I think I went to a different London than the rest of you
November 3, 2014
‘ELLO GUV NUH!
That was NEVER spoken ONCE in the “London” that I just came back from.
First thing first, hello! How are you? Good? I hope so. Sexy? I bet. Regular bowel movements? FINGERS CROSSED!!! I LUV YA!
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO LONDON-TOWN!
London? You’ve heard of it, right?! RIGHT?! It’s London!
It’s where all the Doctor Who’s takes place and where the Beatles were birthed and they have bad teeth and accents that make artsy girls finger themselves to death? LONDON!
Well, have you been there?
Because I was just there for a week and I’ve never heard any of you talk about the London that I experienced.
Was your London… A FUCKING HUMID RAIN FOREST OF HEAT!!!!
Apparently, Danielle and I didn’t get the memo sound out by Londoners that their city for the last week of October would be FUCKING HOT AS FUCK. Seriously, it was mid-to-high 70’s and humid and fucking sunny on HALLOWEEN in London. HALLOWEEN!!!! It’s the last day of OCTOBER!!!
Dreary, cool breezes, light rain, cloudy… that’s the London you’ve all heard of.
Not 90% humidity!!!! WHAT THE BLOODY HELL, LONDON!?!?!? BE A CHAP AND TURN THE FUCKING HEAT OFF!!! I’M BOILING ALIVE IN THESE JEANS!!!
Danielle and I go to London with suitcases full of Fall clothes — I BROUGHT A SCARF! A FUCKING SCARF! — and were met with this balmy tropical heatwave in London and I spent a week walking around a city wearing jeans with sweaty calves. MY CALVES WERE A HOLOCAUST OF SWEAT!
But I digress…
Did the London you visit have English people in it? Seems like a simple question, but think about it. Were there English people in London when you went?
Why do I ask?
BECAUSE NO ONE IS ENGLISH IN LONDON!!!
That’s a bit of an overstatement, but there are few and far between English working in any service industry job in London. Everyone at both hotels, people on the phones, people at the restaurants… people doing just about anything were not English.
Being American and being an American who only speaks English, one would think that London wouldn’t have felt like that foreign of a city because everyone is supposed to be speaking English, but the first few days in London felt like I was literally anywhere else besides a predominantly English speaking town because everyone was not English and they all spoke in accents from other countries and they barely understand what I was saying when I was speaking fucking English. WHERE WERE ALL THE ENGLISH IN ENGLAND?!?!? Probably vacationing in Spain or something.
I KID, I KID!!!!
I ENJOYED LONDON!!! I DID!!!
I do want to throw something out there before I give you an overview of what I did in London…
NEVER STAY IN A HILTON HOTEL IN THE UK!!!! EVER!!! NEVER!!! EVER!!! EVER!!! UNLESS YOU HATE YOURSELF!!! ONLY STAY IN A HILTON HOTEL IN THE COUNTRY OF ENGLAND IF YOU HATE YOURSELF!!! YOU SHOULDN’T HATE YOURSELF!!! UNLESS YOU’RE LIKE A CHILD MOLESTER AND THEN IT IS TOTALLY COOL IF YOU HATE YOURSELF!!! ONLY CHILD MOLESTERS SHOULD STAY IN HILTON HOTELS IN ENGLAND!!! THAT’S REALLY A LIFE RULE TO FOLLOW!!! ARE YOU A CHILD MOLESTER?!?!?! NO? THEN DON’T STAY IN A HILTON HOTEL IN ENGLAND!!!
Yeah, I’ve stayed in three Hilton Hotels in the country of England and I’ve come to the conclusion that they are only fit for child molesters or someone as terrible as a child molester.
We don’t even have to make changes to the Hilton Hotels in England to turn them into prisons for child molesters. Just arrest and convict a child molester, put them in a current Hilton Hotel in England, and never let them leave the building and they’ll get the idea that their fate is worse than a typical prison.
Honestly, the Hilton I just stayed in was so perfectly suited for a child molester or simply terrible person to the point that you could have even let them leave the hotel and they would still feel like they were in prison because the closest “tube” stop was over a mile away. A MILE!
Have you ever wanted to go do something? Imagine you have a desire to do something and then imagine what that desire feels like after you walk a mile through a hot and humid city. Not the same desire, right? That’s what Danielle and I had to deal with the first couple days in London before we switched hotels to a much much much much much much better hotel that was suited for human beings and not for child molesters… like the Hilton Hotel is.
Let’s talk the good stuff!
It’s pretty great. It doesn’t really seem like a subway as much as a Disney monorail that you ride through the city.
