More Random London Notes

  • My Spanish is helping me make friends as much as my English. So far I've met an Argentinean, an Angolan-Cuban, several Mexicans, and an elderly couple from Madrid visiting their doctoral student daughter in London. I love talking to random Spanish-speaking people. Their surprise at my language skills turns into delight after a few seconds and they're always so warm.
  • I had my first skirmish with one of my hostel roomies. What happened was, she was reaching for the bathroom door and wanting to use the toilet just as I unlocked it after taking a shower. When the door opened, she thought mistakenly that I had left the door unlocked and said to me condescendingly, "This is a hostel, love. Lock the bathroom door if you don't want anyone going in." As she said this, I could smell the booze on her breath. She stalked away and I closed the second door that partitions her part of the room off from mine so I could change. I was almost done when she knocked. I said, "One sec"--and then she barged through in a huff to the bathroom. When she came out, she gave me this passive-aggressive apology along the lines of "I'm sorry if you were under the impression that this is your private room." WTF? Who does this drunken bitch think she is? I puffed up and said, "Listen, what happened was you reached for the door just as I unlocked it. It was locked the entire time. We can chalk it up to a coincidence of bad timing. And I'm not under the impression that this is my private room. I closed the second door because I was changing and our male roomie was on his bunk!" She probably thinks I'm a spaz now but whatever. Ironically, that morning--before the skirmish--she called me "the most considerate hostel person" she's ever met. It'll be good for her to learn that even the most considerate people have their limits.
  • On the flip side I may have made an Aussie friend out of a different hostel roomie. She'll be in town in NYC when I'm there; maybe she'll join me for Halloween shenanigans!
  • Not all musicals are created equal. I sprang for a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera because my experience with Wicked had been so outstanding--and I ended up hating it! So much, in fact, that I left during intermission and didn't return. I wasn't the only one. Some muttering Japanese tourists were right in front of me.
  • I'm unintentionally saving money due to an overbooked itinerary. Often I'm rushing from one destination to another with not much time to sit down and eat a proper meal, so I opt for the ready-made sandwiches at the Pret sandwich chain and Marks & Spencer food shops. The more I learn about Pret, the more I love them. They use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and always make their preservative-free food on premises. At the end of the day, any uneaten food is donated to affiliated charities and shelters.
  • The Tower of London. Wow. It's strange to be touring a building that's been there since 1066 and the site of so many executions of well-known historical figures.
  • Westminster Abbey. Double wow. I loved finding all the plaques commemorating writers that I studied in the Poet's Corner.
  • Europe is best done when you're young and a student. I still have my university student ID and it's valid until 2011, so I've been using it to get student discounts at the attractions I've gone to so far.


  1. darn! i wish i still had my student ID! your trip sounds so awesome! crazy hostal biotch!

  2. Incoherent Responses to Random Notes

    Remember, Remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason - should ever, be, forgot...

    ...Guy Fawkes, the Kray Twins, Sir Walter Raleigh (who is in Trinidadian history books - yes we have history books). Like Alcatraz Island, Tower of London always held a morbid fascination for me. (I hope you grabbed muy pictures).

    ...Hostel roomie lovin...


    ...When I was younger, I loved the soundtrack to Phantom Of The Opera. Though was never in love with the musical - just never flowed for me.

    ...It almost like you are the Vancouver ambassador-at-large to Aussies and Spanish speaking patriots globally.

  3. So true about the student ID thing! I wish I'd brought mine to Asia :(

  4. I lost a *ton* of weight during my student tour of Europe for the very same reason--plus, even then it was so expensive!


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