Departure/Arrival (Part 2)

Day 1-2, October 11-12th, 2011 (Continued). Perhaps I was being melodramatic, or perhaps Customs Guy was having a laugh at my expense, but it was one of the scariest and most upsetting moments in my life for a moment there. But I get on the Tube (London’s tyrannical subway system), and try and find my hostel, which I booked the night before and had the name and the address and had written down directions.

Yeah, I should’ve had a map too. London’s fucking huge. And confusing. It’s a good thing I bought a day pass, because I got off several different times at the wrong spot. Now, it’s silly, because I actually got a hang of the Tube by Day 2, but that wasn’t really the problem. It was getting from my stop to my hostel that was tricky. But this was still my first day, after a long flight, minimal sleep, and a heckza amount of stress, y’all.

It became a comedy of errors and a parade of middle fingers in my general direction for a few hours more. I got to the hostel after an hour or so, lugging my two bags with me, sweating everywhere, and relieved. I give him my name and he checks, double checks and he tells me that there is no such reservation and that they are all booked up for the night. I kinda wanna cry, but I give a croaky laugh and ask where the nearest hostel is, or at the very least, the nearest internet cafe. Because, mind you, I didn’t have a phone or a computer, or anyway to find a hostel besides door to door knocking, which didn’t sound very appealing, but may have opened some interesting doors. Lame, sorry. But seriously, how did people live in the world without the internet, phones and whatnot? Kudos to you folks.

Anyways, he badly directed me to a nearby internet cafe, winning the award for the least helpful hostel worker I’ve come across to this date. I pay like 3 pounds to use the internet for a half hour (which is like 5 bucks), I search and find a hostel, book it properly this time to ensure a bed for the night, and then get back on the tube. I get lost a couple more times, but after arriving in London at around 11 AM (3 am my time), I get to my hostel at around 4-4:30 PM (subtract 8 hours, I’m not your servant). I don’t think I can think of a time I wanted to be home more. Europe? More like Eurape.

I haven’t eaten anything except a package of gummy lifesavers for about 20 hours, so I go to an English pub called Stanlope Arms, enjoying sitting on a shitty stool made for dwarves. I thought it was unique enough, but basically in England 80% of pubs look alike, and are actually owned by a central parent company. So I basically ate at an Applebee’s Pub. Once I got about as settled as one can get in a hostel (drop your bag, lock up your valuables and lay on your bunk without hitting your head on the ceiling or the bunk above you), it got better. I talked with the three crazy Australians who had been travelling for about 10 months and a friendly Canadian. I slept from about 8 pm to 8 am.

And that’s it so far. Whew. Sorry to those who actually read that. It’ll get better.

Next time on The Wanderer: It doesn’t. No, it does. Or does it? I kinda forget.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *