The Wayward Gentleman
A Trip to the Motherland
It’s September 12th, 2023. 8 days away from a departure to the motherland.
Those dirty Brits don’t know what’s coming.
I’m arriving on an overnight flight from Austin with a stop in between and while I can’t fathom the pure chaos that awaits me, I’m open to taking it in stride. Why? Well this is the first time visiting. And you know what comes from that? Not giving a fuck what happens. Why? Because you have no idea what could happen. I think that encapsulates the current attitude.
Still haven’t booked a hotel though. But who needs a hotel in 2023? I was looking earlier today just to see what was out there for the price. And in my current state, I’m not looking to blow a bunch of money on a place I’ll be sleeping in. I’m not going to the hotel bar for a beer, I’m not going to take a day to go sit at a pool so chlorinated you can see the fumes blowing off the water, and I’m not going to the gym to do bodyweight exercises because of no equipment. Maybe I’m taking the reference material of the last couple decades staying in hotels for hockey tournaments. We weren’t staying in 5 star hotels put it that way.
My point is it’s 2023. I got on Airbnb, and to be honest it’s not something I do frequently. I rarely do the Airbnb thing. I think part of the reasoning behind this is I have little faith how well someone actually gets in their own makeshift room for strangers and cleans it after they leave you know? I mean you walk through the halls in hotels and you’ve got the hardest working person in there with industrial sized machinery washing linens, sheets, pillow cases, money, you know? That’s something I trust. But Fred who just got off his 14 hour live-stream of Elder Scrolls, I have little faith he’s putting much effort into scrubbing the shower after a stranger leaves.
But screw it, I took a look. And you know for a quarter of the price, I can get a room in a nice neighborhood with locals who can give me a rundown of their city, the life they live, spots they recommend. You ever try to get a recommendation from the concierge at a hotel? “Excuse me, yes Hi, I’m in town from overseas, and you know I’ve never been over here, and would love a locals perspective on things to do. Any recommendations?” (In an English accent) “Why yes mate, thrilled you asked, here’s a brochure we like to hand out to our guests with all of London’s most sought after tourist attractions. Be sure to stop at the IHOP, that’s International House of Pancakes, right after tea and crumpets with the wax figure of the queen.”
You and I both know that’s pretty damn close to the response you would get. Yeah maybe a little over the top but you get it. Those corporate places have all employees under a microphone. You know a concierge person behind a big marble counter ain’t recommending to guests to get to the nearest pub and smoke a couple of hand rolled cigarettes with a local. That ain’t happening.
Airbnb. That’s the route I’m gonna go. I’ll let you know how it all works out. I should mention, I have absolutely no plans. I take that back, I’m seeing a theatre show with Mark Rylance the day I get in. But other than that I’m taking it all in stride. Will update you tomorrow. - The Wayward Gentleman