Classic Burg: The UK Diary 2003 (Part 3)

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8 October 2003 – Diwali, KFC & Bus Turbulence?

Not much happened yesterday, other than walking about town and getting to know the area.

The real fun began early this morning.

Up at about 9am this morning to head into the City Center of Leicester to catch a ride. The bus arrived at about 9:35am, where I then purchased a £3.32 return ticket and what I experienced next was only a taste of things to come with local bus drivers.

The hour trip saw me venture through Bitteswell, Ashby Parva, Ullesthorpe, Claybrooke, Frolesworth, Leire, Dunton Bassett, Broughton Alley, Cosby, Littlethorpe, Narborough, Fosse Park and eventually on to Leicester City Center.

Now the roads we traveled are wide enough for one car, coming in one direction at a time, so oncoming traffic is literally, oncoming traffic!

In town – straight to the shops.
First store I visited was HMV, where despite their large selection, did not find much of interest, although I did come away with a Mario Bobblehead, Defenders Of The Earth dvd and a Hindi DVD called Chalte Chalte, which I have been looking for for a while.

Next stop was breakfast at McDonalds. Checked out a few of the local shopping centers, The Shires was my fave, some cool stores, and an awesome toy store where I got some WWE merchandise wahoo! I know realize I should of saved the shopping till the end of the day as after 7 hours of walking they would feel like bricks.

During the month of October, Leicester was celebrating the Hindu festival of Light, so anyone who knows me and my love for Indian culture, knows how enjoyable this was for me.

I began my search for the first tourist attraction. The National Space Center Museum. I quickly located a sign stating “National Space Center Museum This Way ->”, so I went that way. That way did however, took me past the Leicester City College 3 times. I promised myself if I passed it once more I would enroll in a course in Advanced Geography.

After the 3rd rotation I decided to take a shortcut through Abbey Park. By this time I needed the toilet rather urgently – there was one inside the park. Now, I dunno, call me crazy,but blue florescent lights and a notice on the door that says “for c*ck fun call Henry on *mobile number*” wasn’t my idea of fun in the park.

I survived the Gents bathroom and after a close call with a gaggle of geese, I came out through the other side of the park 1 hour later.

3 hours had passed and still no museum. 1 more hour saw me test the mighty powers of a pedestrian against the speed and driving skill of lunch time traffic. After giving up hope on ever finding the museum I decided it was easier to go ask someone over the age of 70 to show me around there house instead.

Found a comic shop where I managed to get some old Green Arrow comics. Hey…comics aren’t for geeks. man alive 40 comics are heavy when carried in a plastic bag.

Lunch saw me at KFC again where I tested their Peking twister. mmmm gooood.

The time was now about 2:30pm so I headed back to my bus stop, but instead of finding that I found a ….museum!!!

The New Walk museum welcomed me into their establishment, with a Cappuccino and flyers a plenty. After viewing the Egyptian, Roman, Dinosaur, Nature, Space and Victorian art gallery I felt somewhat satisfied with my outing and rewarded them with a purchase from their gift shop.

Checking my bus schedule I saw I had 25min to catch the second last return bus to Lutterworth.

With a rib cage that was now aching from carrying bags and eyes that were glazing over I began my walk down main road to my bus stop, making it there 10min early I tried to find confirmation that I was at the right bus stop.

I realized I had put my male pride in my backpack with my gift shop items, and so asked a man nearby for help. “No, the 140 doesn’t come through here, what u wanna do is head straight down this road go past the Virgin Megastore and into St. Margaret’s Bus Station.”

After thinking to myself, “Wow…an actual megastore for people with no girlfriends like me” I raced down the road and finally made it to the station and the correct terminal according to my bus schedule with 3 min to spare.

I waited.

The bus never came,I must of missed it. but alas, there was one more at 5:25pm. So I waiting for another 2 hours, watching the many wondrous people that come in and out of the station.

I waited.

5:45pm… the bus never came.

I confirmed all my details were right on my bus schedule, I watched that damn terminal for 2 hours straight…what went wrong!?!?

*note to self, when getting bus schedules, ensure that the schedule is indeed for the same year that you will be in the UK*

2002 Bus Schedule.

…I was fortunate enough to catch a bus 5 minutes later however, which would eventually come through Lutterworth.
This trip was fun, the bus driver was a friendly fellow, one who took great pride in his job. The only bad thing I could really say about him was that he was a psychopath.
I was sitting on the top level of the bus and witnessed several small children who were seated at the back fly past me and hit the front window.

Speed bumps to him were a challenge, almost as if he thought if he hits the first one at a fast enough pace, he could jump the next three.

7:10pm, I arrive back at Lutterworth and crawl my way through the front door.

The only words I could muster out are “Now that’s what I call a day out”

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