June 26, 2005

Luggage problems, theathre and sleeping at the airport

Monday 13th of June

Was woken up by Adam who was off to the States in a few hours and wanted to have the Full English Breakfast before that. Suvi was too tired to get up and stayed in bed. Adam decided to carry me on his shoulders in a gentleman-kind manner and we got people on the street staring at us and saying how strong he is. Had a great English breakfast and then Adam flew off to LA and I went to wake Suvi up.

We put our stuff together and we had a brilliant plan on leaving our luggage in the coach station storage lockers so we woudnt have to drag it late at night. The London underground station design was a real pain(no escalators again!) and we were wandering around the streets of London desperately trying to find the the coach station. Logically, the station was located far far away from the tube station with the same name and there were no signs to direct us. Also people were either tourists or knew no directions, or in the worst case both of these. However, they were very eager to advise us on directions, and eventually directed us to a completely wrong direction!

Having finally found the coach station we went to the luggage storage service and found out they would close at 11 pm. This again didnt fit our plans at all because we were going to go to theathre later on and the show would not finish until 11.

And it gets better: apparently all the luggage storage places in London would close by midnight which meant that we would not be able to leave them anywhere! We were already worried we'd have to take them all the way back to Bounds Green and then to the centre again but luckily Selina came up with an idea to leave the stuff at a hostel. After a a few phone calls we were ready to head to a hostel "near" the station. We could also store our stuff for free which of course was great.

We were running really late because we had the theathre show at 8 and I had to buy a pair of shoes as the ones I wore on Saturday night were such foot-killers. We managed to find some shoes – the first high heels I tried on, 30 pounds and wouldn't have bought them had it not been for the extreme rush. Again we went to Camden town to get same sun shades for Suvi and have a quick lunch/dinner/whichever-meal-but-we-were-starving. Found some gorgeous Thai food for just 2 pounds a portion which was great.

Then rushed to Mark's house again. We had about 30 mins to take a shower and pack our stuff and regardless of the fact that we knew we are extremely short of time we managed to be too slow. On the top of everything else Selina called me and said we would have to be at the theathre at 7.25 rather than 7.50 which meant that we were even more late. And conveniently the line cut off just when I asked which tube station we need to go to so we had no idea whatsoever where we were trying to go. At 7.15 we finally left the house, carrying 2 massive bags each and our hair soaking wet. It must have been a hilarious scene to have us run with all this stuff, me in my 3-inch heels, trying to look posh but miserably failing in this attempt.

As soon as we got on the train, 3 horrible Turkish-looking guys, spotted us and got a bit too friendly.(Believe or not, I have nothing against Turks, just against sleezy guys in general! Good friend of mine is from Turkey.) We were extremely stressed anyway and the last thing we wanted was these horrible men staring at us and trying to touch our legs! We told them to stop and when it didn't work we changed the car. But they kept following us all the time and stood behind me in the escalators(Oh dear! Indeed they did have some escalators in London underground!) and tried to touch me up too. I swore at them and said I'm gonna call a police but nothing worked, it was well scary and I felt many times more uncomfortable than on Saturday night when we almost had our purses stolen.

We also discovered that we were on the wrong station. We had asked a lady on the train for directions, and once again we had been advised to go to a wrong place! I could not call Selina from the underground as there is no network coverage. Now Selina explained that we'd have to collect our tickets at the box office before 8 or otherwise we will only let be in after the interval. The time was 7.58 and we had to catch the tube again to go to Covent Garden. Having no idea where we were trying to go, we asked every other person for directions and everyone gave different one. Conclusion – is you ever travel in London, get yourself a decent map and never ask anyone for directions.

We just made it to the theathre! Looking dreadful and sweaty, we sat down to watch the show which was well worth all the effort and stress. We saw "Woman in Black" in the Fortune Theathre and the production was well-made, and really creepy. This was the first time I have been scared in a theathre show. Unless you count the times when the show has been so rubbish, that I've been scared I fall asleep while watching it. Honestly, this one was really good!

The show finished a bit early and we decided to go for a drink. Around midnight me and Suvi left to go to the airport.

Got changed, picked up the luggage at the hostel and then went back to Victoria coach station. By the time we got on the bus, I was so knackered that I just passed out and didnt wake up until the driver yelled "Stansted!" and we had to get off the bus. We had to spend the night at the airport and I slept surprisingly comfortably on the floor. This was probably due to the tiredness which had built up since the farewell bbq but however I only woke up hours later when Suvi was shaking me and speaking Finnish with a mad Estonian accent. Apparently her ferry trip from Tallinn to Helsinki had been cancelled and judging by Suvi's behaviour, she was not impressed with the Estonian customer service. Eventually she found another ferry and is now happily back in Helsinki.

I went to catch my flight to Salzburg looking forward to new adventures in Austria

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