Well, folks. I’m out of notes. So I’m doing this from memory, and at my advanced age (HA!) I don’t know how much detail you can expect to get. But I’ll give it a go.
The Eurostar from Brussels was brilliant. The only thing I didn’t like is that there was a time change halfway through the trip. We were headed directly north! Dillholes. That added an hour to my trip that I wasn’t expecting. Boo-urns!
I arrived at the Waterloo Station in the heart of London. I was, to say the least, overwhelmed. And exhausted. And not happy about trying to make my way through huge crowds with a bag that was, at that point, nearly as large as I am. But I pushed through to the underground, and proceeded to stand there, baffled.
The metro in Seoul is easier. The metro in Moscow, you know… the one with NO ENGLISH SIGNS, was easier. The Underground… this was madness.
Now, in fairness, now that I’ve been on the tube a few times, it isn’t as bad as I thought that first day. It didn’t help that my first exposure was alone in one of the most busy stops in the system. Three underground lines go through there – the Jubilee, the Northern, and the Bakerloo. Also, a number of overground trains. Not that I knew any of this at the time. At the time, I was just baffled.
Baffled, and appalled. Because to go from Waterloo to Victoria (three stops away), it was going to cost me 4 pounds, or nearly 8 freaking dollars. Holy Moses! But I paid it, and survived the trip to Victoria Station. I wondered around there, looking for the bus stop that would get me on the bus to Stansted Airport. I would like to say that my Magellanesque Navigational skills allowed me to find the correct bus stop quickly, but it was mostly dumb luck. And my luck continued: the bus was leaving in about two minutes. So I got on it.
Now, that was twice that I was able to catch an earlier ride than expected… the first being in Brussels when I caught a much earlier train. Unfortunately, this simply meant that I had all the time in the world to wait for my plane, which wasn’t leaving until 6:00 the next morning. I ended up at the airport by about 3pm. Why did I schedule my flight for the next day? So what happened in Malaysia would never, ever happen again.
Because I was ridiculously early, I decided to ask Ryan Air if I could change my flights. I could, but at a hurtful price. My £50 flight would become a £200 flight. Um, no. So I settled in and slept the night at the airport. On the floor. All night. Boo.