It's better for you than half the stuff you THINK is good for you.

Allow Me to Fill You In – 18 March 2014

So. I’ve been in the UK for less than seventy-two hours, and let me say that I am absolutely infatuated with this place, almost to the point that, if it were possible to stalk a sovereign nation, I think I’d be guilty of that by this point. In fact…

Allow me to fill you in.

I landed at Heathrow around eight on Sunday morning, at the ass end of a redeye but ready to take on all comers. I had done tons of research, so I’m moving through the Tube and its associated stations like a true Londoner, avoiding the slower travelers and trying not to run into anybody with my sweaty one. I get to my hostel and check in, and immediately headed north to Preston to meet my friend, whom I haven’t seen since July, the one I spoke of in the last post. I get there, we have lunch and catch up with another friend of ours, we get snackified, and we got ready for a night of karaoke, just like we used to in the old country. At his apartment I met one of his roomies, a chill guy that studied in Japan at the same time as we did, and a Japanese exchange student that goes to his university—and it was epic. We stayed up till probably four-thirty talking and singing, doing it big for so, so little, really. Unfortunately everybody else had to be responsible students and go to class the next day, so afterward my friend came back to his apartment (to wake me around noonish) and we had lunch, and said goodbye… for now. I mean, I came across the pond so it’s only right for him to return the favor, isn’t it?

Of course it is. But let’s let him mull that decision over for a while.

So I come back to London. And it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Really, I wasn’t looking for anything but the tattoo parlor I had found in the States, but something else found me instead.

An equation would sum my night up nicely—

Failing to get tatted + stumbling into a bar to ask directions + the drinks you see in my profile pic X 5 + a drunken cab ride to Islington + The Quays + a bit o’ spliff + a bit o’ sniff – the contents of my stomach X 2 + a night ride on a night bus – a sense of direction + London Bridge + the best lamb wrap-kebab thing I’ve ever eaten + passing out at six thirty in the morning -75 pounds =
The best St. Paddy’s Day I will ever have. No bullshit.

And that was only yesterday.

Today I spent most of the day exploring the fantastic Tube.

Sidebar—

The Tube rocks my pants off. So easy to use, the announcements are all in a charming British accent, and it can get you almost anywhere in London in a reasonable amount of time.

I also rode a double-decker bus out to North London, through Hackney and Waltham Forest.

Another sidebar—

These buses also rock my pants off. So easy to use, the announcements are all in a charming British accent, and they will get you anywhere in London the Tube doesn’t service.

London is fast as hell. London is also filthy as hell—certain parts of it, anyway. But that’s why I came here. As long as I don’t open my mouth everyone assumes I’m just another Londoner going about his business.

And that’s what I like.

Final sidebar—

I know there are no pictures. But there’s a post for that forthcoming.

So Keep Calm and Settle Your Happy Asses Down, okay? Okay.

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