Our flight from Belgium to Lisbon was delayed so yet again we arrived in a new country late at night. We hauled ass through the airport to the metro and justbarely caught the very last train out of the station and the very last connection to our stop. We surfaced in the historic center of Lisbon at 1:00am with no idea where we were or what it would be like.
Our initial impression wasn’t pleasant. The first thing we saw was a homeless woman defecating on the sidewalk. (Public urination in London, now public defecation in Lisbon. I’m noticing a trend…) Continue reading “Whoa Lisboa “
Getting settled in London was more involved than anticipated. Our flight landed at Heathrow in the evening but we’d made arrangements with our Airbnb host to pick up the keys from a bar near the flat. We stayed in Hackney, a neighborhood on the west side of town that our rowmate on the plane described as “edgy.” Being the master navigator that he is, Mark knew exactly what tube (British for subway) to take, where to transfer, and all that. Unfortunately, they were doing work on the line we needed so we had to deviate off course. No problem. We got to the station closest to where we needed to be and hoofed it from there. It’s 11pm on a Saturday and the neighborhood is bumpin’. There were people everywhere – drinking and peeing all over the place. The streets are littered with trash and the walls with graffiti. Maybe “edgy” is a British euphemism for rough around the edges mixed with public urination.
We eventually find the bar and introduce ourselves to the bartender. He removes an envelope from beneath the register, slides it across the table, and gives us a nod. It felt very James Bond. We proceeded to walk another 6 miles (a slight exaggeration) to the correct street but, of course, can’t find the flat. I’d failed to get the flat number from the host. I must interject here that despite being lost, hungry, and tired, also known as the trifecta for causing a couple fight, we managed to keep our cool with each other and soldier on. Go us! Continue reading “Arrival hiccups in London “