Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Accidents

Green Compass Macro
Originally uploaded by Red Canoe Cacher.

I'm really glad that I arrived in London during summer. Understatement of the century.

The fact that I have ZERO sense of direction means I am constantly getting lost. Doing so hardly seems so bad, when the weather is so nice and it's light until 10pm. But I'm starting to make such an alarming habit of wandering in entirely the wrong directions that I'm starting to worry myself. Maybe my office's suggestion of fitting me with a radio transmitter wasn't such a dumb idea after all?

Fortunately I have the Tube sussed out. I may not be on the most favourable of tube lines for my ultimate destination, but at least I know how to navigate the underground system so I know how to get myself to where I need to be. It's when I emerge ABOVEGROUND that things get ugly.

I got caught up in peak hour crowds at Waterloo Station this morning and ended up being forced out of an unfamiliar exit, facing a carpark I'd never seen before. Where was my bus stop?! Rather than make it easy on myself and go back how I came in, I thought I'd be smart and avoid the crowds by walking AROUND the perimeter of the station. In the wrong direction. Naturally. So I ended up in a complete foreign area, and ultimately came to my senses and went back inside the station until I got my bearings and found the exit I needed.

Not a good start to the day, I feel. But if I thought that effort was ordinary, tonight was an even bigger balls up. Dare I say I may even have outdone myself?

I stood at a bus stop by my office, fully intending to shop at Oxford Circus (why I do this to myself will forever remain a mystery). According to MY reading of the route, I could take about 4 buses that came along. I felt cool, up with it, ready to ride a double decker bus towards public transportation system mastery.

Unfortunately it appears that you can take any bus that comes along EXCEPT the bus I ultimately caught. Figures. If you're interested, the bus I actually caught takes you on a lovely ride through Piccadilly Circus, down towards Wellington's Arch and then almost to the doorstep of Harrod's.

I was so disheartened at this point I decided to get off and wander through Harrod's. Can I just say that browsing the 60% off racks in the women's wear section, when everything on there is STILL over 200 pounds a garment, is no way to cheer up!!??

Things were going from bad to worse, so I rode the Egyptian Escalator up and down a few times - just because I thought it was pretty - and somehow emerged in the Harrod's Food Hall.

Talk about a silver lining!

Faced with so much choice, and a loudly growling belly, I prowled the aisles until I settled on some takeaway Indian food. The lovely man behind the counter gave it to me at 50% off, even though he hadn't put the discount signs on it. I was so happy I nearly cried.

And can you believe it - getting home was absolutely no problem at all! It's as if my bed and me share a weird, umbilical relationship or something. And summer won't last forever, so I really have to get better at this navigation stuff, or I'll be riding buses into Wales in no time!


glamah16 said...

You know I think I took that bus. And Harrods food hall is amazing. I believe you are getting lost on purpose. Have you been to Fortnum and Mason yet?

Gab In The City said...

Not inside the store, but I've eaten some of their produce before. The plum puddings are particularly delish (thanks for sharing those, Kate!).

I couldn't do this badly on purpose, Courts - surely!

kilabyte said...

Awwwww Gabs ..... OK all you followers, time for a group hug with the Gabster and maybe we can induce a transmogrification such that her internal GPS is reset.

Other than that I'm glad to see that your getting around. If your next blog is from the highlands of Scotland we'll understand ... it's that bollocky buggery bus again.

Ever thought of getting a job with Tourism London - you know all the walking trails by now (heeheehee - I've got a million of 'em).