We finally reach the United Kingdom! During this episode we catch up with Amanda’s old housemate Andrew, and he takes us down to his local pub as well as his local Tesco – Britain’s third largest in fact, and just behind his house! We also catch up with friends from Australia while exploring Camden Market, and our good friend Matt takes us sight-seeing in London.
We left rainy Bratislava at 10am after an inordinately expensive taxi ride (when will I learn to look for a meter right away?!) to the airport and then the expected undignified crush to get onto the non-allocated Ryanair flight. Crammed together like sardines, we were at least grateful that the flight was only 2 and a half hours.
Stansted airport was bathed in glorious sunshine when we got there and after a long wait in a short line at customs we emerged, ready to give Matt a big hug and head to the nearest pub for a pint and a catch up. No Matt at the arrivals gate so we waited. And waited. And waited. Luke tried to call, sent messages to no avail. We’d spoken to Matt only the week before to confirm that he was picking us up so we started to get worried, both for his sake and ours. After a couple of hours and considering plans of hiring a car, heading to Nottingham by coach or catching the train into London and staying at a hostel, I realised that my friend (and former housemate when I lived in the UK) Andrew wasn’t too far away. We called him and he offered to come pick us up, which was amazingly generous, and was with us in half an hour. Thank god Cambridge is so close to Stansted!
We were overjoyed at Andrew’s arrival – he’s such a champ. He’s just bought his own place so we’re staying there for the moment and working out what we’re doing. This coming week was supposed to be a long drive along the south coast with the car that Matt was buying but we still haven’t heard from him. My guess is he’s either mixed up the dates or he’s had some sort of accident on the road and couldn’t reach us.
Hopefully we’ll find out what happened soon, but until then we’re hanging out at Andrew’s doing internet stuff, eating ridiculously cheap cheese from the omg-huge Tesco across the way. Apparently the third largest in the UK. It’s seriously the size of an aircraft hanger and just as charming.
To jump forward in time, since I wrote the above Matt called us to say that he thought we were arriving tomorrow and he feels awful about getting mixed up and hopefully will have acquired a car by the end of the weekend.