After nearly 16 hours of travelling, I made it to London, England. Starting at 8 a.m., I flew from SLC to Chicago, then from Chicago to Toronto, then from Toronto to London. One of the best parts of the trip was that I didn’t have to move my checked bag once, not even between international borders. I arrived at the Heathrow Airport in London at about 8:30 a.m. (London time) a day after I had left, so January 4. I waited there until 11 a.m. or 12 noon for the two fellow study abroad-ers whom I was going to meet at the airport. I never found them, praying that they would understand that I was going to the dorms by myself.
With only one piece of paper that had the address of my destination, I navigated the tubes, the streets, and the actual dorm building to finally get to where I was going. I’ve talked to more people to ask for directions than I have ever had to in my entire life. Be proud. The tubes are fun. I would have taken a picture, but I heard it’s been illegal to take a picture of the tube from the inside ever since the bombings of the underground trains in 2005. I think it’s because taking pictures of the train allows one to plan where one plants a bomb without frequenting the train often. Norman Baker, a person who says stuff and people quote him so he must be a reliable source, said, “The anti-terror laws allow officers to stop people for taking photographs.” I’m convinced enough to not take photographs. The light rail is very cool and convenient. Cool as in temperature and quality of awesome. So come to London to see the light rail. Just kidding, it’s not that cool. The light rail itself is the convenient part; the underground/moment when you come out from or go into the underground portions parts are the cool parts. Very pretty. End of that story.
I lugged my +50 pound suitcase up and down stairs, up and down ramps, up and down streets, up and down zebras (crosswalks; oooh, look at me, being acculturated), and up and down hallways. Man, that is such a bad idea. But I did it. Successfully. I found the hole-in-the-wall centre (look! More acculturation!) and the sheets smell nice. What a wonderful thing, to have the sheets smell nice . . . and to not have to lug around a somewhat overweight suitcase (but don’t mention that to the suitcase).
Percy is my penguin. We’re pretty tight.
He’s been wearing that scarf and hat (it’s there) ever since he found out he was coming with me to England. The little guy is a good companion. He stayed in my backpack throughout the trip, poking his head out rarely during flights to get a glimpse of all the exciting things going on: fog in Chicago, sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean, and all that good stuff. For being a flightless bird, he handled his first time flying and the heights thing well.
And thus begins our London adventure. Just me, Percy, and about 45 other people.