Nostalgic Blague: Navigating London to Paris

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Just a little blague from my travels last year…

I left with my friend Ed to begin my European adventure on the bus from London to Paris. Little did we know, there was a massive cycling race that weekend that would see every bridge across the Thames in inner London closed, and hence screwed up the bus drivers entire route. After a distressed announcement over the speaker for someone to come and assist with directions, I decided that as a resident of London for 5 months, I was the best equipped on the bus to offer any kind of help (cant believe there was no one with better knowledge of London on the entire bus).

So I sit up next to the driver as he passes me the printed google maps image. He was a French driver, and struggled slightly with his English. It wasn’t long before an American guy made his way to the front. So we had an Australian, and an American, directing a National Express bus to Paris, as well as performing crowd control to the angry customer uprising occurring at the back of the vehicle. It got to the stage that we had passed Buckingham Palace 5 times that old mate driver made a phone call to the company. Their solution… “Pay for a taxi to direct you out of the city”. And so there I am, on the side of the road, trying to hail a cab that will direct us to Dover to get the ferry across to France. The same answer from every driver… “There is no way in hell you are going to get to Paris tonight”.

It was hilarious to observe the reactions of people in what could be called a minor crisis. Some resorted to threats of lawyers and suing, while others vowed to get off the bus and walk – have fun crossing the English Channel by foot.
After many hours of heated discussion and smartphone intervention, we found a detour that added on only 2 hours extra driving, and would deliver us safely to Paris. And to my great excitement, created a compulsory driver rest stop at Starbucks, where after a hard days work I would enjoy my well deserved soy vanilla cappuccino.

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