Europe 2013 - Newbies in the City
Here are some things.
Thing One: When you arrive at Covent Garden Tube Station, no matter how hot and stuffy you think it might be in the lifts back up to pavement level; no matter how correspondingly cool the breeze down the stairwell seems, DO NOT TAKE THE STAIRS! At Cape Wickham on the northern end of King Island is a lighthouse which, until today, was the most number of steps I have attempted to climb without resorting to oxygen. I reckon there are multiple lighthouses in vertical height between the Piccadilly Line and street level, and wasn't I popular by the time we got - oh, about 1/5th of the way up!? Actually, it wasn't so much the derision from my own family that hurt, but the abuse I was copping from the complete strangers that followed us!
Thing 2: When you are meandering through a busy market area it pays to regularly ensure that your youngest daughter has not been abducted by a street conjuror and indentured into his act. We'd gone about a hundred metres down the street when a breathless Ella caught us up and informed us that, since we last laid eyes on each other, she'd been corralled, placed on a pedestal, introduced to the crowd, then conditionally released (on condition of a handshake) on the understanding that her family were moving away with some rapidity.
Thing 3: Beware of the Bryson Trap. I've quoted Bill here before and, because he always puts it best, here it is in his own words:
Here's an amusing trick you can play on people from Newfoundland or Lincolnshire. Take them to Bank Station and tell them to make their way to Mansion House. Using Beck's map - which even people from Newfoundland can understand in a moment - they will gamely take a Central Line train to Liverpool Street, change to a Circle Line train heading east and travel five more stops. When eventually they get to Mansion House they will emerge to find they have arrived at a point 200 feet further down the same street, and that you have had a nice breakfast and done a little shopping since you last saw them. Now take them to Great Portland Street and tell them to meet you at Regent's Park (that's right, same thing again!), and then to Temple Station with instructions to rendezvous at Aldwych. What fun you can have!
Without labouring the point, I can tell you from personal experience that Bill's list could also include starting at Charing Cross Station and travelling to Covent Garden.
So, to recap: Newfoundlanders and Tasmanians would appear to share some traits, and London can teach us all a thing or two.