I provided the little fractions of my memory to here. I write about the memory about the city.


It should be nice to start over, about the first day of the trip.

August/6th
When I get off from the airplane, at airport Heathrow. With lack of sleep and the tiredness from the long hour flight, I just wanted to go as fast as possible to settle down. Maybe take a breathe or lay down or anything not fixed in one seat.

Now i cannot remember what the airport looks like or what gates I passed through. The part of memory disappeared after I left the airport. I followed the sign and crowd and entered the underground station. It was about ten to six or something maybe. People who have Oystercard passed through the gates directly. Others, like the first time to London (me), standing in front of the automatic machine and queued up to buy tickets.

I bought a single ride ticket which was like 4 pounds or more, because I couldn't find the section of purchasing Oystercard. When I was just about to enter the gate, I saw the light of the ticket counter was on and that must be open again. Maybe it's over 7 a.m. so the staff started to work. I decided to try my luck to see if they are willing to change the ticket for me. I mean, to be willing to do so and to do so, there was great difference. Usually if the staff was racist or unfriendly or something happened to them on their way to work, they are quite nasty and quickly say no to any requests than just selling the simple tickets. That was what I learn from the big cities.

The staff in the counter looked very impatient. When I said, "I bought the ticket wrong which is a single ride ticket. I am thinking if possible that you could help me to change to ticket into a Oystercard?" He seemed more impatient and looked at me. Did my accent confuse the English? He replied with something. I didn't get that. "What? Excused me?" He said that again, gaining his impatient tone. "How much do you want to top up?"

Top up? what? I guessed he was saying something about money. Then I said ten dollars. Another american style of wording. He didn't say anything more but showed the amount that I needed to pay. I had no clue if he would trick me but i know it happens sometimes. At the time, I was so tired so i just gave him what he asked for. He gave me the oyster card and I thanked him and left. There was a long queue after me, about 8 or 10 groups. Now I could see why he was impatient right after the first person, me.



I passed the gate with my brand new london olympics edition oyster card. A woman stopped me while i was about to enter the train. "If I want to go to here (pointed at one station which i don't even know where it is, but apparently somewhere in the city center), is it the right train to go there?" That was so hilarious. She looked very European to me but she was asking the direction to an asian in London. What parts of me make me look like I know the place. I simply relied, "I don't know, but I am sure that, if you want to go to the city center, you have to take this train or to take the bus outside the station." She nodded but not convinced, but I showed a "take it or leave it" look, so she dragged her suitcase and went up the train.


The airport has quite a distance from the city center and took us about 40 mins or more to get to the center. She told me where she was before arriving London. I only remember that she said, "I haven't been sleeping for 30 hours". Then after our small chat, she fell into sleep while we were reaching to the center. I was quite worried about this stranger. Eventually she woke up one station before she left. She said to me good luck and disappeared in the crowd. I checked again. Yes, I didn't lose anything, the wallet was here in my pocket, and backpack was closed, and the suitcase was there too. Oh, wish her luck, this neglectful traveler who dared to fall asleep in the public transportation.

I continued to the trip and transfer to the north direction underground. The air in the carriage was stuffy and I didn't feel very comfortable. Then I followed the direction that Loren gave it to me before the trip. I found the place effortlessly and rang the bell. He came down and we shake hands. He was much taller than I thought. On the picture, I thought he was shorter, as the same height as mine. In reality, he is much taller than I am and with less British accent, which was very helpful for this transition moment. I haven't fixed my listening skills towards British accent. Having him was quite a blessing for my whole trip. He gave me a nice but warm start while I wasn't ready (i think so, everything about this trip was very spontaneous).

He welcomed me and showed me the place. The bed will be at the living room but there was only him at the moment while his brother was on the vacation to somewhere. It was a cozy house and very near to the underground station.I remembered that I just passed through a small bridge which there is a canal underneath. It was lovely and the weather seemed to be very nice. Sunny day.

 He said, "Sorry I am in this shape. I had too much last night. A few friends and I had a party in Hyde Park for celebrating Olympics, so I just got few hours of sleep and later I have to go to work. How was your flight? I remember that you said this is your first stop?" We chatted a bit because he asked me if I have a plan for today. I said I don't. I don't know where to visit because I don't make plans (don't have time) before the trip. He suggested few things but I didn't get it. Then he asked me if I were hungry. I didn't want to eat anything because my internal clock and the stomach was quite messed up where interfered by the flight meals.

I said, "maybe not something too large, I could eat some. Any suggestion?" "Mn, maybe I know a place but i haven't been there. There's something cool about the place. It is a restaurant during the daytime, then during the night that there is a secret pathway to enter the inner bar which you cannot find it unless someone leads you." I was surprised. "A secret bar, sounds interesting. But are we going for a drink right now? I don't think i could take it right now...." He said to me, "No, i know the place which offers meals too. I heard it's pretty good but i haven't tried it. Are you okay with that?"

Later we went out. He carried his fold-able bicycle and we took the tube. He also asked for a map from the staff and showed me where to go. We arrived somewhere at the east northern side of london and found the place. He was telling me that he met his girlfriend via CS  and she is American taiwanese. Then we talked about the superstition if people buy that in current society. I told him about the red envelope on the street. Then we arrived the resto, called "Breakfast Club". He showed me where the secret door is, a refrigerator! Then I had a terrible salty breakfast as the beginning of my food trip. Gosh, the Spanish bagel was not tasty at all. Salami with strong salty sauces. He ordered regular pancakes that he got what he expected. I wanted to tried something new but eventually fell into a trap. The first meal was so doomed.

After the meal, he suggested to play the vintage SEGA game console, "SONIC". We played it for a while and it was quite interesting to do so as my first restaurant experience in London. Very hipster restaurant with great deco, wooden table and yellow lights. Large windows to get natural light, vintage furniture and warehouse refurnished space. I knew that it was a good start, except for the meal itself, ough! Then he went off for work and I started my own very first adventure in London.

ADVENTUROUS!