Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Circle Line Party

We found a big grocery store in Victoria... and we shopped hard. Cheeses, candies, dry goods, pickles... all kinds of things at 1/4 the cost of Norway. At the check-out lane we realized we had 6 bags of groceries to take through three tube stations. Hmmm.

To complicate matters, this night is the last night in London that open alcohol is allowed on public transportation. In protest, 10 000 people plan to board the Circle Line tonight for a giant cocktail party. Aaaannd, as fate would have it, the closest way back home is on Circle line. Well, we would be part of history, then.

The Circle Line train was delayed 20 minutes. As the time grew closer, the crowd grew larger and larger on the platform waiting to board. Would all of these people fit into the train? Surely the train would be full. We would push. Finally the train rolled in, and indeed we saw many of the cars were packed full of singing cheering drunkards. We thought we'd never be able to squish into a car with all of our groceries, but luckily, a lot of people left the car directly in front of us. It was still standing-room only but we had space. We pressed into the car, luckily a non-party car. We waited and then the train shut down. Police ran by and a voice on the loudspeakers threatened drinkers, telling them to leave. (The drinkers weren’t doing anything illegal, though, but the British police were working hard to keep the partiers calm.) Finally, the train started and we left. At the next stop, though, the train shut down again and police tried to remove troublemakers from cars. Near our final stop, a crowd of partiers in colorful costumes climbed onto our car, and the smell of alcohol intensified. It was fun, but we were relieved to hop off at Notting Hill station and leave the boozers behind.

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