Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Slow Death By Hard Cider

So, teaching my class over the weekend I had a couple of cups of coffee a day and a couple of small bottles of Dr Pepper. Then something to drink with dinner. Not enough liquids for my brisk walks.

Sunday night after the class I walked back to my hotel, cleaned up, then did a brisk walk to the Renoir Cinema to see a French thriller based on an American novel I had read. I decided not to use a map, to find it based on the time I stayed in that neighborhood and my basic guess-knowledge of London city geography. I actually found it without problem, but thought there would probably be a 9pm showing... I was there at 8:30... the last showing was 8:15. Missed it!

So I walked around for a while, headed to a couple of restaurants where I had eaten at before... but hit the dinner rush and would have to wait for a table. So I kept walking. From restaurant to restaurant until it was getting late and I decided to head back to my hotel and have dinner there. Ordered food and decided to have a hard cider to go with it. Tasty. I had another. And another...

And somewhere along the line they caught up with me. When you drink something that tastes like unsweet apple juice, you can easily quaff it... then realize you are drunk. And still thirsty. In fact, maybe more thirsty than before - alcohol does that.

Problem was, the corner grocer - where they sell big bottles of water - was closed. I had enough change for the hotel's vending machine - and a small small bottle of water.

I woke up thirsty on Monday.

Drank some coffee, walked briskly across town to the Raindance office where they interviewed me for their TV show, then I had to leave to hit the mystery book store Murder One and buy something to read on the plane. After that, a brisk walk back to the hotel where I got cleaned up and went to the Holborn tube station to meet anyone from online who wanted to drink with me. Some people showed up, some people who said they would show did not, and we wandered to a local pub and had some pints...

I was *thirsty* from all of the walking and not drinking enough liquids.

By the time I got back to my hotel (by tube) I was dying of thirst and the markets were all closed. What's more, I had no change for the vending machine. I went to sleep... woke up at 5am so thirsty I thought I might die, threw on clothes and went wandering the streets. All the way across town in Soho I knew where there was a 24 hour store - but would the brisk walk there put me in even more trouble? Would I be found laying on the streets of London - dehydrated? Dying of thirst in a city where it always rains - ironic!

I stumbled into the Euston train station, thinking they may have a change machine so that I could go back to the hotel's vending machine (or maybe they have a vending machine there) and noticed a guy at a pastry shop unlocking the rolling doors. I begged him to sell me some bottled water. He sold me two big bottles - and I drank one while walking back to the hotel! Because one bottle was gone, I used some of my change to buy an orange juice from the vending machine at the hotel... and drank most of the other large bottle of water and all of the OJ. Went back to sleep.

Woke up this morning *not* peeing as much as I thought I was going to. I was really dry!

Finished the water, then began the brisk walk to the coffee shop...

I will never drink hard cider again.

Yeah, right.

- Bill


Rory said...

Ahh Bill, did you get swept up in our country's recent fixation with Magner's Cider? Or was it something more scrumpy than that?

crossword said...

scrumpy LOL

I think if Bill had had that he may not have woken up. I had some in Devon once and it looked like dirty water (not fashionably orange at all).

Cider in the States is nothing like what it is in the UK. There they mean business. ;)

And I can totally relate to the lack of water, Bill. I have been in that situation before. I just cannot drink the stuff out of the tap (shudder).

English Dave said...

If it weren't for vomit and crap at alarmingly frequent intervals I'd have been there.

Sorry I missed you Bill. It's always a great night.

wcmartell said...

I think the pub would have looked the other way at continuous vomiting and "the crap" for a few hours...

We all missed you! Next year.

- Bill

Andy Conway said...

Shame I couldn't be there but I live 120 miles away and only found out about it that afternoon. Would love to catch you next time.

Just a thought for next time, though. The water in the tap goes through about 30 filtration and purification processes. The water they sell in bottles has a 'Use by' date on it!

wcmartell said...

Next time I will pick a date and time *before* I leave from the USA, giving everyone plenty of time to plan (including myself).

One issue with water from the tap was a device to drink it with. The hotel was unusually spartan - no shampoo, no soap, no water glass. There was tea service - and I could have used the cup... but alcohol had been involved and I was not thinking clearly at 5am.

- Bill

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