1- Pack Light
Lighter than what you think light is. And then even lighter than that.
I landed in London and met CherryBondage at Heathrow airport. After a quick primer on the London Underground, as well as a handy little map that fit in my pocket (which I lost), we then proceeded to the Waterloo Station where we were to meet up with Gray and two other friends for lunch.
For the next six hours I found myself snaking through London, back pack on my back, one carry-on bag lugged by CherryBondage, and my checked bag which I hauled. This was packing light for me.
However, it was far from any notion of light. My hands hurt, even though I constantly kept switching them. My back hurt from the weight of my bag, though I would’ve taken that pain over my red palms any day. My legs ached as each time we encountered stairs, which happens a lot with the Tube, I carried my bag up each and every step.
Later, when it was time for play, Gray was a bit shocked to learn I had brought my entire bootblack kit, the source of much of the weight. That first day, and then hauling all my things to go stay with Gray, and then hauling everything again when I left was enough of a lesson.
I bought the bag for my travel bootblack kit yesterday.
2- WiFi, always use it.
Thankfully in London, WiFi is plentiful. Unfortunately I did not realize this until it was too late. Before left for England, I swung by the phone store to add international calls and texts to my plan, but not data.
So, when I got lost and need directions (multiple times), I whipped out my phone and used GoogleMaps. I thought since I kept closing down the app each time I found my way, the cost would not accrue so badly.
I was wrong.
I got a helpful text after that first data usage day, warning me of my the large amount of money I already owed. After said text message, I put my phone down and only used it when there was WiFi. And, if you pop into just about any shop and ask the person behind the counter, they’re tell you the password.
Use WiFi; it’ll save you money.
3- London is wet; get used to it.
It rained everyday I was in London. Not at every moment, but at least sometime during the day or night there was rain. After a while, I never walked out of a building without expecting at least a small shower or light droplets falling.
And, I must say, I did get used to it. Having come from a dry and cold area, it was nice to have moisture in the air. My skin and hair appreciated the change, and it gave me a reason to wear all of my clothes. (In this one section of my packing, I actually budgeted correctly.)
Skipped puddles, side stepping small sidewalk pools, and hopping large oceans in the street became a fun game I played with myself each time we went for a walk, which was often.
London’s wet, but I liked it.
4- The Oyster Card is your best friend.
The public transportation system in London is excellent. The first thing CherryBondage did, once she nabbed me from the airport, was purchase an Oyster Card, the payment card for both the London Tube system and their buses. Paying for one week of unlimited Zone 1-3, as well as unlimited buses, and adding about five dollars to get me from the airport, was enough so that I never had to add anything to my card for the entirety of my trip.
My Oyster Card sits now with my passport, ready for when I go back to England. Though I still think the name is a bit cheesy, the reasoning behind it is quite true. With the card, London is your oyster.
5- Money: Post offices exchange currency without fees, everything costs double, & coin cash rocks.
Money gets its own note because so much of my time was spent figuring out the math behind currency.
Before I ever landed, CherryBondage gave me quite possibly the best tip ever: do not exchange money at the airport. Instead she spotted me the cash I needed for my oyster card and I paid for lunch with a credit card before we eventually made it to a post office.
As I sat and ate at The Breakfast Club with our group of traveling kinksters, I looked down the menu and saw reasonable prices. I enjoyed a hot chocolate and pull pork burrito for just under $15, which included tip.
And then we made it to the post office. Gray had previously stated a simple fact, but it didn’t click in my head until I exchanged my dollars for pounds: everything costs double. I gave the attendant $400; ha gave me 219 pounds back. I then understood why Gray had only ordered a smoothie and a dessert. My lunch had cost me about $30.
Still there were was one advantage to the pound which I loved: their coin money. In England they have the one pound and two pound coin, which I had not realized was so convenient. I collected all my change in a pocket in my back pack, and just when I thought I was running low on funds, I realized most of it was jingling around with me. More than once my pocket of coins paid for my meal.
I will definitely be giving the Sacagawea another go of it.
So… those are just a few of the lessons I learned while in England visiting CherryBondage and attending the London Grue.
The stories of my sexy times will be coming quite soon.
Comments are disabled on this post