Friday, June 29, 2007
The boys are back in town
Oh London, London, sinful as Sodom and Gomorrah. The decree is gone out: repent or burn. Back to Malta - and thinking that I was used to the low cold temperatures of London even now that it is summer. Now I couldn't even sleep this night - the hot sticky air of Malta compelled me to write this little anecdote to share my little experience in London.
It was last Saturday when I took Ryanair flight to London. Although I had minor trouble the week before to book the tickets online (it turned out to be that they had trouble with the Internet backbone), the prices were cheap but the service was great - the flight was not only in time but I managed to arrive to Luton airport even 30 minutes before the schedule! This gave us some time to eat a snack while we waited for the taxi which I booked online some 7 hours before.
Unfortunately there were engineering road works along the way and we had to do a long detour. The voyage from Luton airport to my hotel (in Clapham south) took two and a half hours!! (It was supposed to take around 50 minutes). Needless to say, this meant extra cash to spool :(
Anyways...once I arrived at the hotel, lo and behold, the first thing I did before even taking a look at the rooms, opening the luggage or anything that a normal human being would do, was taking off my clothes, turn on my laptop and searched for any wireless networks in a struggle to get internet access. But since the week before I was too lazy to actually implement a hack I've read to crack wi-fi, I was punished and well...no internet for me.
By the end of the holiday I estimated that I've scanned more than 50 hotspots which weren't open to public, yucks. On that not so positive note, I slept to get conserve the energies for the holiday. The bed wasn't bad at all :)
I took a very healthy breakfast based on Guinness, Red Bull, fried chicken and chips and took my first shower. PS: I was a damn lucky guy to have a shower in my hotel room, as most of the other people had to share a common 'en-suite' and the slightest thought to share those kind of things with some old fart really puts me off. Anyways, after breakfast, we went to the nearest tube station (two minutes by walk from the hotel) and got ourselves some maps to get used to the system.
In a few minutes we got the whole idea - the southbound platforms take you to the south, the northern ones to the north, use a prepaid smart card (known as oyster card) to top up your journeys from one tube to another, and if you don't want trouble with the police, make sure you don't traverse to zones you haven't paid for - for instance in my case I had to travel between zones 1 and 2 (central london) - so if i were to got further out - like to go to the Wembley Arena (which is in zone 4), I had to pay extra for that trip.
As I was saying, it was Sunday, first day out in the streets of London. Weather sucked...for all that matters, it sucked during the whole stay - you go out at 8AM and the sky is cloudy, rains shit but I enjoyed the cold temperature - at least after hours of walking I didn't sweat. For a first day in London I visited quite a few touristic places - too many to mention. And I'm not bothering to post photos of Buchingam Palace, Leiscter Square, Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James Park, etc...I mean, they still look the same if you google an image of them.
In the evening the streets of London are usually more hectic and less secure. In the metro people have boring ugly faces, and on our way back to the hotel one would notice the wannabe black gangsters lurking in the streets (aka mother fuckers) - the type of ppl you would probably see in Malta in few years time if the government doesn't tackle the immigration problem. I'm saying this because during my 4 day stay in London, there were around 16 killings, mostly from these type of mobs. Ah..to make it more thrilling, most of the crimes just happened a few streets away from Clapham, Brixton..
During the next day I went shopping at Primark. The clothes' prices were ridiculously cheap - with Lm20 I bought what I would buy here in Malta for more than Lm100. As regards electronic equipment I wasn't really interested since I get that kind of stuff from ebay.
On Wednesday I went to Madam Toussant (£25 entrance!!!) to meet my celebrity buddies...let the pictures speak by themselves...
Later on in the evening I went to the Wembley Arena to the concert of The Who...they may be dinosaurs but they still rock!!! Pete Townsend doing the guitar mill, dressed inside Syd Barret's jacket alongside Roger's charisma, made the evening magical. The Charlitans were the special guest band and I must say that they are a very great band as well!
Yesterday was spent merely just for travelling..Two underground metros, from Central London to Kings Cross railway and then an express train to Luton Airport. Finally a three hour flight to Malta.
Check out more photos in the gallery...