Trip To London

The Problem's Trip To London - Part 1

1998 Revised Layout Edition.
Originally released in Probe Magazine Issue 1.
Text: Tao - HTML: AlcoRhythm - Photography: Infinity
For those of you who would like to read this story off-line,
there is a zip archive with all html files and graphics available
for download. Click here to download now.


A fter some frantic debates, The Problem Music Inc. decided to go the London for their holiday. Wanda and CSilla couldn't come (the boring girls). They went to Amsterdam instead (Lucky Amsterdam...) Lee was supposed to meet us there, but after he nearly got the sack from his Boss after trying to get the week off, he decided that working as a shopattendend was more important then coming to London... (Sorry Lee, just kidding ;-))

Trip to hook of holland

After spending huge amounts of money on the ferry-tickets, our last bucks were spent on the ones for the train. Pfff 3 hours and 15 minutes of train...Aaaargh. We were in a jolly mood and some people didn't seem to share this with us. Eating a bag of Jerseys (The toffee with the heart of chocolate) and making funny remarks about the girls on the train, bandages, bugles and flippos and making up plans to conquer the world was not the sort of activity that the two boys and two girls sitting behind us appreciated. One of them suggested putting one of those strings of licorice in our mouth so that we would be silent. Silly people! Everybody knows that it takes more than licorice to stop The Problem! Personally I wouldn't know of anything that can stop us, unless it's a bullet.

Onboard the Stena Europe

After showing our passport to everybody except that little guy next to the customs boot who wore green spectacles and...never mind, we went on board. The guy at the entrance tried to talk us into taking one of his lovely expensive cabins. We laughed at him...

"Good evening sir, want a cabin?"
"Okay! Got my passport right here, just a moment!"
"I don't want your passport, I want your money!"
"Yeah sure! A holdup! Aren't you a bit old for that sort of activity?"
"Old? I'm not a day over 40!"
"Okay! Sorry miss! Goodbye..."

The boat was a really posh affair with so much gold and carpets designed to look really soft that we thought it just had to sink because of the excess weight.

[Text clip]

The people on board One could divide the people on board like this:

  • 1. Nice girls
  • 2. One nice german girl
  • 3. Weirdos
  • 4. Tramps sleeping on the floor and everywhere else already at 22.00
  • 5. The crew
  • 6. Other people

We'll start with the other people. To be frank, we never saw them until we got off the boat, so we'll just forget about them and move on to the much more interesting group, namely group number 2. The nice german girl was a beautiful, busty and curly red head who had 'made in Germany' stamped on her behind. Because The Problem had never seen a beautiful GERMAN girl before (except for Solution's father's cousin's daughter) the concept was completely alien to us.

"Hi! Where are you from?"
"Ich verstehe sie nicht, ich komme aus Deutchland weißen sie..."
"We don't understand you either. You are a knockout!"
"Was meinen sie? Ich bin ein Photomodel! Und sie?"
"What are you saying? I've got a camera, can I take your picture?"
"Was sagen sie? Ich sehe du hast ein Kamera, wollen sie mit mir auf die Photo?"
"That's too bad. Are you sure you don't want us to take your picture? Well, we'll buy you a drink then!"
"Shade! Gutentag und Aufwiedersehen denn..."
"Hey! Where are you going....?"

We bought some tickets to 'Muriels wedding'. Boy! The kind of special effects that are possible in a movie these days. On a two by one screen a very ugly girl turned into something of a stunner! Thank god for technology! I mean, it was an Australian Movie. Since The Problem had never seen an good Australian movie before, the concept was completely alien to us and in a way it still is.

The weirdo.

While waiting for the cinema to open, we met a strange stoned english bloke with a fag in his mouth and a 'ministry of sound' recordbag. He was a DJ and got attracted to Infinity because of his 'Music Factory - For DJ use only' T-shirt.

"Love that T-shirt"
"Yeah, me too!"
"Let's get together and party!"
"What? Party? On this ship?"
"Yeah man! Them music is great!"
"But they are playing Brain Adams...boy, you're REALLY stoned!"

We suggested he went with us to the movie. He didn't, because he was broke. He had rented a reclining seat and he couldn't find it. He left and we went to the movies. Afterwards, because we hadn't booked a room or reclining seat we went to find a place to crash. We found three seats next to eachother. We found the weirdo too, that is, he found us. He still hadn't found his seat. His friend on the other hand, had scored a room...eeuh a german girl.

"Damn! Not the red head...!?"
"Yeah whatever! You know, she was this really nice red head..."
"Damn! Not the red head...!?"

