Thursday, July 05, 2007

Installment 56 Jolly London

Every country has its own smell. If you have travelled enough, you'll agree that every country has its own distinctive odour when you disembark the airplane and walk through the airport glancing at the brief glimpses of the city out of the windows of the airport. London smells a little like New york, but without the sourness and less musky. Very uniquely british.

On my ride into london, the chaffeur starts talking about global warming and the crazy weather in london. As we left the airport it was sunny, but he was saying that the past 3 weeks have been continual rain, and there was even a hurricane in london last year. Not helping the matter I had just watched Al Gores Inconvienient Truth on the plane. We chat for a while about how we are messng up the planet, when he mentions that he is sure that within the next 200 years the atmosphere is going to get sucked out into space. ??? "oh you mean because of the hole in the ozone?" I offer. "yes yes" he answers. I thought a second on whether or not i should tell him why that would be impossible, but i realize that it may require terms byond his understanding. It just goes to show you that although they may look more sophisticated and sound more educated (thanks to the british accent) cab drivers are just cab drivers wherever you are in the world.

Halfway into the city, it starts raining again. Wacky weather. Then just before we reach the hotel, the rain stops and its sunny again. I worry some more about global warming and our planet. Perhaps if we invent some sort of co2 sucking device... I shelve the unfinished thought under more pondering required and dismiss it for now, as we have arrived at the hotel.

At checkin though I am met with a surprise. My reservation is not in the system. WhatF how is this possible? I have them check again, and then the girl at the counter askes me whether I'm sure that I'm reserved at this marriot. Uhhhh. Oh no. Turns out that there are 2 marriot hotels at grosvenor! One at grosvenor square and another at grosvenor park. Dear god. This is the second time this has happened to me. Last time the car took me to the wrong crown plaza. What is it with british hotels/streets that keep on reusung the same name? It fools the non english speaking folks at my travel agency, as my itenerary doesn't specify which marriot. Most would assume that the suffix on the address such as street or park would be insignificant. But not in england apparantly. I'll have to tell my travel agent when I get back about this detail to avoid further future confusions.

Great thing about London vs new york is that service people at hotels do not expect tip the same way they do in usa. As the bell boy brings my luggage. I notice aome chocolates on the table with a little wimbledon shaped candy. A nice touch

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