September 21

“My crumpet’s on fire!” I yelled!

I saw the flames glowing from inside the toaster oven: the bagel kind with the hot coils and the rolling tray that drops toasted bagels to the bottom. I was certain it was my crumpet. Setting fire to small appliances in foreign countries is something that might happen to me. But when we rushed over to inspect, we realized it was the nearby croissant. Okay, well, those are not made for toaster ovens, it turns out.


Yesterday we took bus 119 from east Croydon to get to the train station which then took us to London. That was an experience in public transport connections. The people who use it a lot seem to really know their shit. I was wandering around reading all the signs -in English, I might add- and felt like I needed a users’ guide just to understand where to go and how to connect train to bus to train again. It was incredible, really. As we kept wandering around looking for our correct terminals I marveled -REALLY MARVELED- at how amazingly organized this system is. The tunnels under London: IncredibleI mean, seriously OCD architects and city-planners must have conjured up these tunnels and connections and things that work. Well.


It was so cool

So London was cool. In our jet-lag haze we wandered around aimlessly. We wanted to see a few of the iconic places before dark: Big Ben, Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, Waterloo [that was mine. You know, Jason Bourne has a great scene there, I just had to see it], London Tower bridge, the double-decker red busses, er, coaches… which is what they call ’em here.

London~ not the London Bridge!

On the return trip we almost missed our trainstop in Croydon. Luckily I asked someone as we sat down after all the others had gotten off and he said “I believe this is east Croydon”… and we were like “D’OH!” so we ran off and sure enough he was right. It was 1030 at night so I was grateful that I ASKED. And I felt a little miffed at the boys for not paying attention. But whatever, apparently I just cared more about NOT getting lost at night. If you’re a man, it’s merely an inconvenience. If you’re a woman, it could be a problem. I suppose that is the main difference. How can I expect them to think like I do? It’s not fair.
In my head that translates to, I need to take care of things myself. It’s no wonder.
Then after a quick stop at a little quick-mart with unusual-to-me liquor sales [for example, rose wine already in a plastic wine glass with a peel off lid, ‘ready to drink’!],

we went back to the same place we had previously gotten off our 119 bus. After waiting a short time, we boarded, and went upstairs [double-decker, after all], and then the bus driver came up and double checked where we were going. Turns out we were on the right line, 119, but going the wrong direction. So he gave me a voucher [because I was the only one of the three of us who actually lost my day-ticket somewhere in the underground train system More details in next paragraph-Whatever. I digress. Again.] and we got off and crossed the street and waited some more for the right bus heading the correct direction to our destination: the hotel.

Before that, as we were returning back into the underground tube system, it occurred to me that my day-ticket for zones 1-6 must have fallen out of my pocket. I was so bummed! However, in all actuality, really the only bummer was having to purchase a new ticket and a new bus pass for the return trip. In our case, a mere inconvenience. But it did totally bum me out because we of course had already purchased the tickets! Oh well, I told myself that if the worst thing that has happened today is that I have to buy a new transportation ticket then we’re doing pretty good.
That was certainly before the croissant fire! Luckily, that turned out to mostly be a funny little event proving we were obviously not used to customary occurrences such as “no croissants in the toaster oven”. There had been a sign saying as much sitting right on top of the device. Who reads signs before morning coffee? Honestly.


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