Sunday, October 31, 2010

Let's begin at the beginning...

I don't know how I want to talk about my trip, so I guess I'll just go day by day and start at the beginning.

In that case, today we'll talk about LONDONNN.

We were told in August that we would be stopping in London on our way to Africa and going to Kenya on the way home. This is pretty exciting until you just really, really, really want to get to where you're going without spending a million hours in other countries along the way. However, it was nice to break up the long plane rides with the ability to get some fresh air and exorcise.

So we stopped in London. I was getting so, so sick on the plane I was about passing out from severe stomach pain. We landed in London and I was so nauseous that I couldn't carry my backpack. I couldn't talk and I couldn't think straight. And we had to wait in line for like 30 minutes to get through customs and it was all I could do to keep the nasty air plane food down. I was also over heating and I even though I had goosebumps I felt like I was 150 degrees.

The first thing we did was hop on the Picadilly line subway.
I saved everythinggg and I'm going to make a bomb scrap book.....someday. haha

Anyway. It was pretty cold on the subway but I was still overheating. I was getting car sick and I felt like I was still on the airplane. I would randomly lose my balance and start to fall over. I was miserable because I needed some serious liquids, I was hungry, I was hot, I was dirty, and I was tired. Which is just a great combination for anyone who has to spend more than 30 seconds around me.

The subway took about 30 minutes to get us to Piccadilly Circus because it would stop every minute or so at a station. At one point this guy sat next to me and had his music up so loud our entire group could hear it. He made me really nervous because he was having some sketchy 5 second phone calls with people about where they were. Another guy got on the train and his forehead was covered in white paper. It looked like he had shaved his forehead and cut himself a hundred times and put little pieces of toilet paper all over to stop the bleeding. Someone said that it was rice and he just came from a wedding, but no one really knew for sure what was going on. It was just bizarre.

Our first stop in London was to this closet sized Lebanese restaurant for fish and chips. It was like 7 Euros for a single strip of fish and like 50 fries and a soda. That's like 14 USD. Which is completely overpriced. It wasn't really even that good, but whatever.

After lunch, which we all scarfed down because we were malnourished and dehydrated, we began our long trek around London. We walked through Piccadilly Circus which has some of the most amazing architecture I've ever seen. The buildings all pretty much look the same but they're so beautiful.

We walked from Piccadilly Circus through some very famous buildings and around some statues and through a gate-ish thing to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. We were on a mission so we could hear Ben chime on the hour, but we missed his first chime so we had to wait. Luckily it goes off about every 15 minutes so we didn't have too long to wait.
After Ben we walked around Westminster Abbey and St. Margret's and peeked inside. Westminster was closed but we could walk through the yard. St. Margret's also had bells going off but I'm pretty sure there was a wedding or funeral going on because the bells played for like 45 minutes.

We ran into a Bobby police man, or whatever they're called and two members of our group got a picture with him. He asked if we were from "the colonies," which in and of itself is hilarious. When we told him yes and where we were from he said, "Montana? Isn't that a providence?" Great. People from around the world think Montana is Canada.

We left the church square and walked for about 20 minutes to Buckingham Palace. There were soooooo many people at the Palace. We stood at the gates for probably 5 minutes watching the guards walk back and forth and then we left. It was pretty anticlimactic. The guards weren't dressed up in all their hoorah and they were behind the gate so we couldn't go take pictures with them or anything. Also, the Queen did not come out to say hello so I am pissed at her.

No one knew whether or not she actually lives there so I looked it up when I got home. Turns out it is her "weekday home" and also the "weekday home" or Prince somebody, (Philip maybe? Not Charles because I didn't recognize the name...) and Some Duke and Countess or something. Like 5 people live there plus all 500 of their workers. Crazy. We didn't get to tour it, either, but seriously. Next time.

After Buckingham we had to rush back to Piccadilly subway and get back on the train to take us back to the airport. We walked through the royal gardens and the sun was setting and casting the most beautiful light on the trees.

I started to feel better as long as I was walking around and being consumed by all the things around me. But once we slowed down and got ready to board the plane I got sick again. I went and got some hot tea from Star Bucks and didn't even take one sip because I was pretty sure I was going to throw it up. I was sweating and freezing and achy and so, so sick. I was so crabby because I am the last person who should ever get sick because I am rude and mean and I don't just not feel good. I go all out when I get sick. And of course it would be me who gets sick when I'm going to do something amazing.

I barely even made it onto the plane I was almost crying and screaming and all I wanted was my bed and cold water, which no one in the world besides America believes in, and the people in front of us boarding the plane of course had to be chatty Cathy's and took their sweet, sweet time. I'm pretty sure I didn't even make it to my seat before I was passed out in Evan's arms. I woke up when they were serving dinner probably 2 hours in.

And guess what the food options were? Salmon or lamb. Yeah, no thanks. So I didn't eat. I drank the tea they were serving and went back to sleep.

The guy next to me on the plane kept unzipping his pants and making the grossest noises and it was very awkward and creepy. I kept glaring at him and he would just keep doing it louder and more often. So that was fun. My plane neighbors got even more interesting, though, just you wait.

I started feeling better at the end of the flight but got sick again on the landing. I also got really bad head colds on the planes from the dry air. My nose is so dry now that my sinuses just ache. I didn't get over than in Ethiopia for almost a week and now that I'm home I have to deal with it again thanks to the planes home.

We were really lucky that our plane rides were split up into segments. We rode from Billings to Denver (1 hour), Denver to London (9 hours, surprisingly short), spent 10 hours in London, London to Kenya (9 hours) and Kenya to Ethiopia (1 hour). It was tiring and it was a lot of time sitting down. But it was a million times better than last time when we sat in the plane for over a day from DC to Rome to Ethiopia.

And that's about it for now. I'm almost finished uploading all 10000000 pictures to facebook. Which is taking 900 years. And I'm sooo tired. I'm going to need a nap and my body to adjust quickly. However, I have done all my laundry, which is amazing for me, and I'm super proud of myself for that. haha

Ohh, also, my downstairs neighb likes to smoke in his apartment so my house reeeeeeeeeeeeks like cigarettes. I tattles on him again. I did not need to come home to that. So on top of being already congested and dry I now can't stop sneezing thanks to that. Lovely.


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