Vote Charlie!

Anger management in London

Posted at age 26.
Created . Edited .

Back in January, I booked a crazy trip around the world. It was originally going to be two separate trips, one to Germany to travel with Beam, my Thai friend I lived near in Japan, and another to visit William in Singapore. For a bit less than double the cost of those two itineraries, I discovered I could fly to more than a dozen countries using Indie. So here I am.

My first stop was originally going to be Lisbon, Portugal, followed by London. This would enable me to go through immigration another time (and get another passport stamp) before heading to Rome. My flights got rearranged a few times, though, and London became the start of the trip. This was just as well, since I could ease into the trip before tackling language barriers. It turned out I had even more trouble understanding “English” in London than I did in Australia, though.


My London host David served me breakfast in bed.

So in time before the trip, I started browsing the cities I’d be visiting using Jack’d’s “explore” feature. I chatted with a bunch of people, and finally found someone who said he could host me. His name is David, and he lives in student apartments with four girls, but he has his own room. We got to know each other a bit before I traveled to London, and then the day came. I found his neighborhood just fine, and dined at Subway while waiting for him to finish his stuff. Using Subway’s WiFi, I connected to Whatsapp and arranged to meet him in front of his apartment. Everything went smoothly.

I got settled, and then later on he took me to a cafe he likes so we could study. It turned out most places close at 9 or 10, and this one was open till 10, so we could barely get there in time. So much for studying for a few hours! But we did eat, and it was satisfying.


David at Flatplanet


My meal at Flatplanet

Walking back, I took a few photos. These might actually have been before dinner, for I am a little confused now. David also helped me find a mobile phone store to get a SIM card. It was pretty smooth.


Trash in London is apparently left out only in red plastic bags… makes me feel like I'm surrounded by a biohazard.


Near “Oxford Circus” … circus being what Londoners call the roundabout, because they really are a joke.


London buildings

For the next few days I mostly stayed home and worked, and David and I ate together one more time at a Mediterranean place.





Come Thursday or Friday, David left on a trip for spring break. The rest of his roommates left also over the next day or two, leaving me with the place to myself. I was surprised how trusting he was, but I wasn’t going to complain, either!

Now alone, with the weekend upon me, I wanted to make some more friends and explore. This didn’t exactly pan out, but I did get to know a Korean guy named HyeongSoon and spent Saturday night and last night over by him. I also went for a long run Saturday to take some photos.


London buildings


London buildings


All buildings apparently have names in London… the blocks had maps at the corners with every building labeled “X House”.


An example of how things seemed more protective in the UK, similar to Australia… construction scaffolding is all covered with foam. In the U.S., they just let irresponsible people injure themselves somehow on it…


It would probably freak out many Americans if half the neighborhood signs were in Arabic.



Finally, today, it was time to leave London. Last night I checked with David about the washing machine, since I wanted to do laundry before I left, but didn’t know what would be involved with drying. I remembered how my brother Tim lived in Spain for a year, and he said his washer didn’t really dry anything, so they hung everything. Well, David said the drier would finish in time if I started the wash this morning, so that’s what I did.

I got back to the apartment this morning and started the laundry. I worked as much as I could, packed up, and the started the drying cycle. It’s the same machine, and it seemed obvious how to get it to dry. Once it finished hours later, I found the clothes were still quite damp. I had to leave within the hour, so I became quite frustrated. I turned the drier back on, hoping it would get dry enough before I had to take off.

That’s when everything went down hill. I discovered the door lock would not release until the cycle was done. And there is no indication of how long the cycle takes. I frantically googled, and found many people trying to open the door midcycle, but no solutions that worked. I ended up exploding at David by text, and he correctly pointed out I didn’t set a knob to the correct graphic, as he warned me. Somehow I missed the text last night where told me this step. But man, the machine really ought to be labeled better! I couldn’t believe it. I felt very upset at David for not driving home the point about the drier, and mentioning how long the cycle takes. But it’s not fair for me to expect this of him. For all he knows, driers in America operate the same way. In my building anger, I told him I would have to bust open the machine, and that he should let me know how much the repairs cost. He got very upset at this notion, but I didn’t see what other choice I had. That was literally all my clothes I had with me on this five month trip aside from what I was wearing, and they were all trapped in the machine for an unspecified amount of time.




The horrible Indesit IWDC6105

The time to leave passed, so I decided to wait a bit longer and pay more for the fast train. Thankfully, the fricken machine finished just in time for me to get to the airport with an hour to spare. So it worked out, but unfortunately I had already nearly cut ties with David in the process. I’ll talk to him later after I cool down, for I feel really bad about leaving on this note. I’ve got to find a way to prevent these things…


This time I managed to get the slightly cheaper standard ticket for the Heathrow Express


Heathrow airport is organized such that you can't go to your gate until shortly before boarding, because they don't tell you which gate. So basically everyone had to chill after security in this lounge area.


I only got the soda and chips because of the deal sign saying it was 50 pence extra with a sandwich, but now I see it was about $5 extra. Lame.