September 26, 2019. London, England.
Soundtrack: Ghost – Monstrance Clock
Fortified by fine English porter, I leapt majestically over a puddle and then diverted my attention to another gaudily overwrought imperial legislation building. Despite my incredible agility, catlike poise, and natural grace, this led to me not looking where I was going, and I tripped on a loose cobblestone.
Just a little stumble. Not even a tumble! I never lost my footing due to the aforementioned podracer reflexes, even GABA inhibited as I was.
Still, this temporary loss of face was enough to send a couple of fancy lads behind me into screaming hysterics. Real middle school hours, right in their mid twenties! Could this be hooliganism?
I whirled on them, equilibrium restored.
“Hey,” I said. “Where’s the big clock at?”
“Wot?” one said, in the same voice and tone I use for peasants in D&D.
“The big clock?” the other asked. “You mean Big Ben?”
“Unless there’s another one.”
“Right there,” one pointed. We were mates now. “It’s under construction, though.”
“Cheers,” I said.
I turned the corner and gazed upon the legendary Big Clock, the iconic building that serves as Britain’s biggest tourism draw.
My laughter was perhaps a little mean-spirited.
I stood on the bridge over the Thames and looked at the big broken clock. I admit to being mildly raucous. Raucous enough for a local to overcome the nation’s stereotypical self-reservation.
“It is what it is,” she told me without slowing her pace. “Whole country’s under construction, innit?”
“So I see!”
(The words you can’t make out are “scenic vista of the mighty Thames”).
I also checked out a big ferris wheel which, I was told, is also a big draw to London. I’d never heard of the big ferris wall until I was in the city and Google Maps told me it was a landmark. I guess it’s been pushed up to number 1.
Just messing with you. We all know there’s only the one reason to go to London.
I was well and fully cashed on this particular city. The Mayflower was making more sense by the second. I got one last eyeful along the river and headed back to my hostel.