Saturday, August 20, 2005

It begins.

Well, not really yet. But I have my plane ticket, people to see when I reach London, and am in the process of leaving North Carolina. I haven't been stressed out about it much. In fact, I'm remarkably calm about the trip. Mostly I want it to just happen already so I can stop thinking about it. Last night was my contra dancer going away party. My strongest reasons for staying in the area post-college, and most of them were two hours late. Or more. And most of them didn't bring food to the potluck party. Excellent. But we had fun, staying up until ridiculously early in the morning (hello, 4am!). And here I am, ba-da-da da-da da-da, feelin' groovy.

And then I started looking for a hotel for my first night in London.

So my plan, see, is that I fly into London, then crash in a hotel the first night. I get in at 9:30am their time, and I'll have been up all night and feel either 1. full of adrenaline or 2. beat to death from flying in coach for a million hours. Have I mentioned that I'm not so good at sleeping on planes? It's true! So I'll find a hotel! Go there when I get in, drop my stuff, maybe crash for a bit. A hotel would just be cozier and more intimate than a hostel. Those can come later. And then after that night I can crash with John. I feel a little awkward trying to get into his place in the early morning when he's at work.

And thus I seek hotels. And holy sweet mother of Jesus they're expensive! I don't know what I was thinking, honestly. Sure! I can stay somewhere that's really inexpensive -- or even mildly pricey -- in London! It's just one night! I would be willing to spend $50 for a nice little room.

I don't travel much on my own. Can you tell?

Now I'm getting a little anxious. Am I really going to have enough money for this? Am I being incredbly stupid? Can I really fit all my stuff into my car? Only one way to find out, I guess.

I have a half dozen windows open on my computer, searching hotels and wondering where the hell I am (North Carolina somwehere) and am going to be (presumably London).

Ooh, good news. I found a promising place. Heart attack subsiding. Kind of. Even though their ad says £35/night it's telling me that the night I want to stay is £40/night. Meh. It has good recommendations. That's way cheap for London. I'll deal. Or, um, maybe I'll see if John can get me into his flat when I get there.

Americans are spoiled by their hotels. Can you imagine if there was a local hotel that didn't have a bathroom in the room? Or didn't have rooms the size of a two-car garage? The user feedback for some of the b&bs I'm looking at often complain about the size of the rooms and bathrooms. Well, yes. It's London.

I am very quickly becoming jaded. $100/night? Golly, that's not so bad!

Ha. I will be broke soon.

I have about $8500 in the bank. I will be there for four months. I don't actually have any specific plans for what I'm doing. Excellent.

The going away party -- now in slideshow-vision!

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