Saturday, April 2, 2011

London, the Reckoning


Well, I'm in Charlotte (CLT) airport and we've hit a delay. They aren't sure how long of delay it will be. Normally it seems that they give the duty free stuff to you when you are getting ready to board the aircraft. I became concerned when the cart with all of these things...came back...

A travel tip for London - don't sleep. It will be hard not to. The 7 hour plane ride is dull and the crew puts out the main lights part way through the flight to encourage people to sleep. As Admril Akbar is famous for noting, 'It's a trap!' Don't sleep at all until you get to London and it gets to be a reasonable hour to go to bed at night. When you do sleep and awake, presto, you are on London time. Kudos to Matt for telling me how to completely avoid the famous 'jet lag' experience. The only thing I've really to add is to not have any serious plans for your first day in London. This may irritate some "but I'm payin' for it!" folks but you are going to be pretty washed out. Better to just wander around a little bit, have some dinner and drinks. That's pretty much what we did. It was a good way to get to relax from the trip and get use to seeing everyone with their faces as we really only knew each other from skype (aside from Matt who'd been my room mate for a year).

Anwar House - London. Approximmate price per person, 20 BPS (USD?)

Initial impressions -

Repeatable scale:

Bedding - Yes, though the staff did sneak into our room while we were out to steal the covers for the bed so that we wouldn't give them to Matt to allow him to sleep on the floor.
Towels - Clean, functional, one per person. Adequate.
Quiet - Aside from the evil snorers we brought (one included me I'm ashamed to say) I didn't hear anyone or anything else. The other folks heard a lot of rucus of people running around laughing and singing at four in the morning but I was dead to the world.
Cleanliness - This is actually one thing that the Anwar house had going for it - it was surprisingly clean.
Would you stay there again? Despite the problems, it is clean and relatively cheap - something that isn't easy to find in London. Well, the cheap part anyway. I'm sure that you can find more clean stuff.
WiFi - they apparently have it but utterly failed to give us the password. My guess is that if you want it, "You pay! You pay now!"

They wanted to charge for an extra person sleeping on the floor the exact same amount as another person with his own bed would pay. When Matt suggested that if they are going to get charged what a person sleeping in a bed would they claimed that they could bring up a bed but that would cause a new 'if any of the beds is damaged you will have to pay for all of the beds to be fixed!' This sort of clumsy scam artist thing really left a 'wtf' taste from the Anwar house. I'd suggest 'If you can afford better than these Oriental wanna be scam artists, take it'. Matt wanted me to point out that the lady in charge had only three teeth. He finds this to be very suspicious and believes she chews on one side of her mouth only. He has named her 'Gummy Sue'.

The room had a notable lack of some things you kind of expect; a large counter in the bathroom to put your stuff, a bar to hang up clothing in the closet, drawers that don't have the 'do not use bottom drawer, it is broken' label. I didn't see a lot of places to string up clotheslines (without getting very creative) but I'm still going to mess with that. They do have a refrigerator. It was empty and works. These are two traites I prize in a refrigerator.

The beds are surprisinly comfortable though I must admit I did fall off of one when trying to sit on the edge. I'd like to figure out a way that I can blame it on the bed rather than my own clumsiness. This also happened on the first day with the group which was a bummer.

The closet as it is has no clothing storage bar has been rated by Matt as 'excellent dead hooker storage'. Matt gives this place a 3 out of 5 dead hooker rating.

London is so expensive that they can't seem to afford screens on the windows to keep out the flies.


A lot of simple meals will cost you about 8-10 BPS (USD?).
You will spend 20 BPS at a bare minimum per day on accomodation, probably that again on food (2 inexpensive meals a day - beers will cost an extra 4-5 BPS each) and more for 'tourist shit' - tours and such.

I think Matt summed up the bustle of London really well. He said that it's about the same as other places in the USA, like Chicago, but since the streets and such are smaller it is condensed here. Crossing the road is a challenge and the amount of people give it a competative air that could easily cause a fatality if you were not paying attention or slow. I've heard about tourists getting squished because they didn't look both ways before crossing the street so they do have 'look right' printed on the street here and there. Not sure if it will actually help anyone but I do appreciate the caution.

We found a locked TARDIS sitting on the side of the road. Richard and Matt didn't know where it had come from so we got some pictures. Posing and taking pictures in front of it made Matt say in self loathing "I feel like such a tourist!"

My multitude of obese Americans will note that London is not really a 'fat friendly zone'. The doors are not extra wide for people to trundle their fat asses through, portions that are given in meals will fill up a normal person but a person who is wanting an 'American sized portion' will have to split part of another meal with a friend. The food here is not covered in its weight in cheeze and deep fried. Over a supper (which fit into the 8-10 BPS per person wthout drink or desert) we were discussing the lack of cheese and deep fried as healthier when I started doing the Homer Simpson drooling because the though of deep fried cheese with bacon wrapped around it was just so damned good.

None of the toilets I've used here seem to work properly. They don't flush or just make a strange noise to try to convince you they have and your shit just sits there and waves at you. Which is a pity, being that they have quite a sewer system. If the toilets did work, your shit would have quite an epic adventure.


It doesn't seem that Londoners are not the kind of people that greet you on the streets. From my experience, they seem to just wander by. If you say hello to them, they look a bit surprised but will greet you. Perhaps it is that they realize you are a tourist.

Foreigner who wanted to ask us for directions. We had no idea where we were or where he was going but we wanted to be helpful so we gave him directions anyway.

In America, if you are in a restaurant or bar and order the wrong thing, they will smile and get you whatever you've changed your mind to - not so in the UK. Your mistake, your bill.


Jana said it is perfectly normal but she can pack away a lot of beer. I weigh literally three times what she does and she drank more beer than I. It did not seem to affect her at all. Any Americans out there who have girfriends they've had to hold the hair out of the way when they were throwing up after three beers I advise to go look in Central and Eastern Europe for a new girlfriend. Richard said that any Europeans who want to take girls on cheap dates are advised to go to America.

More later. As for photos, I have over 100 thus far - I am just waiting for good upload speed to get them up.

1 comment:

  1. Great to read about your travels, Bro. Keep us posted, love your writing and humor. Now post my comment, dammit.



{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

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