Saturday, 21 September 2013

Stansted (or: Stand and Deliver)

This is not a Bus
There are no buses in London.   Sifting through the maze of words coming out of a British English speaking person, one’s ear desperately scanning for intelligible words will not find that particular word.  Because the word it should be scanning for is Coach.  For 9 pounds, I take a coach from Victoria Station to Stansted airport.  Of the coach journey I can say only what the below pictures taken from the coach show, because after taking the last picture I fell asleep to wake up just before the coach started its return journey (everyone had left already and the coach driver had to re-open some gate to let me out).
In London lies a knight that a Pope interred ...

Big indeed

A picture of thrills to come
 I entered the airport terminal building to look for facilities and to buy an orange-carrot juice and then started looking for a taxi cab.  But at this airport there are no taxi cabs waiting outside.  That is because the dispatching office is inside the terminal building and this is where one has to order a cab, which then will materialize outside.  When I ordered my cab and told them where I would like to go, one of the dispatchers said “Oh, the TapHall B&B! I wonder whether she will be open at this hour!  Ah well, if she is not there, you can just go to the pub” I am in a village.  And consequently the cab driver knows exactly on which side of the building the office will be located.  For the 2.7 mile journey, the cab driver takes 10 pounds. As predicted, the B&B mistress is still out-of-office (Village wisdom ;-). So I sit in a nice smoking area in the back of the building, type a first draft of this account, and instead of laying back to fall asleep again in one of the comfy wicker chairs, I actually go to the pub. Some village views:

It's as crooked as it looks

It is a Very Nice pub. Not dingy & dark like some Canadian ‘British’ pubs ;-)  The wine is great.
But I am exposed to my first taste of British food.   A chicken “Caesar Salad” without any trace of garlic but with tomatoes, cucumbers & mint.

By the time the B&B mistress opens the door for me just after 4pm I don't know anymore whether it's the tiredness or the wine that threatens to bring me to the pavement any moment now.  After chatting for a bit with the mistress who has relatives in Coquitlam, Surrey, and Crescent Beach (those of Canada), I crash onto a bed.  But at 7:15 pm I have showered off the airplane grime and am on a heroic 1 Mile march though the darkening English countryside to find a telephone booth 'at the traffic lights' and 'the village store' that closes at 8 pm.  A previous post recounts the success of the phone booth search, but the lovely couple in the village store exists, although after hearing all the 'dear's and pleasantries exchanged with the coostomers, I start wondering whether I am caught in a British Reality Simulation; the whole thing just sounds toooo Coronation Street!

Back to the B&B, eat more, read a bit, fall asleep, and all the walking around in bright sunshine pays off:  I sleep until 5:20 am the next morning, a new conquer-jet-lag record ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment