Thursday, May 23, 2013

London calling

When I last left London I swore I’d never go back. Never again. It was, and remains, the only city I crossed off my list. I didn’t go back. If I’d gone back then the last time I left London wouldn’t be the last time I left London but another time, which would then be the last time I left London. Regardless, the sentiments would have been the same.
Fate has conspired to send me back. The Champions League final, the frickin’ final! It doesn’t get any bigger than that. It’s a big assignment, the biggest yet, and the head honchos have placed their trust in me so I can’t let them down.
But me and London never got on, there’s always been problems. Good memories are unfortunately overshadowed by bad. London is still the only place I managed to miss at least six flights in one night, where I’ve been searched for weapons going into a pub, and where I’ve had to suffer the shittiest food and pissiest beer. Jesus, the beer is terrible.
The worst thing about the beer is they don’t even let you drink the stuff. “Last orders” is called and when you try drink your last order, they grab it out of your mouth.
But I won’t be thrown off course. I leave in the morning. I’ll get in, write my stories, go to the match, write some more, and get out.
My hotel’s on Cromwell Road, just to make it worse, called Hotel Oliver. You couldn’t make it up. I suppose the fucker is haunting the place. It amazes me that the British evidently still think Cromwell was great, despite the atrocities he committed. They’d complain if Berlin had a Hotel Adolf, on Hitlerstraße. But Cromwell didn’t lose his wars…
Neither Cromwell nor London are going to stop me, however. I’ve a job to do and I’m damned well going to do it, damned well too, I hope.

7 comments:

  1. Man, you're doing well. Do post a link to your write-up.

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  2. ! :) Schadenfreude. You just need to know where to drink ale...and with whom (tra la la). London's a bitter place, until you find the ale. Hope Londinium treats you better this time around. Giggle. Giggle. I should be ashamed you vowed never to go back there, but I'm unashamedly, not.... born Londoner speaking here... everyone has to be born somewhere.

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  3. ps. forgot to ask: how come you managed to miss six flights in one night? I've missed a fair few flights in my time, but never six in one night. Whatever happens, for bitter or worse, look forward your Brit-bashing-or-not stories; a good tongue-firmly-in-cheek bashing always makes a better read than 'I wandered lonely as a cloud', I went to

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  4. It´s the CL final! Congratulations! Who cares about London?!

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  5. After all the build-up the game fell flat on its face. Brief flashes of excitement in the second half hardly made up for a first 45 minutes cluttered with broken passes and midfield muddle. Most un-memorable.

    I hope nevertheless you made your flight home!

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  6. What?! I presume you're being sarcastic about it being an unmemorable game? Jesus, I'll never forget it - I thought it was GREAT! Well, as Jürgen Klopp said, “The result is so shit that I cannot.... All the other things were, great.”

    Here are some links (newest first):
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/soccer/facing-loss-of-players-dortmund-rues-missing-golden-opportunity-to-win-champions-league-208964731.html

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/10-things-know-champions-league-final

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/25/champions-league-final-2013-bayern-dortmund_n_3333122.html

    http://www.3news.co.nz/PREVIEW-Bayern-Munich-Dortmund-take-rivalry-to-new-level-Champions-League-Final

    I'll write a proper report on London and the weekend itself (complete with pictures) once I get a chance. Perhaps tomorrow evening once the young fella's asleep and the coast is clear...

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  7. Nope, not being sarcastic. I guess being the midst of that packed stadium covering the game you get a different vibe than sitting at home as usual watching on telly. I thought that those games I saw leading up to the final were much more entertaining. There just didn't seem to be any flow to the game or flair displayed by individual players, especially in that first half.

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