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'Leaving... On A Jet Plane'
June 01, 2003

Today I left the continent of North America for the first time, beginning a month long journey across Europe. By the end of it all I hope to have visited approximately 12 countries, sampled at least 50 varieties of alcohol and experienced countless sights and new culture.

As usual, there was a lot of last-minute preparation involved with my departure, and it wasn´t until I was half-way over the Atlantic that it sunk in that I was headed for London.

The flight over was fairly uneventful, which is desirable for air travel. The guy sitting next to me was from the Midlands, which is about 2 hours south of London, and he had plenty to tell me about the city.

The in-flight movie was "Catch Me If You Can", which is about a young con man who impersonates, among other things, an airline pilot. Just another special touch from Air Canada to make you feel safer in the sky.

The flight is about 8 hours, so you need to keep yourself entertained. I started by learning to the combination to my padlock, which I planned to use to secure my backpack in hostels. However, I quickly learned a valuable lesson: You should never purchase a combination lock from the $1-and-under store if you are looking for function and reliability.

After opening it twice I couldn´t get the damn thing closed, so I decided to test the mettle of it´s metal. In about 5 minutes I had the sucker completely torn apart and likely scared a few passengers in the process. Ever since the shoebomber tried to light up his Reebok´s you can´t do anything on a jet without getting suspicious glances.

Finally we touched down in London and it was pretty much exactly how I imagined it to be. ¨The Tube¨, Londón´s massive underground subway system, can take you anywhere you´d like to go.

The people in London are very friendly and every man, woman and child owns a cell phone, and they enjoy text-messaging each other constantly. I saw a baby text message his mother and request a diaper change.

I was pretty exhausted since I had been awake for 24 hours so I just walked around to some of Londons more famous parks. Everywhere you look residents are playing pick-up games of football (soccer) and I was amazed at the skill-level all the little kids seemed to possess.

All in all I was pretty exhausted and I passed out quite early. I really didn´t plan on seeing much of London because early tomorrow I will be heading out on a ferry from Dover towards Paris.