Theres a certain romance attached to arriving in Europe with a backpack full of clothes and no plans. Its one of the most stereotypical expressions of freedom and soul-searching there is. Unfortunately, it no longer seems to be approved by the British government. I got up to customs today with a blank space on my address in the United Kingdom card, since I honestly didnt have an answer. The agent asked me where I was staying, I said I didnt know yet, he asked how long I would be staying in Britain, I said probably a few days, he asked if I had tickets out of the country, I said yes but theyre electronic so I dont have them on me, he asked if I would be going to any other countries, I said maybe but I didnt know when, I was just planning on backpacking around.
Then he flipped the fuck out and started almost-yelling at me in the customs area, something about how it looks from his end or something and how just backpacking around isnt good enough. How it looks from his end? Why doesnt it look like Im a 20-something looking to do a little self discovery? Perhaps Im still a little bitter and biased, but I just dont see how that looks. Like Im a terrorist? What terrorist would be stupid enough to make themselves that conspicuous? Like Im not legitimitely in the country? I dont see how what Im doing when I get there has to do with my legitimacy entering it. Luckily my ass was saved by my friend in Cambridge who I am in fact planning on seeing at some point, which is somehow enough to qualify for an address.
On a much, much lighter note, there are some awesome storefronts to be seen in the area around my hotel, including a Scientology center, a technology store called Guiltronics, and a lingerie store whose logo looks like the Apple logo with an additional bite taken out of it.