It seemed expensive, but I think there might have been cheaper ways to go about purchasing tickets than I did. I’m not sure. Either way…
The tube is pretty clean and runs very frequently. That is about all you really need for a good subway. The second part is interesting to the point that you can actually not get on a subway that comes through if it is too crowded and catch the next one. THAT’S MENTAL. That is not something you would do in New York or anywhere I guess. I’ve never been to Japan, but they pack people into those subway cars like sardines. In New York, if you miss a subway – you’ve got a window of maybe the next one comes in a few minutes or an hour and who knows at most of the stops. And with so many fucking people in NYC, there’s absolutely ZERO guarantee that the next subway car will not be any less packed.
At first, I was pretty mystified by the subway map of London, but after using it like twice I think I had a decent grasp of it. It’s no more complicated than the NYC subway, just different. Instead of memorizing letters and numbers… you’ve got the cutesy PICCADILLY line or JUBILEE line that you quickly remember because England is a fucking cutesy wootsy place in comparison to any major American city.
That’s the thing really – the cutesy factor.
LONDON HAS A CUTESY FACTOR.
Walking around London, there were a lot of parts of it that reminded me of Philadelphia. It’s a city with a lot of history, a lot of cobble stone streets, it’s a hard city, kind of a dirty city, it’s not a pretty city, but it’s a city rich with character. But there’s one thing that Philly doesn’t have… cutesy.
Philly is the anti-cutesy.
It’s really a culture difference between US and UK, but there is a bit of a playfulness about England or London. Maybe they don’t see it as much as I do as an outsider. London seemed like a gruff tattooed biker at first until you heard it childish giggle laugh. It’s really just a big softie on the inside waiting to be hugged, but it’s got that tough exterior trying to make sure you don’t take advantage of it.
Anyway, I did like the tube.
FISH & CHIPS!!!
Not that I haven’t had fish & chips before or anything like that… I’ve eaten plenty of it. But I did get a recommendation for a place in Covent Garden called ROCK and SOUL PLAICE that was excellent. They had options for the fish in the fish & chips, which I don’t think I was ever afforded that anywhere else I’ve had it. I got the lemon sole and loved it. Danielle went traditional with cod and hers was quite good as well.
That was another thing… Philly has cheesesteaks… London has fish & chips.
You could walk into a bar anywhere in either city and get their version of that meal and I bet in both cities it is as hotly debated which of these bars it has the best of that dish.
I don’t like the term pub. Honestly, I don’t like the term “chips” for french fries either. As for “pub”, I don’t know. I like “bar” better. That’s what you’re looking for when you go into one of those places… the bar. And you go to the bar to order a drink at the bar, so it’s a bar.
Either way, right now in my head if I could open a bar it would be called Pitty’s Pub and the walls would be covered in pictures of pitbulls and there would be dog related named drinks.
I went to a few pubs in London and I drank Guinness almost every time.
I love Guinness. I love it in the US. I love Guinness.
I didn’t know for awhile that Guinness in Ireland and the UK was supposed to be different than Guinness in the US. I mean I heard that years ago at this point, but when I was like 19 or so and drinking Guinness and loving it, I didn’t know it was a different product than the stuff across the pond. As the years went on, I heard people say there was this BIG difference between the two Guinnesses and I was really interested to taste what the difference was.
A couple of years ago, I went over to Scotland and to northern England for the first time and I had Guinness a couple of times and, honestly, didn’t notice a difference. Also, I didn’t really think about it either, but I didn’t notice any big difference.
This time, I wanted to keep my eyes and taste buds keen on any difference.
WHAT’S THE BIG DIFFERENCE?
Uhhhhhhh… it’s less bitter and more creamy? I don’t know. About the only thing I really notice is different taps. And that may be the key to there being a difference.
In the US, a Guinness tap is usually just with the rest of the taps at the bar. Nothing special.
In the UK, a Guinness tap is separate and has this “EXTRA COLD” label on it and if the bar is doing it right then the Guinness is quite cold. I think that extra coolness may make the drink more creamy because it is frostier. In the US, it can certainly be cold, but not like this. It’s almost like chill served like a jaeger machine can chill serve jaeger instead of just serving cold jaeger out of a bottle. Also, jaeger is terrible.
I did go to a place in London called THE TOUCAN which was known for serving the best Guinness in town and I’ll tell you what… they’re not wrong. It was certainly fresh tasting and clean tasting and it had that chill treatment. So, it was a nice glass of Guinness.
UK or USA, I love Guinness, so I’m happy drinking it anywhere.
Also, at the Toucan, our bartender was electrocuted and I made friends with a crazy drunk Englishman who later told me and Danielle to our faces that if I didn’t watch out for my “misses” aka Danielle then someone else would… he would. Yep. Me and him were best friends. About 10 minutes after he said that, Danielle and I saw him get bodyslammed onto the city street by a different Englishman who didn’t take too kindly to the guy’s drunken jokes.
Danielle and I love Indian food.
We’re pretty fucking spoiled that there is a great Indian restaurant in Morristown like a mile from us, so we get Indian food all the time. Actually, we used to live across the street from the place, which was pretty dangerous for our bellies.
