London! We're Here!
Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
224Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
At Stansted Airport the customs official really gave us the third degree on questioning who we were, where we were going, where we had been, what we had for breakfast etc. Megs was called up first as Rick looked on. When she answered a question as "We" instead of "I" he then quickly asked "Who is we? Are you with someone? Are you meeting someone here?" She quickly pointed out the un-shaven Rick standing in the queue behind her. He was then called up to join the questioning party. After the guy worked out we were harmless we had a quick joke about the signs everywhere that say "UK Customs will not tolerate violence towards its staff". Interestingly he said the English can get pretty upset and violent when coming back into their country. We figured it be all the lager they drink.
We walked through the gates and stepped into the first native English speaking country for three months. "Yay!" we thought until we realised we still couldn't understand some of the English accents. Oh well we will learn and probably end up leaving the UK talking a bit like them.
To get into town we grabbed a ticket on the National Express coach and headed for the Astor Hyde Park hostel located in Bayswater. We weren't too sure which stop to get off but luckily Meg's map skills are fantastic so we jumped off at Marble Arch, just down the road (we thought) from our hostel. At this stage we realized, very quickly, that we were a good two kilometers walk from where we wanted to be. What do you do? Catch a train, jump on a bus, get a famous London black cab? No, we decided to walk with our 20 kilos each of backpacks and other stuff we'd amassed on our journey. Megan wasn't too impressed at the walk but we finally made it to the hostel, booked outrageously expensive beds at £10 each (actually it is the cheapest we heard of in central London) and collapsed onto them.
Once we had replenished our energy and enthusiasm we headed out for Rick to get his very long and mangy hair cut and have a shave. Finally he looks like the white collar boy he is and not some Scandinavian thug! Now to find a job and somewhere to live...