Wednesday, August 04, 2010
We were in London
Then I saw this:
and without even going inside it was already worth it to me. I just love me some good ruins and interesting history. I can't help it.
Of course we did go inside, but only after grabbing some food from a street vendor. You know how when you're traveling and you're hungry and you pass some food for sale and it doesn't look terribly appetizing and you're not sure if the prices are good but at the same time you have no idea when you'll pass food again so you decide to buckle down and go for it? Well, that's what we did at this street stand. And let me tell you, I've never tasted a more disgusting hot dog in my life, certainly never one that cost SIX DOLLARS. Jeremy will say the same about his hamburger. The really sad part was that as we walked closer to the Tower, we saw about six other food places that looked cheaper and better than the one we'd just eaten at. A casualty of traveling in an unfamiliar city, I suppose.
The same thing seems to happen with bathrooms, too: "Here is a bathroom. I kind of need to go. Should I go in this one? We're by it right now so it's convenient. But what if it's gross? What if there is a better, cleaner bathroom waiting for me later on, when I will need to go to the bathroom more? But maybe there won't be, so I better go now." I ran into that situation as we were about to enter the Tower. I decided to go, only to discover that the bathroom charged 50 pence. You would think that after paying 17 pounds for a ticket to the Tower, they could throw in a single bathroom visit for free, or something, no? I dug through my purse and couldn't find the exact change they wanted so I gave up.
(Later on, inside the Tower, I found free bathrooms, so it all worked out.)
It was around that point that I decided they need to have a placard system at airports. All travelers - especially those going through the elaborate security dance where you take off your shoes, take off your kids' shoes, take out your laptop, take out your liquids, fold your stroller, take away special blankies from your crying child to put on the belt, and generally hold up the line for 20 minutes - should be wearing some kind of sign that identifies a few things for the benefit of others. For example, it should clearly state how many flights you've already been on, as well as their duration, whether the time zone is different now, how long your layovers were, and how many flights you have to go.
The reason I want to see this instituted is because I feel like sometimes we got the stink-eye from people who maybe thought we were a little cranky, or our kids were a little wild, or we weren't quite with it. I think a placard that said kindly, "This is our second international flight, across too many time zones to count, and we've had 6 hours of layover already, and we're still about 22 hours away from home" would have gone a long way with these people.
Anyway, thanks again for all the London tips! We had a pleasant jaunt into the city, notwithstanding the six-dollar nasty hot dog.