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Monday, September 21, 2015

TO ENGLAND!

ONWARD TO LONDON

For some unknown reason, you can only check in for the Eurolines bus half an hour before it is ready to leave.  Not earlier and if you show up with only fifteen minutes to go, you're out of luck.  It's a narrow window.

Can I get my bag into the over head compartment?  No idea - every bus is different.  Do I have an assigned seat?  No, it is a mad scramble.  Cool.

As we are cutting through France, the police pull in front of the bus then turn on their light.  They guide us to some way out of the way spot and surround us with other waiting police and drug sniffing dogs.

Passports from the people on the bus are checked and they have the dogs work the bags.  Usually, once is enough for drug sniffing dogs but they had these dogs go over the bags four times!  It was like they had gotten a phone in tip that a couple of bricks of heroine would be on this bus and they couldn't believe they weren't finding it.

They didn't find shit.  Fifteen or thirty minutes later we were on our way, the driver pushing hard to try to make up for lost time.  Or just escape France.

Not everyone made it out of France.  We lost a passenger.  He was carted off by the authorities.  I wanted to specify the authorities did it so you wouldn't get the wrong idea.

Among the possible signs that an anal probe is coming your way soon...

The other, more common sign...


After passing through France we got to the English border control.

Just like every other time I've gone into England, they grilled me like I was wearing a shirt that said "Ask me about rape and pillage!"

Other bus passengers were saying things like "They sure talked to you for a long time!" and so on.  No idea why the hell I get the fascist treatment every time I set foot into England.  I was even told I was not allowed to get married here!  Aw!

We had to cross the channel by ferry to get to England proper.  Aside from hanging out with a couple nice guys, the most interesting thing that happened was I'd broken down and ordered the ten quid 'full English breakfast'.  I was hungry enough to pay the insane prices on the boat.  They asked if I wanted hash browns.  I said I did and would it be possible to exchange my blood pudding (really a thing here) for another hash brown.  Of course, but it will just be a minute or two for the hash browns.  No problem.  After about ten minutes of waiting, the cook freaked out that I hadn't gotten my order yet.  I hadn't said anything but just sat there waiting and smiling.  The cook escorted me over to the cashier and told them my breakfast was free since I had to wait a long time.  Shocking!

Finding the small assed entrance to Victoria Station was tricky and getting around the complicated tubes Herculean.  Fortunately, they had people stationed at various places to answer questions and presumably make sure people didn't board without tickets.

Eventually, I arrived and was met by Matt at Heathrow.

A very old friend of mine.

At this point, I was so tired as to be hallucinating.  My hands were shaking at some times and I was very punch drunk.

Solution?

Alcohol.

Yes, it worked.  Well, I think it did.  Eventually, I crashed and burned, as they say in the USA.  Meaning went to bed for a long time and have no memory of the rest.

England!



TRAVELERS TIPS

Keep your train ticket way past when you think you need it.  They seem to have an RFID chip within that opens some gates into - and out of - the train areas.  Yes, you need the ticket to leave.

Carry a few EUR fifty cent coins around.  One allows access to the bathrooms.

Never change money on a ferry.  They have exchange rates which are so bad as to be illegal on dry land.  Seriously - just don't.



Q AND A

Derek asks: What practices do you have to best adjust to the changes in time? How does this affect your medication regimen?

Answer:

When you don't have to go work for someone, you don't have a set time you have to get up and go to bed. When you are tired, you sleep. When you are not you find something to do.

Having said that, there is no reason to ever be awake before say ten or eleven o'clock in the morning unless you have transportation you need to get to. Those people who go off to see sunrises in different places allow you to witness a combination of youthful idealism combined with stupidity. Reading their faces when they come back shows they are more tired than awed - every damn time. But I don't attempt to discourage them. It makes me rest even better knowing some poor bastards are out schlepping it up a thousand steps to be at some monkey temple or top of a volcano so they can witness the effect of the planet turning somewhere else.

You can also adjust your sleep schedule easily by either camping or living in such crude conditions that you may as well be camping.

As to my medication, I just try to pop the pills when I awake rather than attempting to time it.

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PICTURES

{{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

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