The Great Britain Layover


The entire day before my flight was just full of hurry ups.  I started with the Volaris flight taking forever to load its passengers.  The late start cause us to circle around the lanes because we loat our time spot.  This whole debacle caused more than an hour of flight delay.  It’s crazy too because it is caused by human incompetence rather than weather, or other uncontrollable forces.  I ended up having only 5 hours of sleep because I had to add a travel alert to my credit cards, do some banking stuff, and figure out how come I haven’t gotten my IRS forms.  I didn’t even get to write down some addresses and stuff for Tanzania before I fell asleep.
The next morning I was supposed to wake up early but I wasn’t able to.  I ended up finishing half of the errands I intended to do before it was too late to take off.  I barely even got to watch the playoff games which was a real bumper.  The KC Pats game was real good, I listened in on the radio.
My packing was also hastily done.  I haven’t fill my bag so full since forever.  I’m sure a better packing job would have lighten the load.  I also forgot to pop in the books I was meant to bring.  I do have ebook backups of all my books on my phone but in the jungle and mountains, I don’t want to waste my battery.
Anyways, at least the drive to LAX was easy.  Virgin Atlantic does boarding really early that I missed the Packers Cards game too.  I only saw enough of the Michael Floyd touchdown and Patrick Peterson’s pick six negated by a facemask call.
It was after I landed that I saw on the highlights that the game was a real classic with a Rodgers hail Mary at the end of the fourth only to have their defense fucked it up.  I wish I could have delayed my flights until after the Superbowl.  These playoffs are too good.
Well, I’m gonna get to the story now.  The flight wasn’t late, but it wasn’t able to land because the lanes weren’t ready, so the flight came in late a good 30 minutes.  However, I wasn’t really pissed this time because Virgin Atlantis is a pretty dope airline.  Two meals, free beer, candies, all sorts of movies, socks, toothbrush, paste, blanket and pillow only for less than 900 of round trip.  I get to do the same for 3 more times.  This flight is even better than one we took to Brasil.  No more of the shit I had to go through at volaris, spirit, or whatever the fuck else “budget” airlines that aren’t really that cheap and just a shit ton of discomfort.
The immigration line was long, and when I finally arrived, the immigration lady and I had a pretty long conversation on why am I going to Africa and how am I affording it and talk about other places I went else she was going through my passport.  She asked me if I’m going to volunteer there, I didn’t tell her that I think these temporary “volunteerism” and “aid” is what is ailing Africa.  I have to see for myself.  A lot European have asked me the same question, and it astonishes me how popular the thought is because you literally have to pay to volunteer.  It is human tourism.  Instead the games at the park, you are paying to interact with human less fortunate than you.
Anyways, I finally got out of the airport, the immigration lady was nice enough to give me a 14 hour visa so I don’t use up all my days.  There is a tube train( what the Brits call metro) that costs 22 quids from the Heathrow airport to the Paddington station in 15 minutes.
It is expensive but it is fast and has internet.  Only train comparable is the one in Portland.  From there I bought a day pass to take the city tubes and busbeverywhere.  12 quids.
First place I went is Regents park to get to Primrose Hill where you can see city from a little hill.  The park was big, and has birds that aren’t afraid of you.  There are a lot of people playing sports.  I thought the British people play as much soccer as the Brazilians in Salvador Bahia.  However, when I close I realized half of them were playing rugby.
The weather was really British, as in cloudy.  So the hill didn’t offer much.  I left to go to Camden Town.  The Town is really lively.  It has a couple markets.  I didn’t quite find the street food my friend told me about, just lots of clothes and lots of people on the street.
After going about Camden I started going to the real touristic spots.  I took the tube to Waterloo and walked to Big Ben and the Parliaments on the north bank of River Thames.  On the way I passed by BFI IMAX, which is the spot where so many free running video is based on.  I wanted to try something but I was wearing clothes I brought for Africa in the 1 degree Celsius cold, it really wasn’t a good idea to jump around at the time.
Big Ben was cool and then London eye was too.  I forgot to go to Buckingham palace because then I’ll be doing a lot of walking on a day where time zone is fucking with my eating and sleeping habit.
While outside the big Ben, I got robbed by a fucking mime.  Yes, a FUCKING MIME.  It was a big fat dude who is like 2 head taller than me.  Tapped my shoulder, gave a hug and pointed to my phone asking to take a picture with me.  I don’t want to take picture with a fat mime, but the dude wouldn’t let me go and when I ask him how much he doesn’t say shit because he is a FUCKING mime.  So I took one and suddenly he magically pulled out 5 quids and pointed to it.  I’m like you fucking kidding me right, and he indicated yes with his mime gestures and still wouldn’t let me go.  No.  So the fucking mime robbed me 5 quids.  I never got robbed in south and central america, but got fucked by a mime in London when my awareness was low.  What a shame, that was a new low for me.
The mime incident left me rather unhappy, but I kept walking down the south bank to Tower Bridge.  The walk is pretty cool, you get to see a lot of bridges.  What cheered me up the most is that along the south bank I located many spots appeared in what I think is the best for reerunning video ever:  stormfreerun volume 1.  The video that got me to go to the gyms.  I saw the spot where Jan dropped hisnchicken nuggets while sideflipping.  The skate park where Tim did the elbow stand slide to windmill and many more.  Too bad I didn’t get to go to Vauxhall too.
I walked past St Paul’s and more bridges.  I decided to take the tube to Kings Cross because it was too much walking and I can see tower bridge from London bridge.  At the King’s Cross locates the famous platform 9 and 3/4.  I wanted to do some acrobatic stuff and video edit it so it looks like I vanished through the wall, but there is like 200 people in line taking pictures so I went back to take the airport shuttle.
It was another real close boarding and I was on my way to Johannesburg.


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