Why go anywhere, if there’s no chance of getting lost?

Does no one else share the sentiment expressed in the title of this post? Somebody back me up!

Upon arriving at London Stansted Airport, my first task was to find a means of getting to Brighton, where Kristy had kindly offered me her kitchen to sleep in and her services as a tour guide. I had made no transportation plans from across the Atlantic, as I wasn’t sure what sort of fees my credit card company was likely to charge for the service of buying a pound-denominated ticket. It turns out that I was too late for trains (unless I relished a 3:30 am walk across the London Bridge to make a connection between Liverpool St Station and Victoria Station in London--actually I did slightly relish this, but not enough to actually do it), so I decided to take the bus.

I went to the National Express counter and purchased a ticket on a 01:35 bus to Brighton for £32. I had a 04:25 connection at Gatwick airport, and was meant to leave there for Brighton at 04:55 and arrive at 05:35. This worried me slightly, as I knew that this should have been a four-hour trip.

Did you do the math? Then you think me a fool! But you have failed to account for the fact that DST began on the very night that I arrived in England, not a few weeks ago, as in America. Do you now see my worry? Let this be a lesson to you: do not assume that the English do things on the same day as we do! I made this mistake, when Kristy mentioned sending something to her mother for Mother’s Day. I, horrified, assumed I had missed the day, but apparently it comes like two months earlier in Britain. The British may celebrate Bastille Day in February, and flock to synagogues on Monday evening; I would have no way of knowing! Note: Somebody please remind me when Mother’s Day is approaching. Seriously.

When my bus finally arrived at Gatwick (after stopping at all terminals of Heathrow), it was 05:15 new time, an hour later than I had expected to arrive. This would have been all right, except the departure board didn’t list any bus to Brighton for 05:45, so I surmised that National Express had bungled the time change and sold me an impossible connection. I therefore wandered about the airport for twenty minutes in a state of righteous anger looking for a National Express ticket agent. They apparently are all asleep at that hour. Finally, I found an automated ticket machine, and asked it if I could buy a 05:45 ticket for Brighton. It said I could, and then my connecting bus arrived, so that was all right. So I arrived in Brighton
at 06:30.

I had received advice on how to get from the train station to the University of Brighton Campus at Falmer; I was to take the 25 bus. I had not, however, received any advice on how to get from the bus station at the pier to the campus. I had printed off a couple of maps, so I decided to walk the approximately three-mile journey. It was a lovely morning, and my bag was very light (thank you, Ryanair carry-on policies).

Three hours later, after, for example, climbing this hill:

and hanging with these sheep:

I saw the town of Falmer:

wherein lies the campus of the University of Brighton. After another 45 minutes of exasperated wandering, I found myself in Kristy’s kitchen. It turns out I had overestimated the degree to which Falmer was east of Brighton, and underestimated the degree to which it was north. I slept for 17 out of the next 24 hours.

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