The stumbling American

Josh has some pretty bad flight anxiety, but I think he’s starting to realize that it’s really not that bad to get over it naturally. On the flight to Chicago, he took very little Xanax and wasn’t as much of the usual annoyance that he can be when he’s loaded up on pills.

Josh -- the tourist.

We got into O’Hare early in the morning and had quite a layover (roughly 4 hours) so we had a nice meal and got ourselves properly drunk to board. We were on a American Boeing 777 which really is quite a nice plane. We did have the torture of sitting just behind business class. Watching them eat delicious microwave filet mignon and eat with real silverware…ah well, it could be worse.

I can’t sleep on planes, ever…and even the international flights when I know I should, my sleep is often interrupted by any sound at all…especially the sound of Josh kicking my leg and then pretending that I had just woke up instead, to let him out into the isle to go the bathroom.

We landed at Heathrow in fog…which is quite incredible. It was completely ill visible outside, but I noticed on our flight path video screen that we were just a few hundred feet of the ground…kind of freaky to be honest, but then touchdown and all is well. Now off to Heathrow’s incredibly slow customs line for a little harassment from the border officer who dug through my travel documents for the week. I guess he didn’t like my brevity when it came to my Europlans…ah well. Josh held up like a champ this time. Since he wasn’t medicated, he wasn’t saying incredibly stupid things.

Hopped directly on the tube from Heathrow using our Oyster cards. What a nice thing these are. If you ever travel to London I highly suggest that you get yourself a pre-paid card before you leave. They’ll ship it to you ahead of time. The only funny part is the card you get sort of identifies you as a traveler. You simply place it against the gate and it opens, and you check out when you leave…then the card is debited the appropriate amount of fare. American credit cards don’t have chip and pin, and as I learned last time it means that most machines won’t take them. So you have to sort out a travel card with some dodgy customer service counter which may or may not be open on weekends.

After switching to the Jubilee line we headed on the overground to West Wickham…Josh is sleeping the entire way on the trains. I took a picture of him, obviously about to be pickpocketted. Good job I had my eye on him. Josh is learning lessons I’ve learned in trips past, with his huge luggage and his inattention to details. It will be fun to pass these lessons learned both in practice and in theory. It’s like having a protégé tagging along.

Josh sleeps on the train...

I decided that it would be best to catch a nap for a few hours, head to the pub, get drunk, have some nice dinner and pass out. It was supposed to be the perfect cure, with a combination of homeopathic jetlag pills a quite lovely girl gave me before we left…and, it worked! I was right as rain this morning which is the time I’m writing this entry.

Josh, on the other hand, was pissed up last night.

Josh gets put to bed.

What I don’t think he realizes is that they don’t make their beer here as poorly as we do in America. It’s for real. He had a few pints came back to Dave’s and promptly passed out on the toilet. We woke him up and sent him to bed and he laid there like a zombie for about 8 hours…but now, he’s right as rain and good to go for a night in London, or so I hope. While Josh slept, we ate like kings. Dave had prepared a nice roast with homemade onion gravy, Yorkshire pudding, veggies and horseradish sauce. It was absolutely fantastic! Dave is quite the cook…which is good for Jim because he gets the pleasure of living with him!

A fairly boring night in reflection…but no mater…we’ll make up for it in the days to come. This is just the important process of getting over jet lag and preparing the body to do some hellacious amounts of drinking!



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