en-es  REFLECTIONS II
REFLEXIONES Una nota biográfica sobre e valor de la vida por Kim. Parte II. Como de costumbre, la memoria puede ser algo viejo y polvoriento. Al menos, eso es lo que indica mi diario de viaje. Tomamos el Metro a Victoria Station, no a Waterloo, ya que era ahí donde habíamos encontrado nuestro bed and breakfast. Y era exactamente como esperábamos, una fría habitación congeladora acompañada de una heladora ducha fría. Al menos tuvimos la buena idea de venir preparados, habíamos comprado ropa interior de Helly Hansen y cortavientos polares en una tienda de excursionismo llamada Paddy Palins, en Australia. Esa primera noche, helados hasta los huesos y puesto casi todo lo que teníamos, fuimos a la cama a las siete de la tarde.
Al día siguiente, nos despertamos a las 5:30 de la mañana y esperamos a que fuera servido el desayuno. ¡Los desayunos ingleses son tremendos! ¿Y los arenques? No, gracias. ¿Pescado ahumado para desayunar? No lo creo. Después de comer lo que pudimos, salimos para hacer "algo" turístico. Ya se sabe: Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Circus, Leicester Square y, por supuesto, los edificios del Parlamento. En un semáforo de Westminster fuimos parados por una chica norteamericana.
"¿Son ustedes franceses?", preguntó. No tengo ni idea del porqué. Estábamos extremadamente morenos del verano australiano, así que, tal vez, pensó que éramos de la Riviera francesa.
"No, australianos", fue nuestra respuesta natural. Pareció sorprendida por esta revelación.
"¿Puedo hacerles una foto?". Por qué no, pensamos, aunque algo desconcertados. Posamos y sonreímos. ¿Cuál era su motivo?
"Parecéis poco reales", exclamó. Nunca hay que mofarse de un cumplido, sonreímos tímidamente, le dimos las gracias y seguimos nuestro camino.
A los dos días encontramos otro B&B por una libra menos cada uno. Ahora no parece que sea mucho, pero era un ahorro enorme en 1986. Recogimos y nos mudamos a nuestra "nueva" residencia. Nuestra anfitriona se llamaba Joyce y era muy atenta. Desafortunadamente, también ella servía el desayuno caliente frío. ¡Huevos fríos, bacon y té! ¡Aggg!
Volvimos a deambular por la ciudad. Esto continuó durante casi una semana antes de que nos encontrásemos cansados de toda la gente como nosotros, ¡malditos turistas! Es usted afortunado si se encuentra a un inglés en Londres.
Tim iba a salir por su cuenta para descubrir en tren y a pie la belleza de la campiña inglesa, mientras Steve y yo pretendíamos comprar una autocaravana. En mi tierra en Australia poseíamos una autocaravana Kombi y acostumbrábamos a viajar de este modo.
El mercado de coches no oficial para viajeros estaba en la orilla sur del Támesis cerca del edificio de Greater London Council (GLC). Estaba a un tiro de piedra desde Wateloo Station al sur y del Teatro Nacional al este. Día tras día, visitamos la zona para mirar lo que había disponible. Al final, el 3 de abril de 1986, quedamos en comprar una Leyland Sherpa por 2000 libras.
Ahora con el coche ultimado, regresamos al B&B para recoger, dispuestos a salir a la campiña al día siguiente. Por la mañana, comimos otra vez un desayuno frío, nos despedimos de Joyce (no le mencionamos el desayuno) y salimos para recoger el coche. Para celebrar la ocasión de despedir a Tim, fuimos al pub más cercano para tomar nuestras acostumbradas dos medias pintas de cerveza. Hicimos el pacto de que nos veríamos de nuevo el 1 de junio en el pub donde normalmente tomábamos la cena.
Luego abandonamos Londres a las tres de la tarde, lo que fue una mala idea. Londres era un lugar horrible para conducir en el mejor de los tiempos. De cualquier forma, nos las arreglamos para sobrevivir y nos dirigimos al norte. Al menos, pienso que íbamos al norte. Tomamos cualquier ruta que pudimos encontrar, lo que resultó ser la forma más rápida de escapar del centro de Londres. Finalmente, liberados de la ciudad, todo iba mejor. O eso pensábamos.

