Posted by sean on June 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm in England, Ventures Outside Of Bath, Work Activities with No Comments

Yesterday was a ‘team building exercise’ at work… well, a trip to Wembley Stadium, for Karl, Adam and myself.

I left work with Karl and we made the trip east towards the nation’s capital. Due to tube strikes, we were expecting traffic problems of mammoth proportions – we were not wrong.

To cut a very long story short, we made an extremely difficult trip through the streets of grid-locked London all the way to Victoria Station, found Adam who had spent the day in Kent, and then drove through further stalled traffic, all the way to Wembley Stadium; pissing off fellow commuters, cyclists and pedestrians along the way. Karl’s driving may have been a little erratic, but we were not prepared to miss the England game. Plus, what’s wrong with a little Grand Theft Auto: London in real life?

A typical London traffic jam
Note the selfish **** in the white van blocking various rows of traffic!

Looking back on things now, I don’t for the life of me know how we (or rather, Karl) did it. In a massive, unfamiliar city – the only recognised street names being those on a Monopoly board. Rush hour. Tube strikes. No GPS signal. A missing friend. A lesser man would still be lost now!

On our London tour, we drove through the very richest areas of the city – the kind of place all the wealthy pop stars and football players live (and bankers used to). We also drove through the ghettos of London (where the bankers live now) – lots of dirty looking grocery shops and cafes, which look like they would infect you with the plague if you ate there; all below flats with boarded up windows – no doubt housing 1,000s of illegal immigrants. It was certanly an education! I wouldn’t like to walk those streets at night though – or the day for that matter.

We got to Wembley a tad late, but found our parking spot and ran to the stadium, only to find England were already beating Andorra 1-0. I read that manager Fabio Capello wanted an early goal, but he could have waited until we arrived!

We were more than relived to find our seat, but had to go on the hunt for food. Stupidly, we didn’t wait until half time, and while waiting to be served our £9 box of chicken & chips, Karl and I heard the sickening sound of the home crowd cheering another England goal. If there’s one thing worse than witnessing your team conceding a goal, it’s missing your team scoring one! Luckily England went on to score a further four, so we were not deprived of all the excitement.

All in all, an enjoyable evening. Things could have gone better – we could have got there pre-kick off, enjoyed some good food, a couple of pints and watched the whole match. However, things could have been a lot worse – we could have missed the game! It is a credit to Karl, a nice cab driver offering directions, and pure luck we got there at all.

We finally got there!

I was eventually dropped back home in the early hours of Thursday morning. I was in bed by 1.30am – way past my bedtime and extremely late, especially for a school night (it could have been worse, I heard the Bath-Wembley coach didn’t get in until nearly 3am). Needless to say, I was late into work this morning. God knows what time Karl and Adam got home, or how they both managed to be in the office at 8am. Copious amounts of Red Bull, me thinks.

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