Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Well, Adventures in France were promised, and that's what you shall have:

This story starts much earlier though, so I'll take you back to the beginning.

Last Thursday my Flat Mates (not vertically challenged friends, people who share the same apartment) Convinced to me to go out drinking with them at near by pub called the Slug and Lettuce. This should not have been a problem even though I was supposed to be waking up at 4:30am the next morning for the office trip to France. I took only enough money for 3 drinks. All was going according to plan. Then, like a CIA backed regime change, Ex-Hostellers Brendon and Dan showed up. Everything went to hell. My state of intoxication ramped up for no reason, and had not even reached three drinks. The reason for my drinks magical and seemingly bottomless turned out to be Dan. I caught him in the act of refilling my beer from his pitcher about 10 mins before closing time. But it was too late, I was wasted.

This is the bit where it gets a little fuzzy, and as you know I'm fuzzy enough already.

I made it home from what hey tell me, with Glen and I making enough noise that we woke up Nicole.

The next thing I actually remember is being woken up by Nicole at 5:30am because my alarm had gone off for ages, and my ride had already come and gone. So I borrowed her phone to call a Cab, 'cus I was out of credit. But her batteries were dead, so I had to canabalize my phone for power. Which is not easy with only 4 hours sleep and still feeling the effects of what we later estimated was probably about 5-6 pints. I would like to point out that I am not Nearly a Heavy drinker, or even a medium one. In fact the only reason I would qualify as a small drinker, would be because I'm short.

I had not time to shower or shave, and only just managed to throw on some clean clothes before the cab turned up. I also, apparently, not had time to sober up.

Cabbie: Where are you going today Sir?

Me: Paris

Cabbie: Ummm, I can't really go that far sir, are you flying or taking the train?

Me: The one that goes through the tunnel.

Cabbie: A Train then?

Me: Yes, France, Paris, Bojour land!

Cabbie: You mean the EuroStar?

Me: Yes, That’s the one!

Cabbie: What time is your train, do you know?

Me: 6:40am I think

Cabbie: Ok, I'll try. It’s 6:15am already sir, just so you know.

At this point the Cab accelerated to near light speed. The driver then entered some sort of Buddhist cab drivers trance that allowed him to maintain this speed while just managing to avoid pedestrians, cars, bobbies and the occasional double Decker bus. The traffic was actually very light and the weather was sunny. As we passed Buckingham palace (Hello Queen!) The driver attempted conversation:

Cabbie: Is that your Breakfast?
Me: Breakfast?

This confused my for a few seconds until I realized I was holding a can of Pringles chips in one hand. So I proceeded to eat them until we reach Waterloo Station. I tipped the cabbie ran into the departures area were Steph, one of my co-workers was waiting with my ticket. We were rushed through customs and onto the train, which started moving as soon as we boarded. Once I was all settled in, I realized that was the first time I had ever gone through customs while drunk.

The Chunnel is not as exciting as I imagined it would be, but the concept still boggles the mind. It's a little disconcerting after it's been ten mins. and the train still has not come out. Once it reaches the other side though, the train speeds up to about 230 miles an hour. Which is quite the thrill at first.

Tommorw: Paris and Her Majesy's Royal Pain in The Ass Customs.

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