Reluctant Mom Lost in London …. one of many times it would seem …..

Let’s bear in mind I get lost at Century City.  Regularly.

I also lose my car in mall parking lots.  Most times I park.

I often walk around and just push my “beep-beep” thingy on my car keys so I hear my car going “I-am-here-I-am-here” and then I walk towards it.  Not unlike a chick to it’s mommy chicken.

So I am pretty sucky at sense of direction.  I do not even attempt to show strength in this area.  I have a GPS in my car and a map book.  I use both. Often.

I am travelling to London by myself.  Alone.  No map book.  No GPS.

Fortunately I did not have to fly the plane or have any influence of the direction of the flight.  Which was really useful to everyone on board.

I slept – granted it was with three Russians behind me who smelt like they had eaten garlic and onions for about 5 months prior to the flight, and had it oozing out of every pore.

The problem with “economy” is that you are practically in the lap of the person behind you.

You recline your seat, and if the person behind you is still upright, they get their meal in their lap, and you staring up at their nostrils.  It is all a bit awkward and invades every rule of “people’s space.”

If you recline your seat, the person behind you has to as well.  And the person behind them.  And so on.  Not unlike the domino effect.

I got to Heathrow.  Followed the signs.  Found myself deposited at Paddington Station with a really heavy bag, a daypack on my back, and a really heavy handbag and a jacket.

I was sweaty, and somewhat tired.

From there I stumbled into the subway system.  Fortunately it is really a case of following a colour to where every you want to go.

Seemed easy enough.  Problem was there was construction on two of the lines, which made it next to impossible to get to my destination.

I also managed to get lost at one of the subway stations and for love or money could not find platform 2.  It was elusive, and I kept ending up at platform 3 and 4, no matter how much I tried to find fkn platform 2.

Interesting fact – some subway stations do not have escalators, and you are dragging your gear up and down stairs, while other sweaty and very impatient people are rushing past you.

No one appears to give a sh*t, and everyone walks really fast, and looks down.  No eye contact.  No smiling. No nodding.  No acknowledging anything.

I eventually got to my hotel, which included an express train, underground tube, bus and lots of walking.

I did not arrive at my hotel, as much as I fell through the automatic door.

I was too early to check in to my room.  Fk I was exhausted.

I fell into a heap in the bar area as the restaurant area required me to go either down a flight of stairs or an elevator, and seriously I was not moving.

I ordered a bottle of wine (it was a small one) and a chocolate muffin.  Probably not ideal fare for 09h30.

I told the waitron that I was from another time zone so that it made it easier on her to serve me wine while others were having tea and coffee  C

Cape Town is actually an hour ahead, so that made it almost lunchtime.  But it felt like about 4pm with the morning I had experienced.

I finished my wine and my muffin – both very good.

I decided I would do a quick wash and clean in the bathroom.  I am so glad I packed a packet of Cherub wetwipes. I took the equivalent of a bath and got a clean shirt on and brushed my teeth, and attempted to give some semblance of order to my hair.

Left my heavy bags in the “baggage room” and went to explore London.

Weather was lovely.  I had a skip in my step, and it was one of the first days I have had in what felt like a long time, where I could just wander around and it did not matter where I was or when I was.

Of course I got horribly lost. But I saw some lovely bits and pieces.  I eventually stumbled back to my hotel around 18h00 and my feet felt like I had run the Comrades.

I have seldom been so happy to see a shower as I was then …… or my bed ……..

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8 Comments

  1. Charne

     /  October 12, 2011

    Enjoy your break from the mundane. I am jealous.

    Reply
  2. Im still jealous! ;)
    Hope you still get time to shop.

    Reply
  3. My husband and I have a distinctive car (a 20 year old gold Merc) it helps massively with the car park problem. I ask the car park security “where’s the old gold Mercedes parked?” and they always seem to know :) Hope you enjoy the city, my old stomping ground.

    Reply
  4. Bevan

     /  October 11, 2011

    Had a good laugh, reminded me a lot of my first business trip to London. The aloofness of the locals, seeing white guys with ipods cleaning the street made me stare and their warm flat beer (which may not be a problem for you) was mildly upsetting.

    Enjoy the city, its a fascinating place.

    Reply
  5. Gogga

     /  October 11, 2011

    Welcome and yes mind the gap.

    If you do get any time for yourself, have fun.
    If you get tooo lonely email me

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  October 11, 2011

      Thanks, I should be okay ….. you are sweet to offer a life-line ….

      Reply
  6. So glad you’re having a good time! You deserve it.

    I also frequently get lost in Century City. I need a manservant to direct me. I knew men were good for something.

    Reply
  7. Ai yes, thanks for the report. Enjoy the rest of the time – hope you had a good sleep.

    Reply

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