This is part 1 of 3 from my trip to London.
Day 1: The Departure
Two of my gals and I planned a 5-day-trip to London earlier this year.
We left on Sunday morning, June 21st, for our 1 pm plane and met at the airport. We chilled for a while at the tax free department, sniffing some perfume and oogling at the huge tins of Oreos.
Sunday was spent trying to figure out how to get ourselves from Gatwick Airport to our hotel. We eventually found ourselves on the Gatwick Express, and while enjoying a round of cards, the conductor announced that we were now stopping at Elephant & Castle, which was our stop. We promptly stopped mid-motion and looked each other dead in the eyes. Now?!
As we were rushing to get our things, all I could think of was my precious Totoro deck of cards which I had to shove into my friends backpack. We expected the conductor to announce the stops a couple of minutes prior to actually arriving, but it seems like they don’t do it that way in England (!).
Our next challenge was figuring out the public transportation system. I’ve been to London before with my family, but my role then was purely parasitic, so I had little idea how the system worked. We asked a nice guy working at the railway station for help, and he began the Tale of London’s Public Transportation Ticket System. He had one hell of a British accent, he-he.
We eventually decided on the Oyster Card, which the man initially recommended us to stay away from.
As we were getting our cards, my two companions were matched with a faulty ticket machine which took the money from their cards without spitting out an Oyster card. Our not-so-helpful staff member, Daniel, assured us that the machine sometimes did that, and that he would personally oversee us working the machine the second time to make sure that everything went smoothly.
Nothing went smoothly.
I’ll get the ticket master, Daniel said, and left never to be seen again.
It was all settled in the end, though, after about another half hour or so. They got their money back and their stupid Oyster cards, and we were off on our way to our hotel, which, in comparison, was a bliss. It smelled like the clean bathroom at at that one friend’s house – of a fresh summer breeze with a hint of apple. We slapped ourselves on the Queen-sized beds before we ventured out to the local Chinese restaurant for some well-deserved dinner.
I ordered sweet-n-sour chicken, which came with a curly strand of hair. Oh well.