How do I get lost so easily?
Last where we left off, I was packing for London, and I was terribly scared of getting lost. I fully succeeded in accomplishing the feat of getting lost and while I have a hilarious anecdote to tell you related to that, let’s just backtrack to the beginning of this entire adventure.
My flight was Sunday evening at 6:30, and my lovely parents and I drove up to SeaTac around 2:30. Airport lines are long, crowded, miserable creatures and the only thing that makes them better is the Starbucks and Wolfgang Puck that are located conveniently after the airport security lines, probably as relievers of the PTSD that arises during the airport lines.
After the dreadfully long airport lines, I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my study abroad mates on my flight and seated next to me. I watched four movies, drank too much water, and dozed a bit during the 10 hour flight to London. I flew into London, met up with my flat mate, and we headed to our homestay, where we promptly went to sleep at 4 pm.
I just would like to clarify to anyone travelling abroad that if you arrive in the country during the day, force your body to adjust to the time change by staying up until 10 or 11 or whenever you go to bed normally. Otherwise you won’t adjust properly and find yourself up at 2 am.
After we slumbered, my flatmate and I decided to brave the Tube (subway) and figure out where our classes would be and then do some exploring. For the first half of the day my flat mate and I were a mess. The Tube itself is not a complex system (in fact, it’s the simplest transportation system you will ever encounter) but as we were new, we had no idea what we were doing.
Fun fact about London: Everyone rushes about their business and doesn’t really interact with each other on public transporation. The Tube is silent. Those cute stories you hear about people meeting the love of their lives on the subway or bus? That does not happen in England.
However that may be, people are extremely helpful and will literally stop you in the street and ask if you need help finding your way if you look lost.
So we took advantagde of that fact time and time again. We visited University of Westminster, Victorian Tower, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, and some of the governmental district. We just tallied around and looked like tourists and took a lot of photos. It was fantastically clear and the mood was right.
Here’s where it gets to the funny story.
Apparently. London is split up into separate areas. You have East London, West London, North London, South London. Within each area is an address. If I live at 1234 Hucklberry Road East London, there will always be a 1234 Huckleberry Road in West London, North London, and South London.
After our adventures in the central part of the city, my flat mate and I decided to head back home. We Google Mapped the address, hopped on the Tube and headed to our house. I took out my key and tried to turn it, but it didn’t work. Flabbergasted, I said to her, “Let’s just go to the backyard, and pop our way in through the back door.” More sensible than I, my flat mate suggested knocking first, to which we did.
Instead of our homestay owners opening the door, this small little Frenchmen opened the door and glared at us. I immediately was confused, but could see in my mind getting arrested in the distant future for trying to break into this man’s house. This obviously was not our homestay. I backed away slowly, and my flat mate and I stared at each other confused on the street.
“Did you type in the full address?” she asked me. “Zipcode and everything?”
I shook my head, thinking it didn’t make a difference, there could only be one location for our address. Apparently not. I typed the full thing into Google Maps, and stared dumbfounded at our real house an hour away via tube and bus. We were in the wrong part of London.
It took about 2 hours to get back to our house, due to walking the wrong way from the tube station. Once we got in, we met our homestay mom and told her what happened, to which she laughed good naturedly (we were late for dinner), and said, “I’ve hosted students for 13 years and not once has that ever happened.”
OH GOOD, GLAD TO KNOW WE WERE THE FIRST.
Moral of the story? Make things an adventure and laugh about them afterward.
Also, put the entire address into Google Maps, whenever you’re in a foreign country.
Cheers for now,