Dispatch: Getting Lost in Lovely London
I landed at Heathrow with the grogginess of being on Pacific Time and the headache that comes from having watched Luc Besson’s "Lucy" far too recently.
Now before I sing the praises of London I have one rather serious issue with this city and possibly the country at large.
It seems to me that there is a rather egregious stair problem at hand here. There doesn’t seem to be one toilet in all of Westminster that is on the same floor of the pub it serves. Drinking copious amounts of pints mandates, rather hilariously, that you climb or descend ridiculously treacherous stairs that wind up or down. It’s like Willy Wonka decided to buy a local and have a a laugh.
Well my future drunk self that tumbles down one of these while carrying a full bladder isn’t laughing. In fact, I believe he is rather cross about the whole situation and no amount of meat pie will console him. Though we can certainly try.
And really I don’t care that these places were created prior to modern plumbing. Alcohol and mild physical exertion don’t mix.
As for my vow not to indulge in the more obvious tourist traps, the Jack the Ripper walk was really rather pleasant. What it lacked in ghastly scares it more than made up for in tedious facts and multitudinous anecdotes. This, however, wasn’t what my fellow walkers were expecting considering their glazed-over looks. Let’s just say the refurbished and ever-growing city has erased a great many sights where truly awful things occurred. This, I should suspect, is a very good thing. If you are so inclined, consider reading a book on horrible Jack while sipping on those previously mentioned pints of beer.
Now that concludes the section “Things I hate about Britain,” because this has already been a brief but amazing trip through the capital, and one that will continue at some point next week. Up next is the rest of the country, which I hope is as generous and as intoxicating as its famed metropolis.
For example, I leave London for a week with an appreciation for afternoon tea, which might be the most important innovation to ever grace the dining table. It’s dessert masked as some sophisticated afternoon respite, which is really just a way to stuff your maw with goodies while you make plans for dinner.
Also, I left but a bit of my heart and stomach at Hyde Park and Fergus Henderson’s St. John respectively, so you will understand when I say a return visit is mandatory.
Now today I embark upon Salisbury and later Bath, driving on the wrong side of the road from a side of the car that goes against all normal order and human harmony.
I leave you this time with this thought—one that has left a rather awkward distance between me and our neighbors to the east: They have been mispronouncing “mall” for far longer than is socially acceptable, and we should tell them at some point.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Airlines & Airports