FIN DE LA SEGUNDA PARTE
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At least, that is what my travel journal has pointed out.
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And it was exactly as we expected – a freezing cold room accompanied by a freezing cold shower.
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The next day, we woke at 5:30am and waited for breakfast to be served.
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English breakfasts are huge!
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And kippers?
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No thank you.
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Smoked fish for breakfast?
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I don’t think so.
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After eating what we could, we headed out to do the tourist “thing”.
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At a set of traffic lights in Westminster we were stopped by an American girl.
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“Are you French?” she enquired.
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Why, I had no idea.
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“No, Australian” was our natural response.
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She seemed unperturbed by this revelation.
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“Can I take your picture?” Why not, we thought, albeit somewhat bewildered.
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We posed and smiled.
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What was her reason?
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“You look so unreal” she gushed.
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Never being ones to sneer at a compliment, we smiled coyly, thanked her and went on our way.
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After two days we located another B&B for £1 less each.
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It doesn’t sound like much now, but it was a huge saving in 1986.
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We packed up and moved to our “new” residence.
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Our host was named Joyce and she was very kind.
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Unfortunately, she also served hot breakfasts cold.
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Cold eggs, bacon and tea!
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Argh!
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Back out to meander around the city.
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You are lucky if you bump into a Brit in London.
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Back home in Australia we owned a Kombi campervan and we were used to travelling this way.
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It was a stone’s throw from Waterloo Station to the south and the National Theatre to the east.
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Day after day we would visit the area to check out what was available.
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In the end, on April 3, 1986, we settled on purchasing a Leyland Sherpa for £2,000.
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We made a pact that we would meet again on June 1st at the pub where we regularly ate dinner.
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Then we left London at 3pm which was a very bad idea.
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London was a terrible place to drive at the best of times.
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Anyway, we managed to survive and headed north.
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At least I think we went north.
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We took whatever route we could find that proved the quickest way to escape the centre of London.
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Finally, free of the city, everything was looking up.
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Or so we thought.
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END PART II
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Santxiki • 5774  translated  unit 32  9 months, 3 weeks ago
Santxiki • 5774  translated  unit 12  9 months, 3 weeks ago

REFLECTIONS

A memoir on the value of life

by Kim

Part II

As usual, the memory can be a dusty old thing. At least, that is what my travel journal has pointed out. We caught the Tube to Victoria Station, not Waterloo, as that was where our bed and breakfast was located. And it was exactly as we expected – a freezing cold room accompanied by a freezing cold shower. At least we had the good sense to come prepared and had purchased Helly Hansen thermal underwear and fleece windbreakers from a hiking store in Australia called Paddy Palins. That first night, frozen to the bone and donned in just about everything we owned, we went to bed at 7pm.
The next day, we woke at 5:30am and waited for breakfast to be served. English breakfasts are huge! And kippers? No thank you. Smoked fish for breakfast? I don’t think so. After eating what we could, we headed out to do the tourist “thing”. You know; Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Circus, Leicester Square and, of course, the Houses of Parliament. At a set of traffic lights in Westminster we were stopped by an American girl.
“Are you French?” she enquired. Why, I had no idea. We were extremely tanned from the Australian summer so perhaps she thought we were from the French Riviera.
“No, Australian” was our natural response. She seemed unperturbed by this revelation.
“Can I take your picture?”
Why not, we thought, albeit somewhat bewildered. We posed and smiled. What was her reason?
“You look so unreal” she gushed. Never being ones to sneer at a compliment, we smiled coyly, thanked her and went on our way.
After two days we located another B&B for £1 less each. It doesn’t sound like much now, but it was a huge saving in 1986. We packed up and moved to our “new” residence. Our host was named Joyce and she was very kind. Unfortunately, she also served hot breakfasts cold. Cold eggs, bacon and tea! Argh!
Back out to meander around the city. This continued for about a week before we became tired of all the people like us – bloody tourists! You are lucky if you bump into a Brit in London.
Tim was going to set off on his own to discover the beauty of the English countryside by train and on foot while Steve and I were looking to purchase a campervan. Back home in Australia we owned a Kombi campervan and we were used to travelling this way.
The travelers’ unofficial car market was on the South Bank of the Thames near the Greater London Council (GLC) building. It was a stone’s throw from Waterloo Station to the south and the National Theatre to the east. Day after day we would visit the area to check out what was available. In the end, on April 3, 1986, we settled on purchasing a Leyland Sherpa for £2,000.
With the car now finalised, we returned to the B&B to pack, ready to leave for the countryside the following day. In the morning, we once again ate a cold breakfast, bid farewell to Joyce (we didn’t mention the breakfast) and set off to collect the car. To mark the occasion of leaving Tim, we went to the nearest pub to have our regular two half-pints of lager. We made a pact that we would meet again on June 1st at the pub where we regularly ate dinner.
Then we left London at 3pm which was a very bad idea. London was a terrible place to drive at the best of times. Anyway, we managed to survive and headed north. At least I think we went north. We took whatever route we could find that proved the quickest way to escape the centre of London. Finally, free of the city, everything was looking up. Or so we thought.

END PART II