Sunday, February 21, 2010


My god it is getting hard to remember what happened two months ago. Remembering was the point of this blog in the first place, oh well, fucked that one up...Hopefully at some point we'll catch up to where our ordinary life starts again so I can just glaze over mundane bits weeks at a time.

Our second day in London we did some stuff and looked around and yeah yeah yeah... That's about all I have at the moment. Not really, just need a starting point and things tend to flow together after that, bear with me...

Breakfast... The Hostel we were staying in was pretty fantastic, we had booked a private room for the five nights while we were staying there, this meant we didn't have to climb into bunks in the dark, we had a nice and comfy double bed, and a bit of privacy for Christmas. The draw back to this being the four flights of stairs we had to climb.

Four flights of stairs may not seem like much, especially to us as we had become accustom to the Asian guesthouse style of building narrow buildings that always have the cheaper rooms up near the top. But at our hostel, an unknown ancient evil resided in the stairwell. By the time you reached the first landing your legs felt like lead, at the second landing a miserable plant sat wilting and dying, its life obviously drained by the negative energy inhabiting the stairs. At the third landing the stairs got steeper and narrower. The hike up the last two floors should have come with rock climbing gear.

In the morning we went down to breakfast, and hoped that we wouldn't have a reason to go back to our room for something. Breakfast was basic but very handy. Bread, butter, spreads, cereal, milk, tea, coffee, cheese and ham were all laid out for the taking. They even had Coco-Pops! Some of the people were making sandwiches for lunch from the breakfast spread, we weren't that organised and/or hadn't tired of the novelty of pub meals yet. There was a large well stocked kitchen in the hostel, so we made a mental note to buy some food and at some point start cutting costs.

Watered and fed, we were ready to head out and explore, unfortunately one of us (It was Prue!) found a reason to go back to our room, so with a sigh that resembled a whimper one of us (It was me!) dragged themselves up the dreaded evil stairway of doom and destruction...Then we went out and did some stuff and looked around and yeah yeah yeah... Damn! Need visual cues.

We headed down to Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and then down to Trafalgar Square taking photos and wandering around with that stupid touristy look on our faces that screamed "fresh from boat" We had arrived on the set of a life size game of Monopoly, unfortunately we didn't have enough available cash to purchase any property, which meant we couldn't build hotels, and we struggled to find the way to pass go to collect our $200.00, or is it £110.00?

Cliches aside it was really amazing walking around the stunning architecture and landmarks. You couldn't help but feel that you had been there before, even though it is probably just from seeing it in a movie or on TV. Being in London really makes you feel like you are in the heart of the world, or at least one of the other main organs. It has a sense of importance about it, that makes you realise how much influence the place has over the rest of the world.

London is full of English people! Believe it or not they are everywhere, at first we were walking around thinking "Jeez there is a lot of English people around", then we realised, "Duh, it is England". Still the accents are hilarious. We find ourselves walking around listening to people talk and snickering about their accents. Especially the school kids, not the ruff looking ones that swear all the time, but the ones that obviously go to Private Schools and have etiquette tutors. They're very formal and civilised and you have to stop yourself repeating their conversation back in their accent, or people in white coats might chase you with nets.

We walked down past the fortress entry of Downing St, where I picked out a few easy roosts for a sniper to have a shot, then we went past Westminster Abbey, but it costs money to go inside so we decided to leave that for another day never. Then we marvelled at the iconic Big Ben, which is reasonably big, but could have been bigger in my opinion.

We half crossed the bridge to get a look at the Thames, which I learnt is pronounce "Tems", thus proving the point that English people have weird English. Worcestershire is "Woostashire", Leicester is Lester, Undies are Pants and Pants are Trousers.

On the way back we passed the Horse Guards who were doing their afternoon parade, which wasn't very parade like. The men lined up and stood very very still until one guy came strutting out, yelled at them and then looked each of them up and down before yelling at them again to march off in a neat line. Then he repeated it with the horses.

We found our way back up to Trafalgar square, where Prue discreetly excused herself to go buy me a Christmas present, so I went on one of the fair ground rides. The ride I went on was one of those spinny round upside down whirly things. But while I waited at the top for the opposite side to be loaded I had a great view of the skyline of London, which I got a photo of before being launched forward and around and around in spew inducing rhythm. Luckily the chili con carne I had at a pub earlier in the day was quite stable by this time.

Prue and I really wanted to go see a movie, especially Avatar. There are several cinemas in the Trafalgar Square area, but one incredibly shit thing about London is the price of Cinema tickets. For Prue and I to see Avatar in Trafalgar Square it would cost us £14.00 each. Twenty eight cussing dollars! Each! We weren't upset to find it was booked out anyway, and as the next show wasn't until after 7pm we decided to head back to the Hostel.

London's Double Decker buses aren't as awesome as I thought they'd be. They're better. Sure the old ones look cool with their rear entry platform and the weird nose, but they're slow and noisy. The modern ones are comfortable and umm... modern. After each stop a display shows the next station and a ladies voice announces the same thing. Strangely she sounds like a more British version of the Eve voice from Command and Conquer ("Our base is under attack!") that we have on Melbourne's modern Met Trains.

We made it back to the hostel and Prue braved the stairs, I couldn't be bothered so I asked reception about nearby cinemas. There was one closer to us that was a bit cheaper so I went into the lounge and used the internet to find out if Avatar was on. it was, and it started in 45mins. This meant I had to run up the stairs of death, grab Prue, and go. We made it to the Cinemas and bought tickets that were still quite expensive and with twenty five minutes to spare we realised we hadn't eaten dinner yet.

We legged it up to the McDonald's and had our first UK Maccas. Despite a few subtle differences it was much the same as home, the numerical value on the prices were almost the same, only here it is in pounds, which makes Maccas a cussing expensive option. At almost ten dollars for a meal each, it blew away any hopes I had of getting popcorn with the movie.

Avatar was pretty awesome, though it has nothing to do with traveling, I feel the need to mention that it was a great film, and I think we'll have to go and see it again in 3D before it finishes, it is still showing about ten times a day over here. We haven't been back to the cinemas since then. Our new local pub is haunted each night by an Asian dude who sells pirated DVDs of all the latest films. Sure it is illegal, but £14.00 cinema tickets should be illegal too!

But consider this; if we do not pass go and do not collect two hundred dollars, the least we ought to do is go directly to jail.

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