First things first. After lengthy negotiations with the natives we decided upon pretty much nothing. So we ended up buying travel cards which would enable free-form London sightseeing. Not that we would’ve been hell-bent on that but anyways.

The fun stuff with our landlord’s middleman continued up till the very last minute. He asked if we’d like to get the deposit paid back as a cheque, and I – foolishly – said yes. This was the cheque he got to us on Saturday morning. What follows is a crash course in cheques for Finns: they’re bloody slow. The long version: as Monday was a bank holiday, the banks weren’t open until Tuesday. So into the nearest branch we went, only to be told that cheques take four days to clear. Four days! Now I realize I’ve been pampered by Internet banking and credit cards and all that bourgeois stuff, but by the fourth day we were already heading out of the UK.

Everyone who’s been to London knows that the public transportation system is both reasonably swift and chronically overcrowded. I mean I was using Sure but sure as hell didn’t feel it. Besides the mere thought of ugly, perspiring tourists is enough to drive any city-dweller insane.

So off to Camden we went. Here’s Camden in a nutshell: lotsa clothes, might’ve been good if I would’ve been in the mood for shopping, or indeed if we’d had any money. Which reminds me that even though they say that Finland is the third most expensive country in the EU in my opinion Britain felt more expensive. But they do have one free thing and that’s the museums. And if there’s one museum everyone in London wants, nay, needs to see, it’s the Natural history museum because they have dinosaurs.

Alas, the dino exhibition was closed that day. Luckily for me (and therefore for the managers as well) the sign said it would open on Wednesday, so instead we just went to the Science Museum, as it was nearby. Nice rockets they had and early cinema/photography stuff. Erm. Now.

By Tuesday all our travel arrangements were clear and the only thing missing were the tickets that would get us to the airport. I spent the evening and better part of the night as well yakking with Tom, our host, about this and that. Our little discussion cleared up some things that I had been in the dark about earlier and I sure wish I would’ve had more time to stay.

One more thing needs to be told. Our hosts were constantly bugging us about what we were going to do in London. I was quite reluctant to go pretty much anywhere, as I think is quite evident from the tone of my writing as well. My theory is that there’s absolutely no sense in trying to cover London or even the ”most important” sights in a couple of days or even in a couple of weeks. So I just rather settled for picking out a place or two to visit and spend all our available time on those targets. If we’d had more time, say a year or so, I could’ve well done the tourist hell tour and seen all the impressive buildings and such. As it were I was much more interested in the people.

Aiemmat versiot:

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