Friday, September 29, 2006

Scotland Bound

DAY 0
1230 Hours – Wed 27 Sep

Well, I am officially out of Iraq now. I am sitting aboard a choo choo from Oxford to Edinburgh. A series of unfortunate events has led me to be in the first class cabin. See, I had resolved to go on the cheap, but these events have made that impossible right now.

Chapter 1: It was a holy nightmare to line up everything I needed to do before I left. I was running around like crazy trying to find some body armor and a helmet for the flight. I don’t have my own and when I leave I normally fly civilian which doesn’t require any or I borrow and bring it back with me. Well I had to find someone that could give me some old used stuff that they didn’t need back. I finally did but it was a pain.

Chapter 2: I arrived at the LZ for the air-bridge at 0920. The bird finally showed up at about 1045 and got us to BIAP about 3 minutes later. Good thing because the C-130 was getting ready to leave without us. We made it though. Then the plane landed about 15 minutes later, it turns out that we had to stop at another base. So we sit there a while and the we take off and about 45 minutes later we land at yet another base and wait some more. Then we land at another airport. It turns out to be the right airport for me. So a few minutes after we deplane that one, we are all whisked on yet another C130 and sent to Qatar. We sit another 7 hours there on metal chairs with no AC and then we fly to the UK. I finally landed at 0900BST which was exactly about 26 hours since I started traveling.

Chapter 3: We end up waiting and waiting for a ride from Brize-Norton to Oxford (nearest place to catch a train). Well I get to the station at 1119 and now I have to figure out how exactly to get to Scotland. So I sorted it out and made it to the platform at 1133, the train arrived at 1134 and departed at 1135. Whew! (Another reason I would win Amazing Race hands down). Hopefully this makes sense because I haven’t slept in a long time. Well I get on the train, which cost me 79 pounds BTW, and it is standing room only. But I say hey no problem, it’s only six hours and I have agreed to go on the cheap so I will just suck it up. After about 3 rotations of the wheels I decide to upgrade. So now I have my lappy plugged in, a beer in my hand, no screaming kids and my only concern is that this really old lady up ahead of me is going to hack a lung out. I will let you know if the 50 pound upgrade was worth it in a minute, I have to walk back there and get another beer. I think that all the seats are gone and you don’t get a discount for standing.

So here is what I am thinking. They should add open air seating on the roof of the trains. They would have to modify a few bridges and whatnot but that isn’t hard. Anyway, they should rope off a perimeter on the roof of each cab and offer standing room only open air prices at a 50% discount, 75% if it is raining. It would totally work. Screw a few poles in for them to hang onto and presto! Plus the trains aren’t that fast so they would definitely survive. Get the cheapest cheapskates on the roof and out of my hair. The best part is you don’t even have to make them; they are naturally cheap so they will gravitate there anyway.

Ok so I was talking to a pom buddy of mine yesterday and he became the 3rd pom to say that Brits have lost a lot of their patriotism. I wouldn’t have thought so but 3 different ones have told me the same thing. What do you think? Next pom question. Are they aloof, hard to approach, conceited even? I used to think so. What do you think?

Oh 1 tragedy already. I forgot to stock up on Copenhagen before I left. Guess what? They don’t sell it in England. What a joke. So I will have my sis priority FedEx me some.

Oh I just found out that I could have waited an hour to catch the next train and would have made it in at the same time as me anyway. *Mental note for Amazing Race. I could have used that time to divert other teams to worse trains* **Better yet, I could get them to follow me onto trains going the opposite direction and then jump off at the last second and watch them sail away in the wrong direction**

END PART 1

DAY 0
1319 Hours – Wed 27 Sep

Ok, that was just way too freaky. We pulled into a train stop and sat there for like 15 minutes. When we started to leave they were going backwards, back the way we came. So I was freaking out. Was I supposed to change trains or what? Turns out that this train makes 3 direction changes on the trip and you don’t have to swap trains. Who ever heard of that? So I had to change my seat so I am looking forward again and the lady with the deadly virus changed too, apparently she like riding racing backwards. What a freak.

Oh yeah, from now on, I am flying. Screw this crap. They are lucky I can speak their language or I wouldn’t even bother with all this nonsense. Maybe one day I will understand their language. Maybe they will start speaking English for a change. HAHAHA!

END OF PART 2

Cheers,
Walt

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