London Hotels Articles

July 9, 2010

Travel adventures in London, England

London was as advertised, or so I had been told since I had never actualy been there. I noticed that it was a gray and blustery January afternoon as I stopped briefly at an information booth to try and find a place to stay for the night that wouldn’t be too expensive. After a brief discussion with the woman behind the desk I headed out the door.

That’s when it happened.

Out of instinct I looked left for oncoming traffic and stepped out into the street completely forgetting that they drive on the opposite side of the street in England. I stepped directly in front of a cab and am still unsure how I managed not to get hit by the black Mercedes sedan. Actually, I didn’t even see the car. I just saw an enormous silver Mercedes symbol crashing down right on top of me. Normally, I’m pretty light on my feet and able to side-step just about anything but when I turned and saw the cab, or more to the point a GIANT FREAKING MERCEDES SYMBOL right on top of me I did the worst thing I could have done in that situation. I pulled a rabbit in the headlights and just stood there waiting for the inevitable crunch. For the briefest of moments I understood exactly why rabbits stop and stare when lights from an oncoming car shine on them in the road. The cabbie had several unmentionable words to share with me. They were only unmentionable because I really couldn’t understand any of them with his thick accent. Of course I did the only thing I really could do. I stared at my shoelaces and wondered how long it would be until my heart exploded through my throat. Considering the circumstances, I got off easily with a couple of unidentifiable hand gestures and some slang that suggested the driver knew less about anatomical functions than I knew about crossing a busy street in London. I stumbled back onto the sidewalk still a little dazed, unsure of exactly what had just happened and found a wall to lean against to regain my bearings.

After a few minutes I composed myself and headed in the general direction of the hostel that the woman behind the counter of the information booth of the train station gave me. I wandered for the better part of an hour sure that I was close to finding the hostel but not entirely sure how close. I stopped several times asking for directions and each time was sent back in the general direction from which I had just come. Finally, I was walking down a street and happened by a police station right at shift change. I asked a rather frail looking bobby if he knew where the hostel was and the officer walked me directly to it. Much to my embarrassment the hostel had been just one street over from where I had been walking for the past half hour. After thanking the cop for the help to the hostel, I headed in to find a place to stay. The hostel was slightly rough and very well worn but the only thing I could think of for the rest of the day was that I was happy not to be a bug spot on the front of a Mercedes.

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