Londontown Day 4

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Today was my last day in London, so I woke up a bit early to get everything packed up. After worrying that I had lost everything under the bed and whatnot, I walked out. Going out the door, I literally bumped into the maid as she ran into my room. I was halfway down the hall when she stormed out of the room and started yelling at me.

“Why you use two beds?” She screeched in her bizarre, undocumented worker voice.

There were two beds in my room, even though I had booked a single room, and the first one I had tried was horrible. The second one was much more comfortable, so, I used that. I told this to the maid.

She proceeded to yell something to me in heavily accented English. Not a British accent,and it didn’t make any sense. Getting really annoyed that she was interrogating me. I gave her a disgusted look and said, “It isn’t your job to tell me how to use my room. I paid my money, so you can just leave me alone and get back to work.”

Her face contorted with rage and then she slammed herself back into the room. Both delighted and annoyed, I went downstairs to check out. I had them store my luggage since my train didn’t leave until 5:45 that evening.

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I went onto the Tube to go and get a pasty. Every time I get on the train, I remember how much slower the trains are in London. They are smaller, slower, and not as well laid out as the Parisian Metro. In Paris, you would be hard pressed not to find a station, in London, you have to hunt down the stations, and even then, they are few and far between. You can also fit twice the amount of people into the Paris trains with only a moderate feeling of discomfort. The London trains are just dumb, crowded, ugly, and tiny. Really tiny.

When I exited Victoria station, I was in a completely different place than I had been the day before. Kind of confused, yet nonplussed as I was in London for six more hours, I walked around until I found Buckingham Palace again. The Queen was still at home. From there, I made my way to the gift shop where I purchased Shadow a dog tag that says, “I belong to the King.” It was modeled after King Edward VII’s beloved dog. When the King died, Caesar, his dog walked after the casket. The picture of it was devastatingly sad. See below.

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I was going to buy Tiger a crown for him to wear, but, I ran out of space in my bag, so, I’ll get it in March when I go back to England.

After leaving the shop I continued on to the pasty shop, but before that, I was stopped by very excited Japanese people. They were happily thrusting flyers in my hand for Tokyo Day. Now, there is nothing I love more than Japanese people and culture, and I would have loved to go to Tokyo Day, but I didn’t have enough time left before my train left. Rather saddened, I proceeded to the pasty shop.

I bought myself a super delightful and tasty medium steak pasty. Inside, it has steak, potatoes, onions, and some other root vegetable. All of this is stuffed into something that looks like a turnover. Anyway, it’s great…tasted of my genetic heritage.

Then, I was bored. I didn’t have enough time to go to Tokyo Day, but there was nothing else to do. So, I opened up my iPod map, closed my eyes, and picked a spot. It sent me to Covent Gardens, so, off I went.

Little did I realize that Covent Gardens is a kind of a massive outdoor shopping center. They had all kinds of stores that I was delighted to go into. I went to Mark & Spencers and purchased a tasty raspberry lemonade. Then I found a travel store, which had wrapping paper that looked like old maps. I liked that. But, I had no gifts to wrap…

Then I went to a Waterstone bookstore, which was interesting. But, then I was bored.

Opening my iPod again, it sent me to Cleopatra’s needle. I didn’t even know they had one of those in London. So, I sent myself back to the Underground. When I exited the station, I immediately knew something was horribly wrong. Nothing bad, but the wind was whipping off of the river, chilling the air to ice, before it fell onto the street and made my eyes water with the force of the wind. It was awful, it was kind of like wet snow and then I couldn’t feel my face. I went onto a bridge, but the wind was worse! I couldn’t take it, so, I ran to the needle. It was the third one I had seen. One big, tall, obelisk in New York City, another big, tall, Egyptian obelisk in Paris, and now another long, tall, big, Egyptian obelisk in London. They all look the same. Even though the Paris one is in a better spot. The one in New York is in Central Park and kind of just hidden by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kind of a let down to see the poor and unfortunate conditions it has been put under.

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It was too cold for me to survive. I don’t think penguins would have been comfortable, so I went back to the hotel. The Central line is like, 15 stories underground, no joke, and there are elevators to get up. But, I was stupidly impatient, so a group of muscularly underdeveloped morons and I decided to take the stairs before realizing what a painful endeavor that would turn out to be. It was horrendous, twisting stairs up and up and up without stopping. I knew that I was going to die there. I’ve climbed horrible steps before, but, this was like Hell. Finally, I made it to the top and was at the hotel, my legs burning and cramping for hours afterwards.

At 4:00, I went to the train station. I had been worried that Immigration would be a pain. When you leave France for England, the British interrogate you. They wonder why you’re going, how long you’ll be staying, what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be staying, if you know the Prime Minister’s name? I made the last one up, but all of the others are true. So, I believed it was going to be a pain explaining in French that I was a student, but no, I didn’t have a resident’s card, even though, yes, I was a student, and technically, it might be necessary, but nobody seems to mind or even care. But, after all the fussing, the French don’t really seem to mind that you are in their country, they look at the passport, look at you, and say, “Bienvenue.”

I accidentally sat down in the Business Lounge. (It really was an accident, I didn’t do it on purpose, even though I would have.) They had nice chairs and magazines, so I sat. When the room started to fill with people in suits, I looked around, to discover that this was the Business Premier section. I looked at my ticket, which said, 2nd Class, stuffed it into my book, and enjoyed the lounge. Nobody ever checked my ticket…

Now, it was time to board the train. This one had a different seating pattern from the train to London. It was more like an airplane, where on the one to London, you sat facing the other passengers, which is rather uncomfortable. To my delight, nobody sat next to me, so I got two seats!

Before long, we were back in Paris. It was noticeably chillier than it had been when I left it. Annoyed, I got onto the Metro and was home very soon after.

I made mashed potatoes and chicken to eat while I watched French & Saunders. They are hilarious. Then I went to bed.

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