Thursday, January 23, 2014

London Fridge, One

Jan. 15 and 16. Temperature ranged between 9º and 11º in the few days I was there. It really was cold outside. It rained a bit but it was mostly cloudy. Love London weather. And it's a great-looking, energetic city. I vow to visit again. My thanks, HBO Asia and Virtusio.
My room. It was comfy. I particularly liked that I had enough space to move. Left the radio on so it wasn't too quiet when I was asleep. Speaking of music, glad I was able to listen to the albums of Bastille, The 1975, Lorde and Lady Gaga via in-flight entertainment. I also watched episodes of Carrie Diaries, 30 Rock, and Ray Donovan. Oh, one thing I learned during the flight to London: Do not sit between two people. It's difficult to leave for the washroom. Thankfully, I was seated at the aisle next time. 

I stayed there. it's a busy, interesting neighborhood. The hotel was in the middle of everything. What I didn't like was the long wait for a room that my sponsor actually reserved prior to my trip. I was asked to wait for an hour when I got there. Then it became two hours. I ate my crackers and peanuts while waiting, seated near the reception area. Then I was told the room would be ready in 30 minutes. 30 minutes later, nothing. I complained; I said I spent almost 20 hours in the air and I'd just like to rest. I wish I told them about the number of people that had checked in while I waited for two and a half hours, but the lady at the area apologized for the inconvenience and gave me a room already. Finally. Anyway, employees like Alix, the concierge guys and the doormen were nice to me.

My "transporter": Nik from Kosovo. He thought I was Singaporean, but I explained to him that the connecting flight was in Singapore and I'm from Manila. He shared stuff about leaving his country and getting a job in London as a chauffeur. He pointed at Harrod's en route to the hotel, and I responded with, "Oh, that's for rich people." He smiled and concurred, "Exactly." A few days later, his coworker Blair drove me to the airport; he was just as nice and chatty. He was bald too, and dressed just like Nik. He's from Albania, he said, and he wants to visit the Philippines, among other countries, someday. 

Piccadilly bus stop. Walked around a bit. The weather was wonderful. Well, it was a bit rainy but I didn't get to experience a downpour until when I was headed to the airport, days later. It was really chilly; everybody at the sidewalks were appropriately covered up. I love the cold. I'll miss it, especially when it gets hotter here in the next few months. Before I entered the airport, I could see my breath misting up every time I exhaled. 
 Red velvet cake, mince pie, chips and caramel waffles (under the paper bag). This was my only meal on my second day. But it made me full. There were complimentary packets of coffee and cookies, too. And I expected a lot of airplane meals the next day, so I didn't really eat much before I left.

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