Friday, May 02, 2014

Going to London: Transit and non-transit

Hello Kopisusu2 fans! Nice to see you both (tee hee).

"But wait," you say. "Where have you been for the last 1,367 days? And what are you doing in London?"

More on the 1,367 days later. As for London, I'm here because my sister Cathy wanted to see some Chekhov plays, so she flew us both out on her frequent flyer miles - yippee! My other sister Beth and her husband John came along.

Photo stolen from

Cathy took the train up to New York. In the small space of time between her arrival and our departure at JFK, we squeezed in a trip to a day spa in Koreatown that had a steam room and a little sauna that looked like a troll house. It was far less extensive than the fabulous King Spa in Jersey, with its jade sauna and amethyst sauna and special mud sauna and ice sauna, which I'll have to write about sometime -- but it was great to get steam-cleaned before getting into that big tin can of germs known as the transatlantic jet.

I got pretty much no sleep on the plane because I was busy watching free episodes of GIRLS, which I love but am too cheap to pay for at home.

We had cunningly planned our time in London to coincide with a transit strike, so getting to the rental apartment was a challenge. After much to-ing and fro-ing we managed to get on the Express to Paddington Station.

Paddington is not full of teddy bears, to the disappointment of certain members of our party. It has some pretty cool high windows, though, which reminded me of Philip Larkin.

High windows. Photo: Wikimedia

It turned out our Tube line was running, huzzah! After a lengthy and bitter struggle with the Oyster card machines, which are VERY picky about how you put your credit card in and how you take it out, we got onto a packed train and then another packed train.

Picky, picky

Soon we were dragging our rolly bags down the cobblestone streets of Southwark. We probably should have taken a cab, but we were suffused with transit victory and determined to reach our destination under our own steam.
By then it was 10 AM London time, and the day was just beginning.

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