Difficult start to London

Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 12, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , London, City of,
Monday, April 30, 2012

In the days leading up to my departure, I knew that the initial few days of my trip were going to be difficult. The situation hasn't been helped by the fact that London people (in general) are simply rude. They are snobby, inconsiderate and full of their own importance. When I arrived I had serious trouble getting through immigration, and everyone I asked for help just turned away. About four hours after landing I managed to get out of the airport, so exhausted that I didn’t even realise there was a Hilton hotel connected to the airport. This would have been the ideal option given I was jetlagged and in need of a hot shower, but I ended up at a dodgy hotel nearby instead, and with the insane taxi charge added on I would have been paying little extra at the Hilton for a much more luxurious experience.

This hotel reminded me of the sort of place men go to grieve after their wife has kicked them out of home. As I walked in I ignored the bar fight that was going on and proceeded to a tiny cold cabin to had a freezing cold shower. I would have been content if I had a working internet connection, but that failed. I couldn’t wait to leave and get back to the airport the next morning, which was 20 times cheaper by bus rather than by taxi. Finally I was able to figure things out and managed to make my way into central London, where my couch surfing buddy Ronnie met up with me.

Ronnie is a very nice guy, and was very kind to let me stay at his place given he was moving in the next few days. He lives in Brixton, one of the rougher suburbs of inner London. When I arrived it was obvious why he was moving as his place was falling apart in the middle of a construction site. There was no shower or internet, and the makeshift heating system being used was the kitchen stove. Despite this I was finally able to sleep off the jetlag, and woke up the next morning to the sound of drilling and the smashing of bricks and windows. I’ve slept through worse before. It’s much more disturbing when you have a guy smashing on the door at 2am yelling in an Italian accent "This is the police! Open the door." This was my experience the following night, and given the British police have British accents I suspected something entirely different was going on, and went to call the police. As it turned out, it was just the landlord wanting something from Ronnie, but it’s not something anyone wants to experience on their first visit to a foreign country. It’s time for me to check into a youth hostel.

As appreciative as I was of Ronnie’s hospitality, he understood my need for a shower, working internet and a toilet that actually flushed, not to mention the fact that I don’t like having the everlasting piss scared out of me at 2 in the morning. Hopefully in a hostel I can meet like-minded people who are in the same boat as I am. It’s been a rough start and I can’t wait to share some more positive stories in my next blog entry. We’ll see how the next phase of my trip goes, but it surely can only get better from here.

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dirmansuharno on

Great post!

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