One if by land, Two if by sea ...

Trip Start Sep 27, 2005
Trip End Oct 26, 2005

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Thursday, October 6, 2005

So there were definitely a few things about taking a bus overnight from Amsterdam to London that I learned. One is that the French border patrol are mean.
About 2AM, we were all awakened by officers moving quickly with flashlights in our faces shouting "Get off ze bus! Take all of les possessions too! (youamericanswine)"
When it came time for Inspector Clouseau to roughly rummage through my bag, I happened to be wearing the Amsterdam jacket I'd just bought the day before, and I was in my half-asleep "sarcastic but I think I'm witty" mood.
"Where are you going, where are you coming from, and why?!" he roared.
"Uhh, London, Amsterdam, to meet the Queen."
They don't like when you make jokes.
"Amsterdam huh? ... You smoke HASHISH?!"
"Uhh, no."
He clearly didn't believe me.
He came across my corncob pipe and black cherry tobacco.
"Tobacco and I don't even like it, do you want it?"
The search took a turn for the worse.
The part that I actually found funny was that we were leaving France and they still managed to be ... well ... French. (All joking aside, French people really are lovely, just not this guy) When we got to the English customs agent next, whose country we were entering, it was like "Good morning sir, pleasure to see you, say you don't happen to have a spot of hashish on you, do you? No, very well I didn't think so. No, no need to roughly search you, you look like an honest, law-abiding chap. Very well then, cheerio!"
Reboarding the vehicle, we drove the tightly-packed bus into a train that was just slightly larger and I spent the rest of the night having uncomfortable dreams about being a sardine.
In any case, we arrived in London at 6:30AM. Having a bit of time to kill before anything opened, I wandered around, alternatively looking for a place to nap and learning just how abysmal the exchange rate is. Still tired from the previous night's shenanigans, I set down to take a nap in front of the Queen's house. After the guards let me know what a dim view they take concerning that sort of thing, I stumbled off and right into the changing of the guard procession. It was great, stirring, but odd that the fife player only knew "Yankee Doodle" and "Dixieland". I see what they mean about all of our jobs going overseas.
After a day's walk around London, I went to go meet Laura "Loaf" Tulley, one of my favorite people ever. Laura and I had met when she and other Irish students lived in Sigma Nu during Summer 2003. She and I headed to her home in Twickenham (suburb of London) that she shares with her sis Elaine and Elaine's classmates Finola and Siobhan. They cooked dinner, I brought the wine, and we had a grand time.
The next morning, my first stop was the Temple Church, of Da Vinci Code fame. I was pretty excited to see the place because it was in a book, but definitely felt a strange extra aura in the building when I walked in. The Knights Templar used this place as their base of operations in England and they were into all sorts of crazy stuff, so Dan Brown says. In any case, I walked around admiring the decorations and 1000-year-old stone knights carved into the ground, and felt an urge to take a picture of the place. Lining up the perfect shot, there were 3 tourists in the frame, but I wasn't going to ask them to move out of my photo, so I snapped it. Checking it quickly to see if the lighting came out alright, I did a double-take when I realized that it was a perfectly lovely picture except that none of the people had shown up in the photo. Looking up again, the couple on the right of the photo had disappeared and the guy wearing non-descript clothing on the far left was now clear across the building in an instant.
In case you've not caught on, I took pictures of ghosts. Don't act like you're not impressed.
I later saw the Museum of London where I hung out with Norwegian artist/banker Kikki and walked the River Thames in search of meaning in my life.
That night the Irish lasses and I hit a bumpin' dance club called Inferno. Boy was it hot! bwahahaha. There I showed them how we dance in America (according to them, quite poorly) and met up with Sinead #2 and Quiva from Summer 2003 as well!
My last day in London this time around I did meet up with the Aussies from Munich again before rushing to the airport to catch my short hop to Dublin, for my first trip to the Emerald Isle!

Moral of the story: Dude, seriously, I took a picture of ghosts. Why don't you believe me?
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