London layover

My friends Derek and Kim drove me to the airport on Saturday after we had my last US lunch – Panera. My flight to London went by fast – literally 6.5 hours from Chicago. I sat next to a woman from Delhi who is a consultant to UNICEF and a former worker there. She also used to work as a World Bank consultant and authored this monograph (http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/articles/ncsxna/art_catch.pdf) in the 1990’s. We had a fascinating discussion about world affairs, her work, impacts of colonialist powers in events leading up to the drawing of borders in the Middle East and Africa, and some lighthearted things as well. Her husband, a former governor in India, works now in Nairobi with UNICEF. Her daughter works in Chicago for a green start-up firm. 

 

By the time we reached London I hadn’t slept at all. But I still had life force gusto. After getting on the tube (London’s equivalent to Chicago’s “L”), I quickly remembered how much I like British mannerisms and the accent. Getting out at the station, I remembered how much I really like London’s architecture and the history imbued through it. I met Tim at Starbucks (I know, how utterly American of me!) and we went to his flat (apartment). I met his friend Ed (currently works in arts production for Warner Bros. — on the set of the forthcoming Harry Potter film) who would also be in the triathlon with Tim. Tim’s patio/deck overlooked London Bridge and the London Eye and Big Ben were also in plain view. Quite a catch of a place. After meeting with a few more people we took a long, circuitous route to the triathlon’s starting point on the Thames River. Some of Tim’s friend and I followed the guys throughout the checkpoints of the race. We had a lot of fun.

 

Tim and I headed back to his flat not too long after he finished and a rainbow appeared to cross London Bridge as we crossed a parallel bridge on a double-decker bus. I hopped into a taxi to the airport because time was close. And then I fell asleep in a dream after passing Westminster Abbey on our drive, waking when we got to the airport. On the flight to Kampala I continued to sleep having felt completely exhausted. Oh but the sleep didn’t stop there…

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