Sunday, October 26, 2008

From a Palace to the Pits

So devastatingly, I had to change hostels today. I just needed to go to a cheaper one for a while, at least for a week or so to save some money. The tube trip was not as bad as my first wild adventure from Heathrow, tho the Tube itself was a pain in the butt.

I had to take the circle line to King's Cross, then switch to the Northern line, then switch again since it branches off in two different directions. Basically--less stairs, didn't fall down, had a number of very nice (and very teasing 'what do you have in here, a body??') gentleman help me with my bags up and stairs, and didn't pass out. I did yell 'Fuck!' in one of the stations when I dropped the bag with my computer in it. No harm, but still felt...less then ladylike. Finally, I got on the last Tube I needed to take.

My last hostel was heaven. It was light and airy, I was making friends, there were plenty of bathrooms, and there was always tea on. Plus, the location couldn't be beat: On Hyde Park, 10 minutes walk to the tube, museums everywhere. And no curfew. Then I London Backpackers. Overall, could be worst, especially for 7pounds a night. However, compared to Astor Hyde Park, its the pits. It is almost 40 minutes outside of downtown London (I had previously been 10). The rooms...They made me change because they put me in the wrong one, I had to make my own bed (not a huge deal, but the other place did it for you), and I went from a high ceiling private bath with floor to ceiling windows opening out onto a 18 beds, a bathroom with only 3 showers a floor above me, and a tiny window that the guy who went to bed at 7 has been complaining about all night. Oh, and did I mention the beds were triple bunked? Thats right-not one, not two, but THREE beds high!! I feel like a sardine. I am in a middle bunk--Thought about trying for a top, but honestly, I'd probably get tangled in the sheet and fall out. Also, the hallways are painted with all these cartoons and stuff, but they are painted on cement walls...its like kiddy prison. There is a kitchen, and free wi-fi, but no all you can eat toast-Nutella and tea breakfast, no comfy lounge to curl up in to be online, and as for the smell...gym socks come to mind. OH, and 10pm curfew. 5 pound deposit for a special key to get you back in. PAIN in the BUTT!

Today wasn't a total wash tho. There are three girls staying in my room from Georgia who are all doing the Bunac program in Scotland and are here for a long weekend. I went back into town after dropping all my crap off to go find Nicole at the ISH house. I got there, after a 45 minute trek in, and called her room with no answer. However, who should appear around the corner, but JAC!! (Canadian friend I met at Bunac--awesome girl--clicked like crazy) She saw me and was as happy as I was! Apparently, she and Hollie never got my message and thought I dropped off the face of the earth. Thank god I'm the only Emica on facebook, or they never would have found me ;-) She had just finished messaging me. I got around the reception desk, and got my first hug since I've been here. If you know me, you know what that means. If you don't, meet me and you will.

We went to her room and caught up on activities. She has a friend who is in Italy right now and is thinking of going to stay with her for a bit. I invited her to live with me and Nicole, (and anyone else who wants to) but she said she'd think about it-she's looking for jobs with live-in housing, which isn't a bad idea if I go that route. We decided go get dinner, as neither of us had eaten all day, and Jac had heard about this all you can eat place down the street. We went back to the lobby, and ran into Nicole!! She is very cute and as bubbly as I imagined. I did blanch a bit when I was talking to her and helping with Bunac stuff, and she said 'Aww, you're just like my mom!'. Chya, thats not happening on this trip. We made plans to meet at Bunac tomorrow to talk apartments and such, and Jac and I went to dinner. We talked for over 2 hours, and the food was great--it was all you can eat fresh vegetarian Thai food for 5 pounds (not at ALL like American Asian food--no grease). We walked back to the Tube, and also made plans to meet at Bunac tomorrow.

I miss Hyde Park and all the great people. But another Bunac girl is checking in there tomorrow, so I'm sure I'll be back ;-) Hell, if we can't find a place, I may look into long term stays there. And now that people are getting here, I feel better. Jac and I are already making all kinds of plans (she's going to come to Amsterdam with me and the home boys next summer)--I don't think I've clicked this fast with anyone since freshman year (yes, Meghan, I'm looking at you ;-)) So other then the (temporary) crappy accommodations, things are picking up.

Thank you to those who sent me emails with updates--I love hearing from home!!



Anonymous said...

AHHHHHH!!! I wish I had money to come see youuu!!!!

And I want to do this. lol the whole 'living in London, on your own' type deal. :D

Love you, Em!!

Anonymous said...


I am going to enjoy reading about your travels. Your blog is so colorful. You are a very brave girl.
Pam R