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Safe and Sound – Reporting back from London

The Instructions from Donald were clear and accurate. I did however had to ask for some confirmatory directions from the people in London. I am amazed at the number of Asians, Sri Lankans, Indians in London. It is truly cosmopolitan.

After i think was a 25 station journey from Heathrow to Paddington Station which included changing line at one point, i managed to reach the station nearest to my hotel – Paddington Station.

The hotel was a good 600m or so from the station. My luggage was a combined 30kg. Strapped on my shoulders and neck, at one stage the thought crept into my head that i will never do this again. Add to the walking from within the airport and in search of the train lines and within London’s gloriously old train stations, I believed i today exceeded 3km on foot with 30kg.

Right off the plane, i was already I am beginning to feel thankful i did not manage to bring water for the journey. For the ambitious me would have attempted to bring a good amount of water to enable my shoestring stay in London to be done at record low cost.

I failed to bring the 2nd piece of luggage from home as i was worried that they would not allow liquids to be brought in. I found out later that the restrictions applied only to hand luggage.

At London Heathrow Airport, when I saw that 500ml mineral water was going for £1.30 in the airport, i knew i was screwed.

Faith told me to keep on going. To find that hotel that is found in some corner of this gigantic city called London. The weight of 30kg really cut into my shoulders. At times when i asked for help with directions maybe the strain showed on my face. Maybe i was even slouching from the weight. The station official at described the directions to me and told me to walk all the way down the road. ‘it’s quite far’ he said. When i thanked him and moved to leave, i heard him say ‘God bless and take care of you’. I did not think much of it then but guessed i really must have looked a little pathetic.

I found out the final 600m trek was not a joke. after bearing with an 18 hour flight journey on which i did not manage to sleep well, only really started dozing off at the end, having the alighting of passengers delayed due to security personnel having required to address and incident on the plane earlier. After clearing the UK Border Customs and scrambling to get the relevant directions and tickets for the train station, keeping senses alert and ready in a foreign land, the sight of Paddington station was supposed to be journey about to end. It turned out to be the toughest trek i ever had in my life.

Thinking back, now comfortably seated in the hotel lobby, warmed with the internal heating and hot bath. I had just finished a 1 hour exploration of the neighbourhood at 0050 – 0150 London Time. I managed to find a convenience store and bought a 5litre humongous bottle of water for £2.49, brilliant rite? 🙂 Freed from my 30kg luggage, I leisurely took this 5kg bottle back probably 700m back to the hotel. Looks like things will not be as bad as they originally seemed.

The time is 0205hrs now London time. It should be 9am singapore time. I am getting a little tired. I guess i will retire to my room to figure out how to activate the local prepaid card i just bought.

Starhub did not activate the roaming as instructed. sigh. Thats why i am fiddling with this local prepaid SIM card. At least, breakfast will be served soon at 7am today morning, thats less than 5 hours from now. 🙂

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October 6, 2008 - Posted by | Life

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