05/23 Londond, England

23 May 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

05/23 Londond, England

Over these last few days, I don’t think there has been a single street or ally way we didn’t accustom ourselves to.  Most pubs we stopped in for a pint, maybe even two.  About midday I ended up lying out in the middle of Hyde Park, looking up through the trees, day dreaming under the blue sky.  It was another gorgeous day.  We decided to give the double-decker busses another try.  It was a good way to relax, take in some of the sights, get a bearing on where landmarks are and of course a good way to rest tired legs.  Antique shopping doesn’t have much excitement when there’s no extra coinage.  With the coming of each night we would roam the underground following the echo of their music, searching for new faces and seeking to gain perspective into what seemed routine.  I noticed that most of the men avoid eye contact altogether, unless looking for confrontation and that the women consistently use the reflections from windows to keep an eye on things.  I played into that game a couple of times.

Mik and Deb were gracious hosts, opening up both their home and their hearts.  I felt a bit more at ease after listening to their stories of traveling and have earmarked a few of Mik’s suggestions into my mental map.  Inevitably, after the third pint, Mik would steer the conversation back into his anti-war dialog, the end of the world was coming.  I always had to laugh because we could set our watches by it.  After a few days I felt it was about time for us to go, so we said our good-byes.  I always felt that I must move on before I am reminded.  While Mik attempted to score us some “Paint” for the road, we decided while wandering about Piccalilli Circus we’d purchase a water pipe, as a gesture of thanks for their hospitality.  I had fun exploring London.  It turned out to be an advantage to be staying on its outskirts, pointing us in directions and showing us places and people we would have neglected, if we had only hovered around the tourist interests.  As we were leaving, I forgot and had to run back and snap a picture of the three of them smiling back from their doorway.

It is obvious to me that Jim was not going to successfully carry all that he had brought.  While viewing his dilemma I too decided to cut my weight down to make some room to carry food and the occasional bottle of wine.  I separated what I was willing to carry from what would be packed up and send home.  Jim was lagging a bit behind and began surveying the items I was discarding.  “Don’t send this home, I’ll carry it.  This is better than the one I brought, I’ll carry that too.” I explained in no uncertain terms, that if he wanted to pack this stuff, it was his responsibility and if an when he decided he didn’t want to carry it anymore, it was also be his responsibility to pack it up and send it home.  I repeated it three times to ensure I got my point across.  So we packed up the stuff we didn’t want to carry and sent it through the post.  This exercise took more time than we had planned and we ended up missing our train earmarked to exit London.  I decided that I’d sleep in the station and take an early train out.  This decision turned out to ruffle Jim’s feathers and he eventually escalated it into a big deal.  Jim’s comfort level could not tolerate the advances of a young Irishman.  I’m not sure if his passes were sexual, probably seeing if he could get Jim out of his comfort zone.  He succeeded at doing this and Jim didn’t care where we went, as long as we got the hell out of that station.  I accommodated his wishes, after failing to ignore his whining.  We walked up and down streets for hours, until we stumbled across a fenced soccer field.  At least this was accommodating to Jim.  At that point I could have slept anywhere, preferably back at the train station.  We, well I, slept under the goal posts and based on Jim’s comments when I woke, he didn’t sleep a wink.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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