London – 2.0

A strange thing happened to me tonight.

A taxi drove past me without holding down on the horn to get attention, or running up on the curb trying to maim me. It was a taxi, I am sure of it, and it was yellow instead of rusty blue. No shopkeepers tried to pull me forcefully inside as I walked to my hostel. I had to ask myself “where the hell am I?”

 

London. I made it in about 2 hours ago, and I am still in shock that within the last 2 hours no one has tried to scam me or hassle me. I felt both sadness and relief as the wheels of my plane left the runway in Sharm El Sheikh earlier today. I arrived at the airport 5 hrs early because I had no where to go with my giant pack (it is now almost 20KG as I am carrying gifts and a full size shisha water pipe!). After sitting on my bum all day, when I approached the check-in counter, the usual mayhem started. Once again, they had no record of my ticket, could not read the date on my passport visa stamp, etc, etc. I ran around the airport like a headless chicken trying to get it fixed in time to board my flight. Conveniently, the counters I was ping-ponging between were on opposite sides of security, so I had to brave the security scan so many times they were starting to greet me with “hello again Mr. Rodgers.” 🙂 I lost my cool with one clueless official and said “Look…I just want to leave your country!!”. This was after he had tried to send me back to the same counter I had just come from, nothing like a bureaucratic infinite loop. To top it off, my notepad (not my journal) which had all my pertinent information like hostel locations, flights, etc was stolen. Not a major loss, but just enough to make things more exciting.

My hostel here in London is awesome. I am at Piccadilly Hostel, right in the heart of everything, within eyesight of the Tube, and its the cleanest and best equipt place I could ask for (minus the lack of towels). A “pod” dorm room, which gives you a bed literally in a hole in the wall, is only 15L and makes you feel like you are part of the Matrix (minus the complimentary hoses). In fact, I really hope a robotic spider doesnt flush me in the morning when I wake up. I will be here in London 4 days, but might move around as I have friends to visit in different places.

To be honest, Egypt was an adventure for sure, but I am happy to be back in Europe and homeward bound. I made a few friends there that I will miss dearly, and I have a feeling that between them and the diving, I could be lured back there sometime (gasp).
Life is good. 🙂

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