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Back to the Hive

London 27-28 Sep

Train to London, taxi to my last minute AirBNB lodging, which seems pretty cool. The taxi had a TV for passengers. Lodging is right by Regent's Canal and Broadway Market, an area I know from my first week and the houseboat trip. It's pretty lively just now, with 5 lodgers, thoygh 2+1 girls will leave tomorrow leaving me other guy and hostess. The +1 girl is pretty fascinating, though I don't feel like talking about someone much in public. Last night I went for a long exploratory walk, down to Liverpool Station. There's an area where Vietnamese restaurants are sprouting like mushrooms, yum.

I felt at home again right from the taxi. Places to go! People going to them! Ways to get there! Hail the Hive!

I was up late talking to one girl, then listening to two of them talk. Today/Tuesday/28 I figured I'd look at London from the Overground line. This is being hampered by the line not being all that over, part subway and part recessed ground level, and when it is the views aren't that great. Well, now I know! The cars seem wider than usual. But I'll finally leave zone 2. 23 minutes from Haggerston in 2 to Honor Oak Park in 3 on the other side. 31 minutes (total, not additional) to Penge West in 4. Train keeps pausing mysteriously at these outer stations.

Approach to final station. Longer distance, and train is crawling past depot. Making it 42 minutes to West Croydon, zone 5.

End of the line is still pretty urban. Actually east of the station is a nigh endless shopping arcade. Found a Surrey street market, by Royal charter from 1276 according to a sign. Found some pale pomegranates, bought one for 30 pence. Another stand sold huge bowls of small Pink Lady apples, oranges, and cherry tomatoes for a pound each.

A lot more Africans here than I've seen elsewhere.

Station connects to National Rail and Tramlink, so I suspect this is all more urban than some earlier stops. Actually, going by my older maps, the Overground going here is less than 10 years old.

"Mecca Bingo" seems like a bad idea.

Gaggle of 8-10 year old schoolgirls boarding public buses on their own.

Hopped onto a Southern line to Victoria. Whee! Off again at Norbury. Station view looked dire, but outside was busy urban.

Transfering to another Overground, to loop around the west and north on my return hope. Almost didn't due to an alleged 30 minute delay, but then the train came... Wait, I guess we won't be clear until the train leave on time, but surely we can't sit in at the platform for 30 minutes? ...And we didn't. Don't know what the screens were on about then.

...Recommendation: don't take the Overground as a scenic train around London. I didn't see much more, it took 1.5 hours, and despite avoiding city center it got increasingly crowded. Feh! Oh, and the incredibly cheap apples and oranges turn out to not be very good, at least at first sample. Tomatoes seem okay.

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Phoenix
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Damien Sullivan
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