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Monday, September 12, 2011

Made it to London!

Well, I'm finally in England! Boy was it a long journey.

I first flew from SLC Airport to Detroit on the 10th. In Detroit I only had a layover of 2 hours, and then it was on to Heathrow! The flight was long, but not terrible. The only thing that sucked was I took some of my dad's ridiculously powerful medicine to put me to sleep on the flight. It's 4x stronger than Benadryl, but did it put me to sleep? Of course not. I fell asleep at one point, but it was only for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half.

So I land in Heathrow and turn on my phone (decided to go global) to text my family and a friend, but alas, my phone doesn't work! This wouldn't have been any big deal, but I was supposed to call my friend I'm staying with outside of Liverpool so she'd know when to pick me up at the train station. I figured I'd just deal with it later and proceeded to the UK border to be okayed along with the rest of my flight. The line was so freaking long! No joke. I think I was in line for about an hour. So I was standing in line with this other girl who is going to study abroad in London, and we saw this sign that said "students". We weren't sure if we were supposed to go to that line, though, because earlier we'd seen this girl get out of line and try to go forward by telling the flight security person she was a student. The security lady told her to go to the back of the line. We refused to give up our space. As we get closer to the front of the line, we notice the "student" line actually did have a few students. We were supposed to be there. Thankfully the line was super short, so it wasn't like we had to start all over again in this ridiculously long line.

I get through and get my luggage. I only had one bag, and it had wheels, so I consider myself quite lucky! Next I knew that I needed to get to Liverpool, so I asked this guy who was trying to sell train tickets how to get to Liverpool. Next thing I know, this guy is blabbering away about trains, changing trains, and Liverpool Street in this incomprehensible accent. I said no thanks and walked away. I needed Liverpool, dang it! Not Liverpool Street!
So I go to the travel desk and ask that lady for help. She was great and gave me this pamphlet with all of the London Underground info. Apparently I had to take a train from Heathrow to this other station and change lines, then get on another train to Euston. I couldn't remember what to do when I got to Euston, so I just figured I'd figure it out when I get there.
I get to Euston about 2 hours later and know that this is where I change trains. I'm wandering around asking people what to do. I asked the info desk and he said "Do you want Liverpool Street or Liverpool Lime Street?" Dang it. I told him "I don't know... I need Liverpool. Like, Liverpool, England. The Beatles Liverpool!" He looked at me weird and said, "Um, ok then, you'll want Liverpool Lime Street." I was pretty sure this guy didn't know what I meant.
"Oh ok, can I get there with this ticket or do I need to buy a different ticket?" Earlier I'd bought a day pass for the trains. When I showed it to him he laughed. Apparently the ticket was JUST for London trains.
So he pointed me in the direction of where I could buy tickets.
I get to the desk and ask the lady if they sold tickets to Liverpool. She asked me again whether I wanted Liverpool Street or Liverpool Lime Street. I told her I wanted Liverpool, England. She said, "Oh ok, you'll want Liverpool Lime Street." Now, I wanted to make sure I wasn't sure she completely understood me, so I asked, "And that's in Liverpool?" Apparently it's the main train hub in Liverpool.
Stupid American.

Anyway, I buy the freaking ticket, but I've got time to kill, so I go join the other folks who are standing around and staring at a screen that tells them what platform their train takes off from. When my platform was posted I headed to my train and took a seat. Unfortunately, everyone seemed to know exactly which seat they wanted, leaving me confused. (Did it really matter as long as you have a seat?) So I asked this lady if it mattered where I sat. She looked at me funny and said "Oh, well, did you reserve your ticket?"
"Uh.. well... I bought one, if that's what you mean..." and showed her my ticket.
"You can sit anywhere, then. If you want a specific seat you have to reserve it. If it's reserved the someone will just let you know and then you'll have to move."
Well dang, that's no big deal! Luckily I sat in an unreserved seat.

The ride to Liverpool was 2 hours and 40ish minutes, so I tried reading but fell asleep for about 30 minutes at one point. When I got to Liverpool I think had to switch to the Northern Line to get to Ormskirk, where my friend lives at.

It was a long long day, but I eventually made it!

Oh, and calling my mom on a payphone was such a ridiculously hard task. I had a bit of change from buying a train ticket, so I inserted a pound and called my mom. Luckily I connected (this was at one of the stations in London before Euston), and I was able to let her know that my SIM card in my phone wasn't working. Haha, I didn't realize how short a pound was, so I actually lost contact with her and had to call a second time, but I talked real fast the second time!

Once I got to Liverpool I had to give my friend a call. Unfortunately, I only had her number after the international codes had been attached. I swear, the guy at the travel desk probably thought I was the dumbest girl alive. I went in and this is basically how the conversation went:
"Ok, I've got a really dumb question. I need to call me friend who lives just a little bit away from here, but I don't know her real number separated from the international codes so I can call her from the payphone. Can you help me out?"
He looked at me with a lot of pity and said, "Yes, no problem." I showed him my phone and he wrote it down for me. I thanked him profusely then went out to use the payphone. Success!

Yes, I'm going to give Americans a bad name at first, but you just wait, I'll adapt!

Oh, and I do love it here, but I already miss the warmth... I'm in a jacket! It's windy! Apparently a hurricane that hit the U.S. is currently given England and Ireland its left overs. How kind.

I do believe that's all I have to say so far... so until next time!

Bore da!

3 comments:

  1. It created a scene before my eyes , beautifully written , very honest and subtle use of words!

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  2. great writing chandrie! i can't wait till more adventures come along :p take care!

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  3. Thank you, Ashish! I really appreciate that! I'm trying to do my best to keep a blog that will help people see what it's like, so I'm quite glad that it came across so well :-)

    Thanks, Alice!! I'll be sure to keep everything up to date :-) you take care too!

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