The sun never sets on England, because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark*

11 Jan

So I sort of cheated and wrote my first blog after I arrived. I know, I know.. should have given the entire pre-departure emotion and nerves. Truth be told, I didn’t experience any. It’s as simple as getting on a plane, waiting 7-8 hours in the air and landing in a strangely comforting foreign land. Granted my travels didn’t exactly go as planned.

First, about me:

I’m a non-traditional, third year student studying Materials Engineering (a junior). Non-traditional is the nicest way Purdue can call old students exactly that, old. My 29th birthday was 2 days before I left. But I put my pants on one leg at a time like every other boilermaker, and I’m hoping my experience can relate to some, if not all of you. The reason for being non-traditional (or at least what I tell my brother Ryan), is that I had to protect freedom and democracy around the world. While I did serve in the Navy, Submarines aren’t exactly like protecting your girlfriend from some heinous insect but more like jumping in between an orca and a school of mackerel. We called it being at the pointy-end of the spear. Enough of my self-induced delusional diatribes, you want to know how I got here, right?

I departed Chicago on New Years Eve, with the intention of starting a new year in a new place. Unfortunately that new place was the Dublin airport.  We had to land in Shannon until they could clear the loading areas around the jetways even though the runway was clear. We landed to a small dusting of snow, nothing that would hold back an airport in the northern half of the United States. Due to our “layover” I missed my connecting flight, and was then subject to an additional 8 hours on the ground before I could get to London. Lucky for me, the airport had no less than a half dozen places to sample the regional beers. Kilkenny is highly recommended if one gets the chance. Imagine Killian’s that is creamy and tastes like roasted hazel- and chestnuts instead of sawdust. Once Aer Lingus pulled their collective head out of a hazy new year’s day, I was off to London.

London Heathrow is a great place to fly into if you arrive and clear customs before midnight. After that the tube is closed and the bus network is somewhat intimidating. Before midnight, you’re in luck. Hop on the London Underground (tube) and you’ll be downtown within 45 minutes. I only brought two bags along, a 70 pound snowboard bag and a large backpack. The Brits on the tube probably saw a horse jockey wrestling a manatee the way I handled the snowboard bag on the stop and go Picadilly line. It will prove its worth when I’m cruising through fresh snow in Poland or France though, right. It better.

The journey ended with some comfortable Lebanese food and a not-so-foreign floor to crash on, courtesy of Kirstyn (a fellow Materials Engineering student from Purdue). Waking up to a sore back and jet lag, I didn’t exactly think of myself as blessed, but I couldn’t help but smile.

*quote courtesy of Ducan Spaeth


2 Responses to “The sun never sets on England, because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark*”

  1. Marla January 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    What a fantastic adventure you’re on, Steven! Enjoy each day to the fullest!!

  2. Marcel January 26, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Dude, you drank the wrong thing, considering your story…

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