. Just when I readjusted to the Euro… -_-

– First activity in London was a free walking tour through Westminster where most of the big sights are. I met Tessa and Louise from Australia. They’ve been doing pretty much the same thing as I have for a month, except they’ve been with a tour. They were a fun bunch, as most Aussies tend to be.

~

– The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace is probably only interesting because of the uniforms. I was focusing on the military band. They play little concerts and march around while the guards do their thing. They played “What a Wonderful World” and “Army of the Nile”. [Look at me being a complete band nerd for recognizing that second one.]

– We hit up the highlights. Houses of Parliament. Big Ben. Trafalgar Square. Etc. Afterwards, we went to a restaurant where I ordered fish andchips because I’m in Britain. They were really good. And malt vinegar is too. Northern Europe and their pommes frites/chips has shown me the wonder of condiments that aren’t ketchup. Yum.

– Imperial War Museum! Walking through that place reminded me of Fallout 3 or Bioshock. There was lots of war propaganda and gas masks and all sorts of things from the 30s through the 50s. They even had trench simulations for World War I and an air raid simulation for World War II. It was cool considering it was free [like most of London’s museums] There also seemed to be a disproportionately large number of elderly folks telling stories to their kids about the war. They might as well have been part of the museum experience.

– Observation: British mothers talking to their children is like watching a sitcom. Oh they’re so witty. In fact, the entire nation seems to have this great innate sense of wit. It must be inheried. [Racial bonus! +3 to wit!]

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– I went back to Trafalgar square later in the day and there was a bagpipe player in traditional dress! Scotch pride! [Or making the most of those bagpipe lessons his parents made him take.]

– I also checked out London’s Chinatown. It might not be as extensive as New York’s, but they had the jasmine tea I’ve been craving so badly. [Yes. I’ve been wanting it since I left Lisbon] So that’s all I really cared about.

– A night time stroll on the Jubilee walkway was in order before I went back to the hostel. I caught the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben just as they became floodlit. I’m telling you. Cities are different places at night.

~

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– PS. Fanta flavor of the day? Fruit Twist! It’s alright. I like the more specific flavors you find on the mainland though. I also had some traditional Orange. It tastes a tad different, but nothing too mind-blowing.

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