Friday, June 29, 2012

You're Doing it Wrong

The hostel bed was very comfortable last night. This is surprising for a few reasons. The first is that I didn't think I'd ever find my way back to that bed, and the other is that it contains twelve people total, including one very avid snorer.

If you don't get lost within 24 hours of visiting a new country, you're doing it wrong. So obviously I did something right.

I went up to my room in the hostel, which I may not have mentioned before is a mixed room. There are men and women from many countries sleeping just feet from me, some of whom are avid snorers. So when a man followed me into my room, I was not shocked. We got to talking about art surrealism and Shakespeare's most intelligent characters, which of course struck my fancy just fine. I enjoyed our conversation a lot, and it seemed it was mutual. He asked if I wanted to have a drink when I came back from my show (which I will soon talk about), and we agreed that it sounded like a fine idea.

I left the theatre around ten that evening, and made my way back to the Covent Gardens station, to take the Underground to Greenwich. Once there, I did not know how to get back to the hostel, but I knew it was close enough that I shouldn't require a taxi as I did the day before.

Perhaps I should have taken it. I walked around for nearly two and a half hours, asking strangers directions every few minutes. Some told me to go to this station, or get on that bus... but finally, I walked into a pub that was open thankfully late. It was nearly two in the morning and I did not want to walk anymore. The taxi took me there in about five minutes, and cost about five pounds. But five pounds well-spent on peace of mind and a warm bed.

Obviously, the Englishman I spoke to earlier was already in bed by the time I showed up, so I just climbed into my bed and fell asleep. The sounds of London lulled me there quite quickly, considering my exhaustion. Good thing, too, because mornings happen early around here. Breakfast ends at nine am. Though I tried to be up on time, it didn't happen.

Kevin (the Englishman) woke up around the same time as me. He said he had the day off before he had to head back to Kent (and then Brighton?), so he took me to St. Paul's Cathedral. We grabbed a coffee and sat on the steps to this grand and beautiful piece of architecture and history, culture and spirituality. It was a calm morning. Clouds rolled over us fast enough that we couldn't decide if we were in the shade or not. There was a light drizzle, but nothing to be worried about. We chatted about the cultural differences between our countries--he asked about cowboys and I tried to explain the wild west as it truly was. I asked about Scandinavians, and he tried to explain their hair color. I started thinking in a British accent somewhere during this time, and he left me near London Bridge.

After exploring more of the city, I decided I was finally exhausted, and came back to the hostel. Maybe I'll go out again tonight.

But not before I memorize the route back. Because if I get lost twice within 24 hours of entering a foreign country, maybe I'm doing something wrong.

1 comment:

  1. Nope, getting lost in England is super easy-- sometimes the streets have different names depending on where they are and where they're going. I want to know which show you saw!