CHAPTER ONE: TWO DAYS WITHOUT SLEEP

I-93, 1:30pm. Wednesday.

As the wizard said to the adventurer in the middle of the night: it is time. Boston is in sight as I’m writing this entry on my tiny little netbook (thank you, Dad), and my family and I are sitting in a traffic jam on the way. Don’t know why I should be writing about traveling when many more people have gone to much more interesting places than England, but then again, I have never taken a trip like this before. And my family wants to keep informed.

With luck I’ll have something interesting to say.

Interesting thing number one (for those of you interested in ultralight travel): I managed to pack everything in one bag (more or less), as I hoped, and even keep it under 22 pounds (if not ultralight, at least very very light, considering the amount of things I managed to pack, and under the 12 kg limit imposed by Air France at any rate). Still scared that they won’t take it on the plane, but that is likely paranoia caused by an entire summer spent listening almost exclusively to Radiohead. I’m willing to cooperate with anything, as long as I don’t have to check (lose) my bag.

Boston, 4:00pm

Again, for those interested, here is what I brought (including things I wore):

4 shirts

5 t-shirts

2 pairs trousers

cashmere sweater—lightweight and warm; perfect! Also, can’t beat five bucks at Goodwill.

Rain Jacket

7 (!) pairs socks

6 pairs underwear

necktie scarf, bandanna

belt

knit cap, mitten-gloves

cedar chips (for the sweater)

fleece sleeping bag

toiletries

car shammy disguised as an expensive innovative personal camping towel

umbrella

clothesline

medicines

stationery

identification and paperwork

cell phone, camera, netbook, mp3 player, flash drive

electronic odds and ends

All packed in my WUNH messenger bag and MEI Voyageur backpack. Pictures later, kiddies.

Boston, 4:18pm

Twentyseven minutes until boarding. I swear, I just saw an Indian version of Chris Liquori walk by.

Paris, 8:22am. Thursday.

Charles de Gaulle is a pretty airport, well-designed like the rest of this place. The food was quite excellent during the flight, which was a good change from the usual molded protein and mystery meat found in airlines. I would expect nothing less from the french. I am glad I flew Air France; it was a good flight and I even made a single-serving friend. I only wish I could have slept more—I ended up strolling up to the terminal at Charles de Gaulle and taking a very pleasant nap on one of these stylish recliners they put right in front of a big window facing the airfield. Airbus boards in an hour. Think I’ll watch a movie before my netbook dies. 

London, 7:16pm

I made it here, all in one piece. Jumped on the Tube just as the doors were closing; my backpack got caught in the doors and I had to squeeze my way in. It was pretty much like a movie. The Tube is a very smooth ride, and very clean and neat, especially compared to the Subway in New York or the T in Boston. I am extremely jet-lagged tonight, and almost totally surrounded by strangers—if not for the girl in the program who I happened to meet over the summer in a class I was taping, I would feel very isolated right now.

But I am in London. I must remind myself of that… in London, and about to spend three and a half months here. I just need to be more awake to enjoy it. I tried sitting on these excellent lawn chairs during a walk I took in the park to take it all in, but after about fifteen minutes I discovered that I had to pay the grumpy man in the yellow vest four quid or else get lost.

So I took in the Queen’s Gardens instead. Now I am running in zombie mode until going to not-really-required-but-strongly-encouraged trip to the pub at eight to meet the hall staff.

Can’t… keep…

eyes…

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2 responses to “CHAPTER ONE: TWO DAYS WITHOUT SLEEP

  1. gathererd around your blog. you will be able to budget baby. think maybe the street perfoming idea might work. by the way; one country at a time. you will be fine. ramien noodle soup in the microwave. drop an eqq in it. let us know how the orientation went. luv u . stay tuning us.
    mom

  2. Greetings Cullen,

    Where are the PHOTOS? Get those uploaded please. Enjoy your adventure and your classes.
    –anne

    Suggestion #1: Consider checking out Camden. Could be a fun day trip. Lots of colorful shops and people. I think it’s on the Northern/Black line.

    Suggestion #2: Another cool little spot is Hampstead…a little further NW from where you are…take the Northern line again. Everyman Cinema has cool movies, and the Holly Bush is a great pub. Hampstead Heath is up there too–it’s a huge urban park with other pubs around it.

    Suggestion #3: I imagine you like theatre, and just in case you don’t know, I think there is a cheap day of show/ticket selling kiosk in the center of London where you can get cheap tickets for first run shows.

    Suggestion #4: If you haven’t discovered it already: TimeOut London is a great weekly source for info and listings. And London A-Z is the best book/map you can get to the city.

    –barry

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