Astor Victoria

London Travel Blog

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London was just right: Chilly in the shade and toasty in the sun. You just wanted to go out and lay in the grass. In comparison to the Florida heat, it was awesome, except that there is barely any air conditioning anywhere. After the first night without A/C or proper airflow in our hostel room, we wanted to open the window oh-so-badly.

For some reason we could not. Someone had taken the knobs off of the window locks. I didnt think it was quite fair because all the other rooms above us had their large, double-door windows open and were experiencing cool air of the summer night. Why couldn't we?

"Pot smokers."

"What?", I said to the girl at the check-in counter. She was gothy and cute, but pleasant.

"Yeah, we had way too many complaints about people going out on the balcony and smoking out and being loud, so management had to lock the windows."

"Crap, that sucks... Do you think I can switch to another room that can get some breeze? We are waking up soaked and dehydrated."

With a smile, she checked, but no luck. Defeated, I went back up to the room and told the others what the deal was.

We had 4 roomies: 2 Cali girls that were leaving that evening anyway, and a completely hot Australian woman and her (maybe gay) guy friend. They were nice and talkative, but (like us) were pissed off about the window situation. I had to think of something... And I did.

Later on, I got out my flashlight and peered into the hole where the lock was. I could see the gear teeth for the missing latch attached to the bolt. With MacGyver precision, I whipped out a credit card and a safety pin, bent it into the shape I thought I needed, and picked the top and bottom window locks so fast it surprised even me.

*snap!* The windows flew open and I felt the cool breeze of triumph smack me in the face. It was glorious.

About an hour later, our Australian roomies returned. It was the best part of the whole trip:

"Hey, you got the windows open! How did you do that?"

I smiled widely and looked towards Colby with some bravado. Id let her say it.

"He picked the locks. Dont tell anyone."

Everybody laughed. Still laughing, the guy said:

"Leave it to the Americans to pick a window lock."
Right then I felt like a patriot. For a brief moment, I had lived up to the last good reputation of what Americans are all about. Yes, American ingenuity is still alive, and we all slept a little better that night because of it.
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463 km (288 miles) traveled
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photo by: ulysses