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Letter from London

Well, its not really from London. Its about London. The city I just visited.

I would have posted a message from there but the dial-up connection was terribly slow, and I was too thrifty to pay the 15 pounds a day or whatever it was for a high speed connection at the hotel.

I took Continental Airlines No. 28, Newark to London Gatwick the other night. The flight was late taking off, but otherwise uneventful, it you don't consider the cow in front of me who reclined her seat as far as it could go. Not good for my 6 foot three inch knees. I rattled her seat pretty good every time I got up to express my thanks for her courtesy.

Night flights to Europe are pretty cool. You take off in darkness, then the long pre-dawn, then the dawn, then full-fledged morning as you arrive. Immigration and customs at Gatwick was fast, efficient.

I took the very good Gatwick Express train into town. It costs 25 pound r/t, which is not terribly cheap, but it is worth it because it leaves every 15 minutes, and runs fast right into Victoria Station, right in the center of south London.

I needed to take the Underground ( subway ) one station to Green Park station. The ticket area at the Victoria station was a crowded mess. I waited on line and asked for a " carnet " of ten tickets, and I had done on the last visit, but the guy at the window said that they didn't sell them anymore. I could buy a single ticket for three pounds (!) or I could buy an Oyster Card, an electronic ticket that can be recharged. When you pay with the Oyster Card, the single zone fare is one pound fifty pence, about $2.80, which is no bargain either, but which is better than the alternative.

You pay a deposit of 3 pound for your Oyster Card and then can recharge as needed. I could have sold it back to them today, but I kept it, as I plan on returning to London and it is a neat souvenir.

Londoners complain a lot about their Underground. But I have never had a bad experience on it. The trains run very frequently, and they have nice cushioned seats, should you be lucky enough to get one.

I took the Victoria Line one stop to Green Park, schlepped my gear to the Athenaeum Hotel, and crashed a bit. Later, I went down to Speaker's Corner.

I must depart now, because as on Sunday, I'm pretty beat.

Tomorrow: Speaker's Corner

Other people have paid just as good money as you for the seat in front of you and have the right to move the seat back as far as it goes. Many times I have almost had my laptop crushed when someone moved their seat back. NEVER HAVE I RETALIATED. GROW UP!! If the airlines didn't want the seat to recline to the angle they do, they would further limit the distance it travels. WAH!!! YOU SOUND LIKE A BIG CRY BABY!!! WAH!!

Well, anonymous, you should have the balls to retaliate. If you need some coaching, I will help you in exchange for a very large fee.

Oh I hate that! And i retaliate also. Silly cow indeed. Anonymous must have switched from coffee to crack today. I hope you had a good time in my city. Ill read with interest!

London's a swell place. And I do look forward to returning.

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