London has a lot of Indians and we ate Indian two of the nights we were there.
The first place was a tiny little local spot, which we were 1 of 2 couples in the place. The other couple had their dinner date crash & burn as the guy for whatever reason decided to field a 20 minute work call in the middle of dinner. Let’s just say that is an ill-advised thing to do on a date. I don’t think she said a single word to the guy for the rest of the meal.
Our food was quite good. Danielle got a tikka masala dish that was made with almond and coconut milk and it was really great.
The second place we went to was much much much busier. I do like spicy food, but I’m not out there to prove anything. Nevertheless, I got some crazy spicy chicken vindaloo at this place and thank God my taste buds had been dulled from two pints of Guinness and a Cobra (Indian beer) because that shit was SPICY.
Danielle and I saw “Once” on Friday night in London and it was solid.
It was pretty much what the movie was plus a ton of cheesy dialogue. I hadn’t seen Once since the movie came out way back when, but it was still good a second time around. The music is great and I used to listen to that album a bunch and I thought this cast did a good job with it.
A little fun fact – at the intermission of a play in London, EVERYONE EATS ICE CREAM. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure you need a reason why, but it was cutesy as can be.
THE SEX CLINIC
WHAT A FUCKING GREAT TV SHOW!!!!
The last/first time I was in England, Danielle and I fell in love with a dating show called TAKE ME OUT. We’re such fans to the point that when we got back to the US we started downloading episodes of the show and we’ve seen every episode to this day as we keep up with the show. I know the US did a version of the show, but it just does not translate. 99% of the fun of the show is how absurd these UK people are who are on the show. It’s fucking a hysterical show.
This time, we found The Sex Clinic.
On Channel 4, they started a no-frills documentary show about a sex clinic in London and it is beyond entertaining. We saw one episode of the four I think they’ve shown so far and I’m definitely going to try and track down the other episodes online.
It was a very bare bones peak into real people walking into a sex clinic to talk about the dirty sex they were having and the dirty drugs they were doing AND IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
I mean there was a guy in his early to mid 20’s who came into the clinic because something was wrong with his dick. He admitted to having unprotected anal sex… with dudes, as well as sharing coke straws because the past few months had gotten a little wild for him. They explained to him – he might have AIDS. From either the anal sex or the coke straws, which he didn’t know he could get AIDS from sharing coke straws because he’s an idiot and didn’t think about how often people get nose bleeds while doing coke and that they’re not sterilizing the fucking straw after they get their AIDS blood on it.
They did a full litany of STD checks on the dude including swabbing his asshole… ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.
I mean how many TV shows do you know where a dude might get AIDS in front of your eyes? That’s pretty nuts.
Also, it’s simply nuts to hear people talk openly about having unprotected anal sex with a stranger and sharing coke straws and that he might have AIDS and not to see the person getting crucified for it. Because if this show ran for ONE SECOND in the US, that gay kid would’ve been crucified for any of that stuff.
Anyway, he didn’t have AIDS.
We found out he didn’t have AIDS as he found out he didn’t have AIDS as he drank a fucking SMOOTHIE at a cafe and he talked to the clinic on his cellphone.
Turned out he had gonorrhea, which explains his dick problems.
THE FUCKING FUNNIEST PART was the guy put off going to the sex clinic for a couple weeks out of embarrassment and so forth and just thought that his dick hurt because he ate something weird.
I SHIT YOU NOT!!! HE THOUGHT HIS DICK HURT BECAUSE HE ATE SOMETHING WEIRD!!! WHAT THE FUCK COULD HE HAVE ATE THAT WOULD MAKE HIS DICK HURT?!?!?! BETTER QUESTION- DOES HE EAT FOOD WITH HIS DICK?!?!?! BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY WAY THE FOOD WOULD HURT HIS DICK WAS IF HE WAS TRYING TO EAT THE FOOD WITH HIS DICK!!!!!!
Besides that guy…
There was this short couple that looked kind of trashy and they talked openly about their sex life to the point that I know and all of England knows and now you know that they use vibrators and dildos when they have sex. He likes to double penetrate her with a vibrator and a dildo. And he does it so much that sometimes she doesn’t know which of the objects probing her holes is his penis or a vibrator and/or dildo. And that makes him giggle!
Also, she gets a UTI every time he goes down on her. YEP! THAT WAS SAID ON TV!
Do you know what else? WE SAW THAT UTI RIDDLED VAGINA!!! Yep. They got her up on the table, legs in stirrups, speculum ratcheted out about [——————————] yay big and we just saw right into her vagina hole. Yep, there was nudity on this show and it was graphic and thoroughly unsexy.
Also, this couple lived on a shitty houseboat in London and we found out that he lost like 100 pounds since he started dating her, so he lost 100 pounds fucking her with vibrators. UNBELIEVABLE.
The moral to this story is no one should ever step foot on that houseboat or in a Hilton Hotel in England.