Janet and I have arrived safely in London. After nearly 24 hours of snoozing, we have ventured out into Acton, which is like Vermont Ave, south of Sunset Blvd, but with English people and clouds.
Janet (typing away at a station beside me) and I are now in an Internet Cafe - which consists of 6 rows of computer terminals that you can use at the rate of £1/hour. There is a case with cold drinks that you can buy - which, I think, accounts for the "cafe" part of it.
We are confused, tired, cheerful, experiencing occasional waves of stomach-turning horror at what we've done, accompanied by equal waves of stomach-turning excitement. So we're right on track, as far as I can tell.
It's about 7pm local time and it's getting pretty dark out. We are staying in a tiny, but comfortable room at an establishment called "SafeTrap House" , or something along those lines, which looks like it might have been converted from an old Victorian School for Girls. Last night we ate chicken doner kebabs from a local kebab-ist, and cheese, bananas, and McVitie's digestive biscuits bought from a local grocery shop. Janet will meet with the liason from her job tomorrow. We hope to have a permanent dwelling-place-house in 10 days.
I have a headache, because I have had only 4 cups of coffee in the past 48 hours. It's a new abstinence record for me.
I am hit hard by the smell of England. It brings everything back in a flood of memory. "What is that smell? What constitutes this 'fragrance d'Angleterre'?" I wonder, as I tread the overcast streets and try to appear disgruntled so people won't recognize me as a foreigner.
Ah, yes. I know it, that smell.
It's a heady cocktail of cool air, and leaves, and stale cardigans, and diesel fuel. Especially the diesel fuel.
Walking over here to the Internet Cafe, my nose got cold. So I know I'm no longer in Los Angeles.
- Neal R.