June 16, 2001 — I landed in London, my first time to Europe. It was overwhelming, with the masses of people behind barricades trying to see loved ones coming off my plane, pre 9/11 world. I went to a pub with a perfectly ridiculous English pub name like the Camel and the Leaf or something. I couldn’t really sleep at the hostel and at 4am I was sort of wandering around the station but there were no trains for hours so I took a taxi to the main train station with the fast trains to the continent.
I was on the very first train of the day, like 5:56am or something and remember coming out of the darkness with nothing but green pastures on both sides as we whizzed by. I arrived at Paris Gare d’ Nord and while in the metro trying to figure out how to say “I would like an apple” in French, I watched two guys pickpocket another guy and when the victim turned to catch one of the guys, he turned out to be the guy who didn’t have the wallet anymore. That guy was running down the other direction and was gone. Welcome to Europe, I thought and grabbed my oversize backpack more tightly.
8 years later, I have visited 40 more countries. London is actually one of the cities I have visited the most, like 5-6 times along with Amsterdam and Basel and Cologne as well. The next new country I’m going to visit? To be honest, this is one of the first times in awhile I didn’t know which new country I would go to but I’ll be in the States all summer but I don’t have tooOoooo much work for the next 2 weeks so I could do a daytrip to Liechtenstein. It’s 4hours each way but it’d be a shame to not get that and Luxembourg which are “just around the corner”.