Monday, April 04, 2005

Return to London

7 months ago, I spent a day and night in London and had the worst time, which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I had a year’s worth of luggage with me and didn’t know which way was up after an airline flight that lasted approximately a million years, and I was moving to Scotland for a year the very next day. Sarah and I ended up paying too much for dinner, sleeping at 8 PM, and heading to the airport first thing in the morning. Yuck.

Now I’m back to erase those memories by having a great time with Ballal and a couple of Lauras I happen to know. Now that American Laura has moved to London for the term, I thought I would stop by for a few days and spend so much money it wasn’t even funny. And that’s what I’m doing. And it’s awesome!

British Laura and I took the bus into London yesterday from Sheffield. At the end of my journey I was reunited with American Laura for the first time in SEVEN MONTHS, which should be illegal. (Being apart for so long, not reuniting with her.) And the crowds rejoiced. British Laura and I checked into our hostel, which is ridiculously nice, and went out for drinks and dinner. How happy did it make me to see American Laura again? How happy would you be seeing American Laura again, if you were to replace “American Laura” with the name of someone you would be really happy to see again?

Unfortunately, American Laura had class all day today, but British Laura and I did the tourist thing all day and had a great time. We saw Leicester Square, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, the River Thames, and the London Eye. We also met up with Ballal, and it was so much fun to see him in his own city, so different from Aberdeen, for the first time. We had lunch and he showed us around quite a bit before he had to head off to work.

What can I say about London? It’s huuuuuuuge. It really is like everything you could ever possibly think of is inside the city somewhere. I miss living in a city so much. I know Seattle isn’t nearly as large as London, but it does remind me of home in some ways. Not least in the way you can walk down the street and not be sure you’ll run into someone you know. The way everything of interest in the city isn’t located on the same street, even. And the way it’s kind of dirty, and kind of crowded, but in a way that’s hip and pleasing. It just feels urban, and wherever I end up living when I get older, I’m going to need that.

I could definitely see myself living in London. IT HAS A TUBE! What is not to love about somewhere with a Tube? I rest my case.

The other thing I can say about London is that it is disgustingly expensive, although I’m sure that’s true of any city this major. The exchange rate is already ramming itself up my backside with little to no lubricant, and that makes it even more painful to pay £3.20 for a bottle of beer. Everything costs money, and all of that money is way too much. The only thing you can do is accept it and take joy in throwing your money away, which is what I’m doing, and it’s making me a very happy boy.

Hooray for London!


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