4 May

The first photo of my trip on my “real” camera and not my phone is of  glasses of champagne, which is definitely suiting. This whole trip was a celebration. Though I’d be working many days while there, I was also going to be seeing some of my best friends in the world, visiting places I had always wanted to see, and watching one of my favorite people ever get married to an awesome man. Champagne was definitely called for.

It started with champagne.

It started with champagne.

London was my first stop. While there, I was staying across town from my friends, as I was in a hotel near my office. This left it up to me to figure out how to navigate mass transit. Living in Manhattan for more than a decade, this wasn’t something I was worried about. Look, they had friendly signs that said “Subway” and clearly marked the stairs to show me where to go.

"Go here, stupid American." Or, don't...

“Go here, stupid American.” Or, don’t…

“But wait,” I thought, “don’t they call their transit system the tube, or the underground, or something properly Britishy?” I dismissed my thoughts and figured they must cater to tourists and call it the subway in some signs. Sure, that made sense. And I proceeded to walk down approximately one million stairs, where I was faced with a tunnel about a block long. I walked through said tunnel, where I was confronted with one million stairs going up. Okay then, London, I’ll do you. I marched up the stairs confidently and found myself back outside. Confused and blinking like a mole in the not-even-that-sunny London sun, I looked around to get my bearings. This looked familiar.

Hm. This looks familiar.

Hm. This looks familiar.

I’m extremely ashamed to admit what happened next. I actually went BACK down the stairs, through the tunnel, UP the other stairs, came back outside again, turned around blinking and confused in the unsunny sun, again, and only then did I finally realize that in London, “subway” meant “underground passageway you walk through under the street so you don’t have to worry about getting hit by cars while crossing the street.” I think it is also British slang for “Americans are morons.” I then acted like I didn’t just cross the street underground twice and walk up and down two flights of stairs four times and swallowed my tourist pride and asked the next person walking by where the tube was, and I was on my way.

The London Underground. A cooler logo and name than NYC’s “subway.”

The London Underground. A cooler logo and name than NYC’s “subway.”

With the help of some abiding locals and my hotel-provided map, I’m happy to say that I did, eventually, find my way to a train, and ultimately, dinner with my friends.

Thank you, tube, for taking me to my friends and food. And more champagne.

Thank you, tube, for taking me to my friends and food. And more champagne.



One Response to “Underground”

  1. Peter May 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    In 1983 I crossed a VERY busy road near Hyde Park and very nearly got killed. There was “subway” right there but I figured that had to mean a train. Never would it have occurred to me that it meant “underpass.”

    Pretty sure they Tube station you’re looking for is past those stairs, make a left on Minories and hang a right by Societe Generale.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: