Day 22. London. Sunday 9 October.

Aussie Aussie Aussie – Oi Oi Oi! This morning we rise early to go and watch the Wallabies play South Africa for a spot in the semi-finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The game started at 7:00am (Madrid time) and we head over to the Dubliners Irish Pub to watch the game on the big screen. As we head over bottles are tinkling in our narrow street as people are returning home from the previous night. There were more South Africans (Saffers) than Aussies. When Australia scored I led the colloquial chant and a guy came in the door and responded Oi Oi Oi. He was portuguese but living in London. He sat with us and cracked us up the whole time. He was staying in the hostel upstairs and couldn’t sleep anyway, so thought he would come and support the Aussies. He was a sweet guy, very funny and we laughed so hard. Good that we can laugh in the early hours of the morning. So glad that the Aussies won!

We booked a cab with the ‘lemons for breakfast’ guy on the front desk and it was hilarious. Taking a taxi in Madrid is similar to Bingo, maybe your number will come up, maybe not. The guy that turned up couldn’t fit the luggage in the car and 2 bags had to be nursed in the back and then when Mark was just about to get in the car he started taking off. Mark had only 1 leg in the car. Its amazing that we got to the Airport in one piece. Madrid Barajas Airport takes security very seriously. When I went through the security scanners I beeped (think it was a stud on my pants) and I got called over and the woman started putting on rubber gloves. Uh-oh. She did the big pad down-any harder it was have been a Thai massage. She believed it was the stud. Got on our EasyJet flight easily. I did um and ah about paying a little extra for Speedy Boarding, but I am glad I made the investment. We never had to wait for check-in and got to board the plane first and got in either first or second row. I liked EasyJet and would be very happy to fly with them again. We arrive at London Luton to overcast skies. Goodbye sun, hello grey skies.

I don’t usually like to rant on my blog, but I am going to make an exception. The woman that greeted us as customs/immigration was a troll. In fact I think that the Spanish inquisition would have been easier. Not only were the questions long but she was rude with it. I had to show her my return air tickets etc. She was having a very bad Sunday and she was trying to ensure that everyone else did too. Perhaps Australia should think about employing her for border control as I think the boat people would turn around as opposed to dealing with her.

Our apartment in architecturally designed and amazing. They are loft apartments right near the Tate Museum. Being architecturally designed some things are stunning to look at but totally impractical. We have rain showers and a mezzanine bedroom and floor to ceiling windows, etc etc. But I have learned that some things are not practical. The cupboards in the kitchen sit perpendicular to the floor and have no kick boards. Which means that when you open the door you hit your foot. Took me a while to learn that one. It was well after lunch so we head to our local, the Founders Arms, for a Sunday pub lunch. Overlooking the Thames with views over St Pauls etc, what a welcome to London!

We walked over the Millennium Bridge and walked through the city. Took a big red bus, walked to Piccadilly Circus, walked through the west end and walked all the way back to our apartment. Massive walk. Had dinner at our local again and home for bed. Its hard to adjust from the Spanish way of life. We had been used to getting up and going out, late lunch about 2-3pm and then siesta and then out for dinner at about 9 for dinner and very late to bed. Not so in the UK. I am still a fan of the siesta, it should be mandatory. Great way to live.

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