Saturday, July 29, 2006

I Hate My Travelling Companion

Setting off the one thing I knew was that I was giving up some things by travelling alone: shared experience, an active nightlife (I'm not opposed to drinking alone, but there's a difference between wine with dinner and sitting in a pub by yourself getting trashed) and having someone to blame when I get lost. However, the one thing I knew was that there wouldn't be any disagreements. I would spend the day as I liked, without having to worry about whether I was boring someone else to tears. Nonetheless, there has been a constant irritant on this trip: The Lonely Planet Guide. I recognize it is all my fault. I chose to buy the used copy of Lonely Planet at BMV, rather than shelling out full price for the Rough Guide or Time Out or any of the other travel guides available. I have a newsflash for the people at Lonely Planet: Baroness Thatcher has been out of office since 1990 and is now a very feeble old lady. Why do I feel the need to point this out? Because Lonely Planet seems incapable of missing an opportunity to comment on how Mags destroyed (the very vibrant city of) London. It is boring, it is over a decade out of date, and is completely meaningless to most travellers. Most of the people making use of these this guide were likely in diapers when she was Prime Minister.

Want to go to the museum? Fine but be aware that if it were up to Thatcher and her ilk, there wouldn't be any art in England and they would have turned all the cultural centres into concentration camps for the poor. Taking advantage of any of the services that London has to offer? Remember to curse the Thatcherites for almost getting rid of them. Shopping? Well that particular souless activity is only possible because Thatcher's policies ensured that Britain had a vital economy. Damn her!

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