Friday, October 20, 2006


DAY 23
1800 Hours – Fri 20 Oct

OK. So everything worked out in Ireland. I got my passport and I actually made it to the plane on time. That is because I took a taxi. After today, no more busses, ever. Busses are for freaks or locals or both. You have to be a glutton for punishment to want to attempt to transport yourself by bus. It is way too confusing and it is basically hopeless. If I am on the Amazing Race and they say that I can only travel by bus, I will quit because it is just impossible and basically not fun. The busses are clean and all and nobody messes with you, it is just boring and a waste of time. Pay 5 times as much and call a cab so you can just be done with it. After all, you are probably on vacation so time is limited. Why waste 1 hour on a bus when you can pay a few dollars more and be there in 20 minutes? You just made yourself an extra 40 minutes of vacation.

Today my concierge told me to go to the bus stop 100 meters away and ask the driver for a ticket to “City Center”. I am in Southampton so I would assume that City Center means the center of fucking Southampton! Nope, the bus driver said OK and then dropped me off 45 minutes later in the “City Center” of Winchester which is 2 train stations north of where I need to be and I was going south to Wool to see Monkeyworld. So I had to pay more for my train ticket and it took way too long. Apparently I needed to be on the east side of the road rather than the west. Had I been on the east, I would have gone to Southampton city center. Thanks for the heads up Mr. Concierge! Anyway, what a friggin joke.

So I still have not made my mind up entirely about trains. I am actually starting to get it. You have to have a map first of all, that helps a lot. And you have to ask people. Ask anyone. So far, I have pestered more than 1.3M civilians to ask them what I am supposed to do. All of them have been helpful. I expected these guys to be all snotty and not want to help, but EVERY person I have met in the UK and Ireland has been extremely nice and willing to help. A problem on the trains is that not all of them announce the next stop. So if you are not sure where you are going or where you need to change, you will be screwed. I just find some guy or gal going to the end of the line and ask them because they know all the stops. Also, if you sit in First class you have an attendant that knows the stuff pretty well. Sometimes I will get off the train and ask the dude that control the platform to make sure then I will hop back on.

Anyway, the trains are not toooo bad, but I am still reserving judgment for later. My train today was about 4 hours round trip and cost me about 40 bucks for first class. The key is buying early and traveling during off-peak times. If you book a week out for a strange hour trip, it isn’t that bad.

So anyway, I went to Monkeyworld finally! I was so happy to go there. I have been wanting to visit the place for so long. I have to say that I was a tad disappointed. After watching Monkey Business for so long I guess I had an unrealistic expectation of the center. I am not upset with it, I just thought I would be able to see more monkeys. They had tons of them, but they were hard to see. Also many of them were holed up in their shelters and sleeping. They should keep them awake during visiting hours or something. They can sleep when the park is closed, but they need to frolic and play when it is open

Anyway, after that I had to kill 45 minutes before the train back to Southampton. SO I hit a pub. Bad mistake. The dudes in this pub were freaks about darts. They were also very upset to hear a “yank” commenting on the match. I just keep to myself and try to speak as little as possible so as not to draw unwanted attention. It seems that almost anytime they figure out that you are an American they want to talk politics and they want you to defend any action that any American has ever made or mill make. Anyway, these dudes were all about watching and playing darts. It was like a dart museum in there more than a pub. Anyway, I chugged my pint and went to the train station.

Now I am back at the Hilton. I am not impressed with this Hilton BTW. You know I love Paris Hilton so I will say this; this Hilton is more like a Christina Ricci Hilton. Not bad, but not that great either. Not recommended. Stay at the Novotel. It is closer to city center and it, well that is enough.



Blogger Mike said...

So did you get the Sony DSLR?

Whatever, the pics look good.

BTW, I've always liked trains. St Louis built a rail transit and one day I bought a pass just to ride it around.

But none of those double decker death traps for me. I suspect riding with a London cabbie would quite the experience. At least the blokes speak English.

Let us know when you're back.


Monday, October 23, 2006 at 8:37:00 AM GMT+3  

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