Monday, November 30, 2009

UK wrap up

I should have done this earlier...some of the details are getting hazy.



The remaining days in London we stayed at a friend of mines place in Parsons Green. One of the nights we headed South West to Putney Bridge. We hit a number of pubs of all shapes and sizes. Half way through, we stopped at a fish and chippy and the dude serving us thought our whole "fly to England to visit pubs" thing was hilarious (he thought it was so funny he threw me an extra piece of fish). And, what did I do ? I ate it...and what did that do ? Filled me up...so the pints were not flowing down. I had to switch (only for a night, so it was ok). I went to rum and coke. At the first place I ordered it, Todd brought me my drink...i tasted it...it was spiced rum...i asked " Bacardi" ? Nope....."Captain Morgan" ? Nope....what then ?



SAILOR JERRY....yes folks....Sailor Jerry. Sounded like Capt. Morgans slower step brother...and yes, it is a real beverage http://www.sailorjerry.com/ This had us laughing for the rest of the weekend.



Once we were done with the pubs and needed food, we went to find a fish and chippy, but at that time the places that were near were closed. We tried pizza, but it was closed as well. What was open ? Fried Chicken....nope good stuff either (even in our condition it was...meh). Funny enough, I was lazy enough to take a taxi to the chicken joint, but was adamant about walking home after we had the grub. We walked through a park heading south from Fullam Broadway. We were informed the next day for a nice lady in the pub that we were CRAZY for doing such a thing. Sensible people do not do such things late at night unless we were asking to get mugged. I'm thinking, we're big enough that people probably kept their distance from us thinking we were the bad boys. Don't worry, nothing happened to us and to be honest, I didn't see one person in the park (it was well lit)



The next day we decided to try and find one of Ramsays pubs, so a 2 second look at the phone when I had internet at the Duke and we were off. Too bad I forgot within 10 seconds what stop we were supposed to get off at. So we jumped on the train and took a wild guess. I thought it was quite far east so we just stayed on the train. It's interesting from a sociological perspective to see how things change the further you get east. We went as far as Upney and thought that was far enough. Yes...Upney (are those bullet holes in the sign?). We got off and wandered...and there was nothing near the station...it didn't take long until we turned around. We wasted about 3 hours traveling that day. Oh well, we saw some interesting sites. We ended up getting off at Whitechapel which is where we should have got off the first time around. We hit a few places and then ended up back in Parsons Green (MISSING THE SUNDAY ROASTS AGAIN !!! dammit).

Monday we headed out again looking for a couple specific pubs. One of them being the Gunmakers. I follow this one on their blog (the owner Jeff does a frequent blog and he's quite the beer lover). It took us a while to get there but we made it....TOO LATE FOR LUNCH dammit ! But I did meet Jeff and I tried the pints he recommended. Landlord and Purity. Both very nice.

Jeff also gave us directions to another pub...I'm not at all sure if we followed his directions right, but we ended up at a place called the The Hat & Tun. Here we tucked into a few pints and we met a group of interesting fella's. One guy was a Jeweler, another was a digital photo fixer (this guy worked for all the big names), 2 guys who owned an online travel company (one of these guys just had a baby a few hours previous and was de-runk), and a furniture guy (who may sell our stuff, who knows). We hung we these guys and then joined two of them off to a couple other pubs.

It was a good last night there.

The next day we woke up sluggishly and had to get on the road. We had to drive the car back to Crawley...this was entertaining. We made it back without incident and with time to spare. Got back to Gatwick with 4 hours to our flight, so enough time to hang and have some lunch.

Flying back....as said in previous post, Air Transat is like a cattle car. I was hoping to gawd that my row was full of either kids or Pygmies. It wasn't. It had a husband and wife....a rather LARGE husband and wife....I think they saw the look in my eye when I saw that was my row. I sat down and it wasn't too bad. Dude next to me leaned towards his wife and I leaned to the isle so, i thought, it wouldn't be too bad for the flight (thank gawd the inflight entertainment was working). 1o minutes into the flight the couple starts to get bitchy. The two sitting next to each other are not comfortable. The flag down a flight attendant and ask (which I rolled my eyes) if there was a row with empty seats. The flight attendant politely told them that the flight was sold out and there were no extra seats. The woman proceeded to bitch about the small seats and that her husband has a bad back (he was like 26 or something ??? Maybe it's not his back, maybe it's his MASSIVE gut lady), and that they wouldn't be able to eat properly (I laughed a bit when this was one of their concerns). The flight attendant did what would have...shrugged. I tried to be polite and lean over as much as possible...I did make a comment to them that "what did you expect from a charter cheap flight ?" and then they bitched more about flight delays and cancellations...again, what would you expect ??
Most of the flight was uneventful, until it was the ladies 3rd, 4th or was it her 8th trip to the bathroom. After was seemed like the millionth time, the dude clued in and moved to her seat against the window. She came back...I got up...and she sat down...but couldn't fit so she lifted the arm rests, sat and then brought them down...but not all the way. CAUSE HER ASS AND THIGHS WERE SPILLING INTO MY SEAT !!! and I mean REALLY SPILLING....I gave her a look like "how am I going to sit down?"...she rolls her eyes and then leaned on her husband. So I said "WTF" and sat my ass down, forcing my ass into the seat and pushing against her...she gave me the "hey you're being rude" look...i didn't care....if I was going be pressed against this woman for 4 hours, I was going to make it uncomfortable for her as well. So...I just threw my shoulders back and went to sleep. I could care less if I was snoring.
Look...I'm not insensitive...I'm a bit on the hefty side...BUT I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT when I fly charters. If you are Overweight and you can't fit between the arm rests, fly with a regular carrier (another good way to signal this is if you need the seat belt extenders). Suck it up. It will cost you more, but you'll be comfortable and you won't piss off the people next to you. OR, buy an extra seat so you can spill into it. OR...you'll just have to endure pissed off people and long uncomfortable flights. Maybe save the money from the trip and join a local boot camp.

Needless to say, I will think long and hard about flying with a charter next time (I won't be stingy with my points that's for sure).

It was a great trip. I don't think there will be another for quite some time (unless I get really really lucky).















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