The return train tickets for the ‘Stansted Express’ were bought on the plane and at 24 pounds sterling each, they cost a total of twenty pounds more than the bus tickets would have been. No surprise then that I was slightly peeved on getting to Stansted train station only to discover that there were no trains running, because of “engineering works”, and that we would have to get the bus. Ask for a refund? Don’t even think about it; a waste of time and no big deal really as the bus did the job, whizzing and buzzing down the motorway, past the building site that will become the scene of the 2012 Olympic Games, on into London and there we were down towards the Central Line, change at Tottenham Court Rd and trumpty, trump, Waterloo and onto our hotel. Or, so we thought!
No those “engineering works” again and, coupled with a signal being disrupted at Liverpool Street, it was enough to ensure that there would be no quick changing at Tottenham Court Road and no quick “trumpty, trump” to Waterloo. Still, these are small complaints and we did get there and there was then the afternoon in Camden Town, Covent Garden, xiājiǎo” at my favourite little restaurant in Chinatown, the “dolce” and the cappucino at the ‘Bar Italia’, couldn’t find any midget gems though and back to the hotel, a nice affair with a great view of the “big smoke”.
Yes, London, “Blighty”, unreliable, dirty, ragged around the edges, even tatty, invariably lets you down, but, cosmopolitan, loud, confident, creative, there are certainly bits of it worth indulging oneself in. Worth every bit of the hassle, well almost, ….. and I am sure the next couple of days will be well spent, fueling up and surrounded by news, no news is good news and the absurdity of three damsels on the tube, dressed up as if they were in downtown Mecca but speaking to each other not in Arabic but in broad London accents, is enough to remind me that this is, indeed, an absurd, mad, world. Yes, this evening, and probably tomorrow too, the crazy “crazies” crazy “war on terror”, the whining Zionist zealots turning the world upside down, the playing at politics indulged in by Clegg, Cameron and Brown, when the real decisions are, in fact, made elsewhere, will all take a back seat and their nonsense might even make some sense when viewed from “unreliable, dirty, ragged around the edges, even tatty, invariably lets you down, but, cosmopolitan, loud, confident, creative” London and not from a point of view influenced by the “ordnung” of a provincial little Bavarian town.