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Day One: London

Posted on Monday, July 26th, 2004

Dave!Shop. Surprisingly enough, the rather nice London hotel I'm staying at has just about everything (including complimentary copies of "OK!," "Time Out," and "Hello" magazines so that I can keep up with the latest exploits of Posh & Becks)... everything except a bloody clock. Since I do not wear a watch, there's a sense of timelessness happening in my hotel room that's a bit disconcerting. So my first official purchase of my first official day of vacation is a small alarm clock from Dixons. Not that I actually plan to set the alarm on it mind you.

Pricey. Boy London is expensive! To muffle the shock of how much I am paying for everything, I simply imagine myself paying in US dollars instead of British pounds. That way, I am not thrown into fits of terror over having just paid $9.50 for a cheap-ass clock, and instead find serenity in the illusion of having paid a much more reasonable $5.00. No matter where I go now-a-days, the US dollar is in the toilet (heck, you don't have to leave the USA to figure that out!). Who can I blame for this?

Pret. In asking the doorman (wow, it's been a while since I've stayed at a hotel with a doorman!) where the nearest Pret was, he was very much amused. Turns out Neil is right... Prets in London are like Starbucks in Seattle (well, not just Seattle anymore, those things are everywhere). This is good though, because I really want a Pret Egg Sandwich for breakfast.

Bike. The first thing I see when I step outside the hotel is my motorcycle... same make, same model, same color. Except some guy I don't know is riding it and there is a license plate the size of your head attached to the back. England should really get more stylish (and smaller) plates... these big-ass yellow things mess up the streamline look of my the bike!

Eat. Dinner with my friend was nice. Until some woman at the next table decided to take out her mobile phone and chat loudly for the next twenty minutes. This is apparently a universal rudeness problem that crosses international borders without mercy.

Snack. I could spend hours wandering through little shops to see the new varieties of candy bars and crisps (chips to us Yanks) that have come out. Compared to the Brits, we Americans are positively boring with our snack choices. I passed on the "Lamb & Mint" flavored potato crisps, but enjoyed the "Sour Cream & Sweet Pepper" flavor I tried. As far as candy bars go, the "Mars Delight" is my new best favorite... a sugar-cookie wafer roll, drenched in caramel, then covered in milk chocolate. Incredible. I'll be taking a case of these home with me (odds are we will never see them in the States... I am still waiting for the Aero bar).

Git. Apprently, I am not in London as I thought. I am making it all up. Yet another e-mail from the guy who thinks that the travels I document here are complete fiction. I suppose that I could take a photograph of myself with today's paper while standing in the top of a double-decker bus that's parked in front of Big Ben with Her Majesty the Queen standing next to me... but you'd probably think I Photoshopped it wouldn't you? Wow. In today's age of technological wizardry, how do you prove you are anywhere? I continue to find it utterly bizarre as to why I would lie about something like this. Why read anything I write if you honestly think it's all a bunch of fabrications? And the next time you decide to tell me I'm lying, could you just post a comment instead of bothering me via e-mail?

Wasted. My hotel's terrific West End location is completely wasted on me because I don't much enjoy the theater. However, there is something intriguing about a production called Jerry Springer: The Opera, which has been getting rave reviews. Life just keeps getting stranger.

Sleep. I don't really get jet-lag... never have. I'd imagine it's even less of a factor when you consider that I don't sleep much anymore. But spending 14 hours on three flights today has pretty much wiped me out and my hotel is blissfully quiet, so I am hoping to sleep very well this evening. My back could use the time to heal.

Robbed. Hmmm... typical charge for an internet connection at a hotel back home: US $6.95 (or free!). Price here in my London hotel: US $27.50. Holy crap!! Good night from the most expensive public internet access I have ever purchased!

Categories: Travel 2004Click To It: Permalink


  1. Neil T. says:

    London is expensive. Britain is generally more expensive than, uh, anywhere else because our taxes are pretty high – we’ve got things like a national health service and public transport to pay for. But London is even more expensive. But then I would say that as I live in Bradford which, I think, is the cheapest city in the country 🙂 .

    Public internet access is indeed a rip-off. The local Starbucks (which, alas, we also have plenty of) charges £6 for an hour’s wifi – that’s 10p, or 18 cents per minute. And then they wonder why hardly anyone ever uses it :-/

    I’m finding these entries really interesting – sometimes it’s refreshing to read about your own country from another angle. Some things we take for granted can seem totally alien to other people and it’s cool to be able to see them in a different light, if you get my meaning.

    And I agree, Mars Delights are sublime :). My theory is that where we Brits have a larger range of chocolate and crisps… err… chips, you guys have a larger range of soft drinks. We don’t get products like Pepsi Blue over here, for example.

  2. jenny says:

    You enjoying snacks we can not get here is the best part! Gawd I love you!

  3. Dave2 says:

    Actually, the “snack factor” is something I find true no matter which country I go to… Japan is another excellent example of a country that has tasty, imaginative, clever, fun, and unique snacks we will never see.

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