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Monday, May 17, 2010

London, recounted

Alright well, I successfuly voyaged to and from London. We left last Tuesday after picking up the enfants from school. We arrived in Callais, just in the nick of time to face down UK customs. After talking our way into illegally smuggling the two youngest children into the United Kingdom (Thanks European Union!) we took an hour plus ferry ride to Dover, and drove another few hours to London (Ealing, more specifically.)

D has a huge row house, and two adorable (disgustingly well behaved) children. I dont think C age four, wets his pants, or has tried to start fires like T (kidding about the fires, for now). A2 is around L's age, and roughly half her weight...

Anyway, I had a pull out bed in the den, and tried to go to sleep while the four Frenchmen chatted, drank, and ate cheese. Actually, there were more than a few comments about my alcohol consumption...

I left the next morning, bag in hand, for Camden. TWO HOURS LATER, I successfuly was able to navigate the (unreasonably expensive, complicated, and slow) London Underground. My hostel was fine, but it was definitely weird to be on my own, but at least I speak freaking English.

I met some guy, right off the bat, who was pretty off balance. So, I'm a tourist, a broke one at that, and the only thing I wanted to do was walk around and take pictures of stuff, because I cant even afford to buy stuff. But he invites himself along with me on my expedition and we end up at this shopping area. Worse, he didn't laugh at my joke, "I live in Paris for christs' sake, if I want to see a bunch of shit I cant afford, I'll go to Champs d'Elysses," hilarious, right?

Anyway, came back towards Camden and rather than wait for him to fix his cell phone I wanderered around the markets in Camden that were charming, but not really that fascinating. After a while I got back to the hostel and met some other (more normal?) people, including a German girl named Isabelle, and a French guy named Julien.

We went out that night with Julien, Yves (French, obviously), Isabelle, and Alejandro (Argentine, but lives in France)

(I'm going to take a minute here to talk about Alejandro, because something funny happened with him. He had to leave at 3:30 am to catch a flight back to France. Everyone got pretty drunk, but he was reeeally drunk. We may have taken more shots of vodka when we got back to the hostel. You better believe I was egging him on telling him leaving was no excuse for him to stop drinking, and saying I knew Argentines because I lived there, blah blah. Anyway, he was hammered when he left, and apparently left his phone in one of Juliens bags, which we found the next day. I currently have the cell phone, since Julien is living in England. Now I need to call his house and send it back, but I just cant get up the motivation to do it. And its been several days...)

Yeah, so hung out at the park in front of Parliament (that I saw with my family last time.) And wandered around London for a long time with Julien, meeting a few French kids on the bus on the way back to the Camden.

(Oh yeah, Julien is from Renn, moving to London for kicks, and speaks very little English. I speak very little French. We had a great time together. I spoke French, he spoke English, it worked.)

Friday night, I haaad plans with Pat and Katharina, but they both bailed on me, so Isabelle and I ended up going to a few bars in Camden. I was really trying to abuse the fact that I was American, and it finally worked. Met a few guys that were pretty cool, and Craig bought me a few drinks (losing his credit card in the process, I actually cut him off), and I guess I have some contacts in Camden now.

Alright almost time to get the enfants. I'll think about adding to this later.

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