~  Meow.  ~
Thursday, October 20, 2005
London, here I come!
Cheers! Wow, did I just have the best business trip ever! Just over a week ago my boss told me I was going to London. Yes, LONDON! I was like, um, let me think about that. Hell Yea! I’ve been to Poland and the Czech Republic, but no where else in Europe. This was a chance of a life time!

To start off, the flight is 11 hours. That’s a big chunk of time to be sitting in an airplane seat. So even though I left on Sunday, I didn’t get there till Monday afternoon. Let me tell you, I was knackered. Luckily I had the window, and there was no one next to me, so I could spread out. Usually, I only have mean things to say about airlines. But not this time! United Airlines was awesome! Each seat had its own video screen, so you could choose what to watch. They had about a dozen different channels showing different movies recently released films. I’ve never had that before! Consequently, I’ve seen like NO movies this past year cuz I’ve been so busy, so I got to see all the great flicks I missed out on such as Batman Begins, Fantastic Four, and Mr.& Mrs. Smith. To top it all off, they served TWO meals, and were constantly brining water to their parched passengers.
They get an A+ from me!

So I arrive and am now in London. What an amazing place! It’s like being in a totally different country, except that they speak your language everywhere! Well….for the most part, at least. But that’s what made it even better! I stayed at the London Elizabeth Hotel in the city of Westminster, a stones throw from Paddington Station.

Yes, folks, that’s right. The original Paddington station where they were selling Paddington Bears!

I got my own hotel room with three beds (still trying to figure that one out) and had a wonderful English Breakfast every morning. The business part of the trip wasn’t very business like at all. I had two meetings, one on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday. They were long, but the rest of the time we got to see stuff, take walks in Hyde Park, and travel. Ok, so you’re dying to hear my impression of this strange country. Here goes…..

Londoners RULE!!

First and foremost, their accent and their talk is absolutely fan-TAAAA-stic!

At work, every two or so hours is coffee break time. Can you imagine?! Stopping what you’re doing to drink a warm drink like four times a day in the States? You’d get fired! All this drinking must take place somewhere, so naturally one goes to the canteen.

The traffic in London is crazy. There are SO many cars there, and SO little road, that there’s a constant traffic jam all day long. But don’t fret! The English have come up with a brilliant solution to this problem.
It’s called ….. “public transportation.” I know! Crazy, huh. Well for those naysayers out there, I’ll have you know there is absolutely NO viable public transportation in Los Angeles. In England they have trains going in pretty much all directions, busses everywhere, and best of all, the subway named The Underground but called by everyone “The Tube.” It even has its own logo!

Everyone in London smokes. And those who don’t are of course allowed to passive smoke to their lung’s content.

No one wears pants, they all only buy trousers.

There are no elevators in England. You can either take the stairs or a lift.

One night we went out for a drink. And to satisfy out munchies we were given, not beer nuts, but ‘crisps.’ Sounds fancy, huh? Well that’s too bad. They’re just regular potato chips.

If you’re waiting in line, you’re really in a que.

The subways are silly convenient and have stops on every other block.
The subways have a space between the train and platform. That’s why the always tell you to “Mind the Gap!”

Dare I forget, they all drive on the LEFT side of the street! What a bunch of nuts! The driver sits on the right side of the car, and you can make a left on red!

Drivers don’t yield to traffic, they ‘give way’ which I must admit, is much more proper.

Are you're pockets full of unwanted papers and things? Feel free to dispose of that rubbish in the nearest rubbish receptacle.

If you’re looking for an exit sign, you’re out of luck. There’s only a way in and a ‘way out’.

I hope you’re working hard at your job, because if you don’t, you’ll be immediately sacked. And then they’ll fire you.

How can I forget that everything in London is SILLY expensive? Its insane! The exchange rate is 2 to 1, gasoline is about $10 a gallon and a can of a soda is about $2! The only way to truly survive is to pretend that pounds are really dollars, and go about your day.
Here’s one that most of you don’t know. The US doesn’t have a penny! Seriously! Look at the back of one. It’s a ‘Cent.’ So in America, we have ‘Dollars’ and ‘Cents.’ England has ‘Pounds’ and ‘Pence.’ And for the win, can anyone guess what’s the singular of Pence?

Unfortunately, I was only there for three days, and I had to leave, so I didn’t get a chance to see any sights! I was totally bummed about that, and so my boss said that when we go back in February, we can stay a few extra days to see the ENTIRE country! I can’t wait! But I did get to meet up with the ONLY person I knew in the UK, and just happened to live in London. Iza! We went out to The Social and caught up on old times. We were eventually jammy enough to grab a table, and had ourselves a chat. The birds and blokes around us were sure nice, and everyone was getting mullered. Great seein’ ya babe!

So what did I learn from my trip? Well, I now know what countries make up the UK (England apparently wasn’t the only one), I have a renewed love of public transportation, and I’m not the only person in the world who wouldn’t mind drinking and celebrating life - every day!

. . . = = COMMENTS = = . . .

SC  posted on  Monday, October 24, 2005

It's actually a queue, not a que. Also, you don't get laid off in the UK, you are, instead, made redundant.

Porkchop  posted on  Monday, October 24, 2005

Hey, it's his first time there. Give 'im a break!

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