made it to London... (2004-01-30 - 10:38 a.m.)
I'm not sure there's much point me even typing anything just now - I can't even think about the number of hours I haven't slept in. Coherency levels are definitely dropping. But there's this handy cybercafe and I really don't have much else to do until I can check into the hostel properly...
So about the trip. Mom dropped me off at the airport in the morning, which was great. I was very pleased to have someone to see me off, at least! The trip to Toronto was okay because I was sitting beside a nice lady from Newfoundland. The trip from Toronto to Heathrow sucked. I was beside a mother and daughter: the mother was demanding (poor stewardesses) and the daughter was whiny. I didn't actually get up at any point during the flight because I didn't want to have to climb over Whiny and Demanding...
Also, despite not having slept the night before, somehow I still couldn't sleep on the plane. I did drop off briefly, but I woke myself up by drooling. (Ew!) Anyway, the plane was more or less on time, but when we got to Heathrow there was this bizarre delay because they couldn't get the ramp thing into the terminal to work. Very strange. So there was nearly an hour of sitting on the plane, beside the terminal, until they managed to drag this rickety metal staircase up to the door.
But I managed to find the bus stop after walking through miles and miles of Heathrow, and at the bus stop was this great old guy who was visiting from South Africa. He had a Scottish accent, although he had lived in South Africa for 40 years. (I think he was here visiting family). He gave me something called a pastille (candy) and a guided tour of all the places the airbus went! It was pretty interesting, and I really enjoyed his commentary. He pointed out a tower: apparently they used to drop molten balls of metal down it, and by the time they reached the bottom they were cannonballs! He was very concerned that I made it to the hostel okay (his daughter, who was born in S. Africa, had done the working holiday thing when she was younger) and I very much enjoyed his company.
He made sure I got off at the right stop, and the hostel was indeed right across from the bus stop. I haven't really explored it yet, but there are a lot of amenities and it seems like a pretty cool place. But the only thing I want to do right now is drop into bed... I suppose I should limit it to a nap so as to get my body on to London time, but even a few hours would do wonders.
Oh, the other thing is that the weather here is incredibly mild. There's a little snow lying around, but the green grass is poking up through it. Of course my South African friend thought it was ridiculously cold, but when I thought of the dash through the -40 windchill to get to the Edmonton airport, I had to laugh!
Anyway, I'm off to explore!
ps. The South African guy was complaining about the cost of the bus: "Those English chaps are all the same- they say 'Dreadfully sorry to have to take your money' and then take as much of it as possible!" I had to laugh, as that describes London pretty well.
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