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Thursday, June 16, 2005

It’s Guys and Dolls, Jerry, Not Guys and Guys! (London Part 2 of 3)

Saturday morning came too quickly for my taste and being woken up by the other girls in the room showering wasn’t a pleasant wake up for me either. But nonetheless I was happy to be there and not at either of the two guys apartments who offered to let us stay at their places for the weekend. Danielle and I waited our turn for the shower and eventually got in and got ready. We went downstairs to pay for our two remaining nights in the hostel since Raj the night before had decided for us to cancel our reservations for those two nights. After settling that, we headed out for Kensington Palace which was a fairly short walk from our hostel; this time it was in fact a short walk. We visited the palace, which was the last residence of Princess Diana, saw several of her dresses, and finally exited into the gardens where we roamed around for a while. We went and visited the Princess Diana memorial fountain and then set out to find a place to eat lunch. Of course finding a place to eat while on our trips is never an easy task. We found ourselves in a residential area and then found ourselves on the new Bond street, a VERY high end shopping street. Fortunately we managed to get to the shopping street that was a little more in our price range and found a line of pubs near by. Naturally being in London we had to eat at a pub and try the fish and chips. However I don’t eat fish so it was up to Danielle to take care of that while I enjoyed a fantastic hamburger cooked all the way through; quite a change from the ones I find in France, if I can find a hamburger.

After lunch our plan was to head to Piccadilly Circus to find out about possibly getting tickets to a show for the time that we would be there and then to head to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern. However, on our way to Piccadilly Circus we got sucked into a giant toy store on the corner and wound up spending way too much time in there. But hey sometimes you have to embrace that inner child. So once we managed to pull ourselves away from the mounds of stuffed animals we made our way to Piccadilly Circus and found the half price ticket booth. We asked about tickets to Guys and Dolls which was the one we wanted to see the most as it is supposed to be a great show and as a bonus stars Ewan McGregor. The guy at the ticket booth informed us that we didn’t have a chance at getting tickets to that show and also let us know that there were no Sunday matinees for any shows which is what we had hoped to see. So it looked like our one chance to see a show would be that night, however, our selection would be limited. Not wanting to spend the money on a show we weren’t too keen on seeing anyway and also not quite ready to give up on Guys and Dolls, we decided to leave that booth and go to another one which we had seen. We got the same story from that guy but he did let us know that perhaps if we went to the theater we might be able to get last minute tickets for Chicago but didn’t have a chance for Guys and Dolls. So we decided to head out to the theater for Chicago but not before stopping at the Guys and Dolls theater. We found the theater and happened to notice a line formed along the side behind a sign that read “Return tickets”. We weren’t completely positive of what that meant but the line wasn’t too long so naturally we just hopped in the line and decided to figure out what it was after getting in line.

Fortunately there were two gay London guys in front of us who were nice enough to explain that the line was for the tickets that people return the day of the show. Basically you wait in line for people to return their tickets and the returned tickets are offered to the first people in line who are willing to pay whatever amount the tickets are for. So the tickets that you get offered, if they make it to your part of the line, could be in any price range. Sounded exciting to me and according to the “Doll”, as he chose to refer to himself, in front of us we had a pretty good chance of getting tickets since the line wasn’t that long. So our plan for seeing St. Paul’s was put on hold while we decided to test out the line and press our luck at getting tickets. We waited around for a while and slowly people would get bored of waiting or tickets were offered and the line got shorter and shorter. The whole process of waiting in the line became much more amusing as the time passed. We began making friends with the people in the line who were oddly enough mostly Americans. Then the real fun started once the guy in the pink tie started coming out with the ticket offers. I felt like I was in an auction and became very excited and hyper everytime he came out. What price tickets would he have, how many tickets would he have, would the people in front of us want them???? Once this started Danielle and I knew we needed to have a limit as to how much we were willing to spend. We decided on our limit and eagerly waited our turn to decide on if we would take the tickets or not. Slowly the people in front of us got ticket offers and took them. There were three more people in front of us and the man in the pink tie came back out. He bypassed the 3 people in front of us since he knew what they wanted and apparently that wasn’t what he had to offer. That meant he came straight to Danielle and I with the ticket offer. Seemingly prepared since we had set our limit, we were surprisingly taken off guard when he came to us with a ticket offer. The two of us completely panicked and suddenly couldn’t make a decision since the offer was ₤15 over our limit yet we really really wanted to see the show. We looked at each other in confusion and each tried passing the decision making responsibility off to the other. During this time everyone behind us was encouraging us to take the tickets and shouting that if we didn’t they would. We knew we didn’t want to spend that much money but at the same time, if we passed up these tickets there was a good chance we wouldn’t be offered any others. After going through several exchanges such as “I’ll do whatever you wanna do” and “I don’t care, you make the decision” we decided that it would be foolish to pass up the tickets since we had already put in an hours worth of waiting in line. Our giggles returned at this point and we managed to get a “yes we’ll take the tickets” out in between giggling. We went inside, purchased our tickets, said good bye to our line friends, and skipped away with two tickets to Guys and Dolls in our purses.

Since we had waited in line for about an hour and the show was due to start in about an hour and a half and now that we had no more money we decided it’d be best to start being cheap and just walked around the city center a bit till the show started. We got in our seats, which were pretty good seats, and were pleased to see at least 4 other people who were in line behind us sitting near by us. The show was great, not quite as good as we expected, but good nonetheless. After the show we went to the side of the theater where everyone would gather up and wait for the cast to exit. We only waited a few minutes and then Ewan came out to sign autographs. We didn’t want to wait in line so we just took pictures of him from across the street. But then we noticed the line was moving rather quickly so we jumped in line and within minutes we were face to face with Ewan and each got him to sign our hard earned tickets.

Once this was over we were broke, tired, and felt we had had enough of an adventure for the day and decided to go back to the hostel so we could get some decent sleep. We planned out our next two days before going to bed, however the events that took place the next evening were not on that list.

….to be continued

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