Monday, 1 March 2010

Dateline London March 2010

Where else to launch these Peter Pan chronicles but from the historical origins of that mythological (from what I know) character and legend known as Peter Pan. Similar to Peter's flight from his window into Never Land, I arrived in London today March 1st alighting from a long 12+ hour flight across much of Asia. It has been two years since I was last here and much of what was there before persisted. Peter Pan would have been pleased not to have been waylaid in a strange land that might be more familiar to Captain Cook.

For a while I thought that Terminal 3 was completely refurbished until I got into the labyrinth leading to the Heathrow Express -- Peter's children would have been scared going through the dungeon-like passages quite like the 17th century's. It was absolutely cold-- 2 degrees Centigrade -- but was happily sunny after a spate of rain and gray (according to locals). Lucky indeed despite! Unremarkable train and taxi rides into one of central London's old hotels, emphasis in the 'old'.

On arrival, I requested for an early check-in which the reception guys tarried over a decision. The published check-in time is 2pm. After some wrangling and an agreement to supplement my daily rate of 200 British pounds with another 35 for checking in early morning, I got my wish and went straight to bed for a quick nap. Quick indeed for an hour and a half. It dawned on me that London may be the most expensive city in Europe.

The afternoon's sun couldn't be wasted and so I hied off to Camden town which looked as old as it were. Pleased that nothing's changed, I proceeded to Oxford Circus for a bit of shopping confirming my thoughts about the expensiveness of the place. Even Zara's and Gap's prices looked prohibitive in British pounds. Boots (the pharmacist cum supermarket) stood at the same place I knew of it on Oxford street. This is where I purchased my dinner (salad, fruit, crisps, water) and an umbrella for which I got chastised by one lovely store agent who told me that the weather is fine without any rain in the horizon.

With that, I set forth with my return to the hotel. Peter Pan must have been one great fit legend to have been able to navigate the arduous stairs and paths in those tube stations. The underground trains are still the same - 'old' -- leading me to draw the conclusion that London is really an 'old' city.

It is evening and I wonder if I could get to sleep as usual. It has been at least 4 months since I suffered from jet lag. Wonder. Wonder.

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