Nine hours in London

by Andrew Stein

The trip starts with a stressful layover in Newark, NJ that included waiting for a 3-hour delayed flight, a thunder storm, circling above our destination, landing at the wrong airport in Hartford CT, and then finally getting lucky because my connecting flight in Newark was delayed enough to allow my first flight time to take off again and get there.  After the redeye to London Heathrow, even though it is delayed by several hours, I am excited to exit the airport for some fresh drizzly air, some non-airport food, and a little touring around with my good friend Nabihah.

It is almost too convenient to take the Tube into London, where I first get off at South Kensington to meet Nabihah for lunch at a pub where I consume some local cuisine of fish and chips, a beer, and a coffee.  Following “lunch” (the quotations are there because my body is a little confused what meal I should be eating at the moment, but the clock shows a late lunch), we walk around and find some delectable cookies to take with us on the Tube to our next destination, Big Ben.  We walk all around Big Ben and proceed towards Buckingham Palace, because no trip to England is complete without seeing at least one soldier with a black fuzzy hat.  Finally, before we part this great afternoon together, in true English style, we stop at a fancy afternoon tea spot and enjoy some hot tea and scones (scones is pronounced with a soft “o” in London).

london1-500

london2-500

Although only in town for a couple short hours, Nabihah showed me around her hometown of London all the while pointing out spots from her childhood memories.  I am now ready for my second redeye in less than 24 hours as I head onwards to Ethiopia to visit my great college friend, Harya.