Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Trip - Day 40: London, England

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

I checked into my flight fine except for one strange thing: I forgot to fully check my backpack before I checked in my bag and went through security, so when I put my backpack through x-ray it was flagged and checked out.  The woman who searched my back found a bread-knife that I had been using for peanut butter etc, a small pair of scissors, and a sharp knife (see picture).  She took the first two items but then opened up my actual knife, looked at it, and put it back in my bag.  The French sure are strange.

I flew into London-Stansted airport and got in the evening.  I was going to stay with Zarina in my time in London and I figured I’d take the metro (as I’d assume to be the easiest solution) to her apartment but then found out it was going to be 4 pounds just for one metro ride!! That’s 6 dollars.  In all my travels around Europe I don’t think I’d ever seen a metro cost more than 2 euros (usually it’s closer to 1).  So I took the bus instead. I dropped my stuff off at Zarina’s and then went out and met up with Miraya Berke (another friend in London for a summer-program).  Zarina had a final on Friday so she couldn’t go out.  We went to an American bar, which was a lot of fun.  Even though England technically speaks English… I still have such a hard time understanding strong British accents and it really is refreshing to hear American-English (which, and yes I know I’m biased on this subject, I swear is easier to understand).  The bar scene was fun and I got to meet a bunch of other Berkeley kids through the program Miraya was on. 

Summer Trip - Day 39: Marseille, France

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today Andy and I got driven to Toulon.  Andy only has a few days left of his trip here so his plan was to go to Copenhagen straight from Toulon while I continued to Marseille to try to find my Eurail pass.  It turned out that the trains he needed to take were all full so his plans didn’t work out and he ended up going to Italy instead.  I went to Marseille without buying an actual ticket for the train.  I was hoping that they just wouldn’t check… the conductor(s) checked most of the tickets around me and passed me a few times but for some reason never asked for my ticket (I just pretended to look busy on my computer).  Either way, I think I could have pulled off the: “looking for my Eurail pass and freaking out when I didn’t find it” enough so that I wouldn’t have to actually pay for a ticket.  When I got to Marseille I went to the lost and found, with no luck.  I then went to the Police there to try and fill out a police-report for the loss (in hopes to get reimbursed some from Eurail).  The police were the most unhelpful and when I finally got to talk to someone who spoke basic English, she just said that lost items weren’t the police’s problem and sent me on my way.  At this point I gave up the remote chance that I’d find my Eurail pass again and took a bus to airport (Marseille is a Ryanair hub).  

I bought a flight to London, which was more expensive than I wanted to pay but I have a friend in London to stay with so I figured that’s where I’ll make up the money.  I spent the night in the airport, sleeping maybe 2 hours

Summer Trip - Day 38: Bormes-les-Mimosas, France

Sunday, July 18, 2010

End of the best week of my life: Start of one of the worst ones.

So by now you’ll have realized that our plan to leave after one or two days clearly failed (albeit it was well worth it) and today Andy and I were planning on going to Denmark today on our way out.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find my Eurail pass anywhere.  I looked through my entire bag/stuff about 3 different times.  The only thing I could possibly think of is that I forgot it at the last train station we went to (because that’s the last time I’m sure I had it…) but it still shocks me that I would have done such a thing.  I’m still not 100% sure I left it and that it could possibly be somewhere at the Mcganty’s house (although I have no idea where).  Either way, that clearly ruined our plans.  The Eurail pass has been something I’ve always been so afraid of losing and is clearly the most valuable thing I own (other than the pictures I’ve taken on this trip).  At least I lost it toward the latter part of my trip instead of the beginning.  It put a real damper on my travels though and will probably prohibit me from going to a bunch of places I wanted to.  Fuck me! I don’t usually lose things like this and I’m really pissed that this is the 2nd time this trip I’ve lost something important.  Was the first time in my 6.5 months of travel that I wish I were home and just didn’t have to “deal”.  Anyway, we agreed to stay in France one more day and go to the Marseille train station the next day to see if it could possibly have turned up in the lost and found (doubtful).

That evening we went down to the port for a birthday dinner for Greg, and as part of losing a bet, Dan (the dad) had to stick his head into his bowl of spaghetti bolognese.