March 7th, 2002

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Finally in London

Well, I'm here. (Earlier entries to be added later - does that make sense? Well, they're on my laptop, so I can't add them now.) Made it into Heathrow this morning, that's 7:40 GMT, 12:40AM for my friends on the East Coast. Bought breakfast, then went to look for directions on how to use the mobile phone to call the States. Couldn't find the phone stuff anywhere. By the time I came back to eat my breakfast, they had already cleared it away. Grr. I had only had one bite of the pastry and one sip of the tea that I had paid close to $5US for. So, I bought myself another tea (from a corner stand this time) and found the train to Paddington Station. It was very comfy, which was a nice change from running around in the airport.

Got into Paddington Station, got lost again. Finally found the "left luggage" area, where you pay to have them take your luggage and keep it safe for you. I figured this was an excellent idea, seeing as I did not yet have a place to stay tonight, and wanted to walk around the area a bit looking for one. Walked around a bit, found the flats we'll be staying in, walked some more, found some people from school, hung out with them for a total of 10 minutes (yeah, I'm a loser like that), showed them where the flats were. Ran into a really nice lady that gave me a good lead on where to find a really cheap place to stay - walked over to the area (owowfeetow) and scouted around, found a bed in a quad room in a hostel-type place for £12 ($18). It'll be a little bit of a hike from the closest bus stop, but that's ok. I'm not in a hurry.

It's so weird here. Many things seem very foreign - especially the fact that I can't understand what a lot of shop/cafe-owners are saying. At the same time, things surprise me from home that I wouldn't expect to be here. Walking through the duty-free shop coming out of customs, "Teenage Dirtbag" was playing, and I thought of nightskyre. I saw a guy wearing a Yankees hat (yeah!), although he was probably another American tourist. It's slightly strange to see things like Burger King and KFC, although that's a little less incongruous, at least to my mind.

My time's running out. Can't believe I've been on this computer for almost an hour already. God bless Internet cafes, but I hope I'll have a way to hook my laptop up to the 'Net, at least infrequently.
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More Adventures that I have to find a way to post

Ugh. Now that's a good example of what jet-lag will do to you. I went back out to Paddington Station and repacked my bags so I would carry just enough with me for tomorrow morning, rechecking the other bag with "left luggage". I then found a place to eat, quite good actually, but I was falling asleep while I waited. So I figured instead of doing the few other things I had tentatively planned, I would just go straight back to the hostel. Well... I boarded the bus at Paddington, only to realise about 3 stops later that it was going in the wrong direction. Anyways, I waited til the bus got to the end of its run. At this point, the driver noticed me, deduced pretty quickly what had happened, and told me if I waited about 10 minutes, he'd be going again. Otherwise, I'd have to pay the £1 fare again. I knew 10-15 minutes wouldn't make a difference at this point, so I waited.

You would think this would be the end... but no, I got off two stops too early as well. *sigh* oh well, a little walking never hurt anyone, I guess, except for the fact that my hip is killing me (in addition to my feet hurting) and I'm not even sure why.

Tomorrow's got to be better. I definitely think that the jet lag just caught up with me tonight, but if I go to bed soon, I can sleep for almost 11 hours if I want to... that's definitely not sounding bad right now.
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