SNAFU #1,2,3, etc.


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September 1st 2011
Published: September 1st 2011
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First of all, I am graduated with a BA in Psychology. Second of all, I'm in London, and it's not raining!

My character-building adventures started quite soon after my plane took off on Monday evening (August 30). During my layover in Ireland, for example, I met a man who, like me, had planned to travel to London without a return ticket in a no-commitment travel style; unfortunately, London Customs promptly kicked him out because they thought his lack of return ticket meant that he was coming to work! Of course I was alarmed and set out to amass as much proof as I could about my travel-only intentions. Eventually I just purchased a return ticket (for December 31st), but not before I had discovered another problem.

Um, my credit cards do not have PIN numbers, so I can't withdraw cash from ATMs. Problem: I need a phone to contact my bank, but I need money to use a phone. Thank God I discovered this predicament in Iceland instead of at the London airport, which was infinitely more chaotic and where I was infinitely more tired; in Iceland, I managed to keep my head to find someone who could help me. In the end, I was able to withdraw money at the airport bank. Did they have to convert USD to ISK to GBP for me? Yes they did. So, in reality, my return-ticket SNAFU was really a blessing in disguise, because now I have cash. Whew.

Once I finally arrived in London, I successfully navigated the tube (all by myself!) to the youth hostel. For someone who is used to hotels and B&Bs, such as myself, the hostel is intimidating. There was raucous laughter from the lounge, but there were also many people who didn't talk at all. It's very awkward to avoid eye contact with everyone in one's bedroom. After I got used to it, it wasn't so bad. Well, there was the one time I turned around and found a room mate with his pants off (I did the fastest 180 you've ever seen) and the time I was showering and accidentally yanked the curtain open on myself (a poor girl is now scarred for life). Otherwise it's good. We get free breakfast and WiFi. I slept like a rock. I have a locker for my bag. Life is good.

My first tourist attraction of the trip was to the National Gallery, on Trafalgar Square. Of course I enjoyed a much anticipated 1-hour art tour. Yay!

Wish me luck! And please pray for me--hard.

-Anna

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13th September 2011

yes I'm praying
and when i\'m done praying i\'m gonna go buy a ticket and go find you if we don\'t hear from you soon

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