Wednesday, December 19, 2007

London Calling - Day 1

Steve and I arrived at 10 am London time. Our plane landed in the middle of the tarmac, and we were ushered off of it, down rickety metal stairs, and into preheated buses that drove us to the terminal. After collecting our luggage, we took the blue line to Earl's Court, found our hotel, and then slept like pigs for four hours in our coffin sized room. At about 5 pm, we woke up, showered and went for dinner at an Irish pub down the street called O'Neill's. Steve had traditional bangers and mash, while I had a delicious baked potato the size of my head, covered in cheese, and a pint of Peroni. Never had beer tasted so good! After dinner we walked back to the tube, and subwayed it to Piccadilly Circus, which is the Times Square of London, complete with tacky Sony and Coca Cola electric signs.
We snapped a few pictures of the Statue of Eros basking in the electric glow, and then walked up to Leichester Square, where there was a Christmas Carnival in session. We ate donuts that tasted of funnel cake, and walked around watching people ride merry-go-rounds and tilt-a-barfs.
After we had enough of second hand thrills, we walked down Charring Cross Road and stopped briefly to listen to a street performer sing songs from the Jungle Book. We decided that we, in fact, did not want to talk like him or walk like him, and we continued on past the National Gallery and ended up in Trafalgar Square. I had made it a point to see this particular square, since it is currently housing London's Christmas tree. I was slightly dissapointed to see that it was total crap.
No one does Christmas like New York City! Sorry Europe! Not only was there a lack of Christmas awesomeness, there was also a lack of pigeons. I know pigeons are viewed as a general plague in most cities, but to me, they're symbolic of Trafalgar Square and it was kind of sad they were nowhere to be found. We then decided we would try to find a bus to take us back to our hotel. After waiting an interminal amount of time for a bus that never came, all the while freezing our bullocks off, we decided to walk back to the tube station. When we finally made it to the subway platform we saw a horde of people waiting for the train. The train pulled up, already packed to the breaking point. I stepped back, feeling nervous at the deep and endless ocean of flesh in front of me. Londoners were completely fearless venturing into the void, pushing first with their fingers, and then disappearing completely leaving only a faint sucking sound behind. After waiting for the next train and seeing it was no less crowded (it was 11:30 pm!!) I braved the blob composed entirely of human parts, and made my way back to the Hotel while Radiohead's "Packed Like Sardines In A Can" played in my head on loop. Once back at the hotel, we got into our pj's and watched a Christmas video countdown with such classics as "Christmas My Ass!", while cartoons demonstrated seasonal Kama Sutra-esque positions, such as "The Earmuff" and "Putting Up The Christmas Tree" in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Oh London, how I love you!

No comments: