Getting Lost in London

When I was studying in Harlow I would sometimes go into London by myself.  After a few days I realized that the “Big Bad City” was indeed big but it wasn’t so bad.  I also fell in love with the Subway.  Coming from a town of 5,000 (where the nearest big city has 30,000 people), I had no idea that public transit could be so easy.

I learned the Tube system good.  You might say that I made it my b*tch.  So, feeling secure in my ability to maneuver around London, I decided to give myself a challenge.  I wanted to deliberately get lost.

I picked a random direction and started walking.  I went through Chinatown, which was setting up for the Chinese New Year, and along other streets I had never traveled before.  I found a DVD store which had recordings of ballets (but I couldn’t buy any because of the region), and a really nice stationary store.

When I got tired of wandering around I simply looked for a subway station.  I found a road that was larger than most, and looked like a “main” road, and within 2 blocks I found a subway station.  It was Holborn Station, which was connected to the Central and Picadilly Lines.  I was lost no more!

Did I mention that I love the subway in London?

I frequently wandered around London, looking for interesting things.  During a wander from Covent Garden, one such thing I found was an amazing comic book store.  They had so many awesome things, including a set of sai, swords, and a second floor devoted to comics, novels and graphic novels.

The thing was, I didn’t remember the name of the store or the actual location.  I just had vague memories of where it was.

So in 2011 it was my mission to find this store again.  I probably could have looked it up online, but that was too easy, my friends.  I wanted a challenge!

I stood outside Covent Garden Tube and headed in the opposite direction from Covent Garden.  I walked down a street filled with retail stores, until I found an area that was like a wagon wheel (a central circle with streets that went out in all directions).  This was familiar.

The only question was which way to go now?

I picked a seemingly random street and walked some more.  This led to a busy area, which was actually 2 streets with a small slip of land in between.  I couldn’t see across the street because of a building on that slip of land, but something inside told me to cross the street, so I did.

Lo and behold, on the other side of the building was a comic book store!  The large windows were filled with all kinds of geeky goodness, telling me that this was the right place.  I walked inside and it was just as I had remembered it (although the sai were not there anymore).

Not only had I found the store (Forbidden Planet), but I was finally going to remember the name of it and the location.

So go ahead and wander.  If you’re in a new city, wander around and find things that you didn’t know were there.  I mean, be smart about it – don’t wander down deserted alleys late at night – but take a chance and discover something new.  Who knows what you’ll find.

It's almost hidden.
It’s almost hidden.

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