My first day of Summer 2015 started in London and finished in my current place of residence – Guetersloh, Germany.
The day was full of walking, shopping, and traveling. It was a perfect start of the summer.
I landed in London on May 29 (which was a Friday evening). Everything that could have been late, was late: both trains and the flight were delayed, and I ended up hanging out at DUS airport for several hours before the boarding had actually started. It was still fun, I spent the time eating sushi at a very cozy place with awesome waitresses and talking on the phone.
Sometimes I think that the range of my emotions is so big that I cannot find words that can properly explain what I feel (or it may be me having a limited vocabulary XDXDD). If one could combine the words “excitement”, “nervousness”, “fear”, “nostalgia”, “sadness”, and “happiness”, it would be a more or less accurate description of what I felt when walking through the streets of London after 8 years of doing it for the first time. The air in the city was different, but still somehow familiar.
My boyfriend met me at the airport and we had a very exciting 45 minute-long journey (NOT) to the Union Jack Club, where we were staying. Having the hotel in the center of London was extremely convenient; more walking, less time on the public transport!
Londoners at first struck me as people who do not smile (I did change my mind about that later). The city was as gloomy as I had remembered it. Prices were scary (even scarier than before). But the beauty remained: London was still the same capital I had fallen in love with in 2007.
Camden was a different story though. If it weren’t for Camden Rocks festival (which was EPIC), I would have never felt the need of going into that district. First impression: ghetto/hipster/weird place where I would not feel comfortable being in when it gets darker. Impression after the festival: ghetto/hipster/weird place with a lot of smiling people. They did look kind of happier than the blokes from central London (I guess it has something to do with the level of alcohol/drugs in the blood).
I also had my first experience with the London Underground! There is one line that has a protective barrier that prevents people from jumping under the train… Did I mention that prices are ridiculously high? Yeah, that kind of counts for the tickets as well… I still enjoyed the experience of traveling around London and from/to the airport.
As any German, I very much like rules and try following them as closely as possible whenever I am aware of their existence. The first traffic light in London made me remember my inability to comprehend the locals in the UK. No one cares about the traffic lights; The light is red – who cares? If you don’t see a car coming, cross the road! Those Brits…
It appears that British people are more relaxed when it comes to rules and regulations, and there is a much bigger chance to be fined in Germany than in the UK.
Monday was also the day of me having lots of people smiling at me, made me feel good about at least some good customer service existing in this world. Customer service people in Germany do not smile as much.
Alright, enough with the differences between the countries… FOOD!
I still have not ever tried the dish everyone asks me if I have tried: the fish and chips. I did, however, have a very nice traditional English breakfast and the best American Burger of my life (with jalapenos and a huge onion ring), over the weekend. The food coma after the burger was so destructive that I could hardly understand what was going on around me for about 3 hours after I had eaten.
During the whole trip I kept feeling that something was not quite normal, and I still have no idea what it was. My friend Lola assumed that it was the overwhelming excitement of visiting my first favorite world capital again and me not fully realizing how awesome it had been. That is a very believable explanation, and I think I want to make sure that that was the case by visiting sometime again 🙂
The flight back was operated by Germanwings. My thoughts until the boarding were something like “I very much hope we don’t land into a mountain today, I kind of want to be able to bring all the souvenirs and chocolates to Germany” 😀
When the boarding started, instead of Germanwings plane I saw Lufthansa logo. The flight attendants were wearing Lufthansa uniform. More than half of the flight attendants were actually nice and friendly to people who did not look German (according to a lot of people, my aura tells others that I am something completely different from a German national). For the first time in my life, my ears almost did not feel the takeoff and landing. The landing was so smooth that even the excessive clouds and wind couldn’t spoil it. I guess crap experiences do sometimes make people change the way they do their stuff even if they were not directly touched by the crap experience.
And, of course, my train home was also late 🙂 I am the queen of late trains and flights.
At first they delayed it for 5 minutes, and then, when it was supposed to arrive, the lady from the speaker quickly notified all the prospective passengers that the train would be arriving to the platform 2 instead of 5. I have never seen people run so quickly up the stairs while carrying heavy suitcases. Oh well, all of us got there on time, and I arrived home at about 11 pm CEST.
I need to have such an eventful weekend repeated at some point again.
Stay tuned for more.