I like London, but I don’t love London. I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I do love all those English accents though. If I didn’t have friends here, I probably would never had come. The best way to get to Germany was through London Heathrow, so for that reason, here I was again in London.
Last time I was here, was during Christmas of 2012. I had a great time with friends I’ve met from all over. Once, I left though, I didn’t think I’d be back so soon! Since I was here on such short notice, I contacted a few buddies who I knew lived in the area, including a friend named Patti. She is actually one of Chris O’Sullivan’s good friends whom I met while visiting in Pennsylvania a couple years ago. The moment I met her I could tell she was a pretty fun person to be around. She just moved to London and I thought it’d be cool to visit and see where she Iives.
Patti scooped me up from the train and took me to her area of London called Belsize Park, one of the more posher areas in the ciy. Talents like Benedict Cumberbatch and Helen Bonham Carter live just a few blocks away! I settled into her apartment and we went off around town on a small scale barhop. We randomly ended up at the Hippodrome Casino where we saw a few games for the NFL’s Sunday opening. I didn’t think you could find a place packed with loads of nutty American football fans in the middle of London! Patti is from Philadelphia so of course she was cheering for her home squad along with a few fellow Eagles fans she found squared away at a nearby table. I think Patti has found her new Sunday playground.
After the Hippodrome, we were both quite hungry and walked over into London’s China Town District.
It was here that I tried my first duck. Not bad for duck. Growing up, I’ve never had duck before and I think this is the reason why…
The next day, while Patti was getting work done, I ventured into the city to explore a little bit. It just so happens that I was here during the River of Thames festival, where a handmade poppy was made for every single soldier that fought during WWI. It was held at the Tower of London, where thousands gathered to view the spectacle.
May as well go see the Tower Bridge since I was nearby!
Later that evening, I met up with Mieke near Notting Hill. What the heck was Mieke doing in London? She was in the city conducting a project for her studies. Seeing her again felt like I just saw her yesterday! We went to a nearby restaurant, a specific restaurant where part of her assignment was to try a new food that she’s never had before. The food of choice: mussels. Not surprisingly, I never had mussels before either considering it’s seafood. I’m trying to force myself to try and learn to love new foods so I also tried one of her mussels. It was definitely mind over matter.
I know eating mussels is nothing new to a lot of people I know back home, but for me it’s a big deal. The taste wasn’t terrible, but it was more of a mind game than anything. Mussels are butt ugly. This may sound crazy but I think I rather eat another scorpion than another mussel. Blah!
After the restaurant, I spotted a McDonald’s nearby. I was craving a McFlurry of course. Soon after it was time to go. My flight to Germany left at near 7am which meant I had to take a taxi to the airport at about 4am. Why do I always book these dreadfully early flights? I think the reason this time is that I really wanted to get out of London. Those British pounds destroy the American dollar!
There’s a few people who live in London I didn’t get the chance to meet. I was only here for two short days. Thank you Patti for letting me crash at your sweet digs, giving me the lowdown on your new English life! I got maybe an hour and a half of sleep before a taxi picked me up and took me to the airport. I arrived early because of a high terror threat alert. Apparently, London airports are being targeted by the ISIS terrorist group with the targets being outbound flights from London. I read about a group of individuals called the “Beatles”, not the legendary musicians, but a few British traitors who aligned themselves with ISIS and possess British passports. Scary stuff. By the way, at the airport I met up with Mike, a fellow backpacker I met in Chiang Mai, Thailand last year. It just so happens that he was also on his way to Germany, albeit a different city.
Stay safe London. I’m off to Germany for several fun weeks!