He tried to persuade us into buying the cabin of that friend, since he obviously had no use for it because the redhead had a room aswell...

"Damn! Not the red head...!?"

We went up to the deck with him. Even the hard wind (120 km/h if you ask me) couldn't brighten his mind.

"Got a light man?"
"No, left my flashlight in my bag in the storage room"
"Yeah, whatever...but do you have a light?"
"You're not coming on to me are you?"
"Yeah man, whatever...but..eeuh...say, do you have a light?"

After blowing ourselves a new hairstyle, we went back in to find our seats. He sat down next to us and that was the point when we found out that our friend wasn't just a DJ, he was also a magician! He was capable of imposing his will onto inanimate objects. Because of his stonedness, something went wrong. Instead of the present he bought for his girlfriend floating down the corridor, the pack of orange-juice in his bag exploded. It was an awfull mess and the whole corridor, including the present for his girlfriend was soaked and the people sleeping on the floor drowned. If you have to go someway, this ain't half bad. We told him to come with us to the disco to get a drink. We got the drink, only to find the weirdo gone. There was the red head again...

"Damn! Not the red head...!?"

In fact, it wasn't. It was someone else. She went up to the DJ and he disappeared below the decks. When the girl reappeared from around the corner, so did the DJ...Spooky huh?


The Weirdo II

01.30 We left the disco because of the high Brain Adams proof. Outside we met another weirdo. This one was drunk, not stoned.

"I just scored this girl!"
"No way!"
"Nonono, You got to say 'No way dude!"
"No way dude"
"No! Like this: "Noway Duuuuude!""
"Leave us alone dude!"
"The girl was great! She was like really beautiful"
"Damn! Not the red head...!?"

He invited us to a game of door knocking, to see if there were any nice girls in 'm. One of us suggested to look through the portholes first, so we couldn't run into any bodybuilders or something. He decided that the best way to do THAT was throwing someone overboard. He could then, during his fall, report on which rooms contained babes. The first option was Solution but since he wasn't very cooperative, the choice fell onto Infinity and after that onto Alco.

"We'll throw YOU overboard!"
"No way!"
"Nonono, You got to say 'No way dude!"
"No way dude"
"No! Like this: 'Noway Duuuuude!'"
"Leave us alone dude!"

The night at the disco

The dude went off. The disco went off. The girls went off. The gambling machines went off and the mood went off. We found a place to sleep in the disco. What a concept! The stoned weirdo returned. He had found his seat and someone had vomitted over it. He went away again to get some cigarets. Solution went to sleep. The stoned weirdo returned AGAIN. The non-sleeping part of TP played some cards. Solution woke up when Infinity had taken a severe beating!

"Good! You now owe me your house, your car, your girlfriend and your boobies!"
"I have no boobies!"
"Then why bet them?"
"I panicked!"
"I'll settle for your underwear instead!"
"You're not coming on to me are you?"

After he'd shown us the best recordshops to visit in London, he went away again, to get some sleep. It was 05.00. He never returned. Solution was awoken by the rest of TP. We were talking about coffee constantly, not being able to get any.

"Ping Pong! There is fresh coffee and breakfast available in the bar!"
"Thank god! I'm in heaven!"
"The Problem members are not allowed in!"
"Und jetzt auf Deutsch! Es gibt heißes Caffee und Fruhstuck im bar!"
"Gottdank! Ich bin im Himmel!"
"The Problem mitglieder werden nicht zugelassen!"

After forcing us a way into the bar with a false identity, we got coffee and rubbery dougnuts. There was this beautiful girl. She was really good at not looking at us. When we wanted to exit the bar, we saw the beautiful red head again, WITH THE REST OF HER FAMILY!!! And they were talking...german!

"Oh my god! That sounds like german!"
"Damn! Not the red head...!?"

When we saw her at first we couldn't believe she was german, but now...

We took a picture of the drunk weirdo and got off the ship after more passport showing.

The train to London

A silly picture by Infinity!

The trains in England are less comfortable than the ones in Holland! Yeah! Once we were on board (as one of the first) we took our seats and started to sweat. It was hot, and soon to become hotter. Infinity was sitting next to the walkway. Then she came in; a gorgeous blond (and her lucky boyfriend) and she was heading right for Infinity. Infinity strategically placed his bag in the middle of the path. The trick worked, and soon Infinity found himself covered with girl. The girl had tripped over the bag, and graciously fallen onto Infinity.

"Ooooops! Sorry"
"I don't mind. Wanna see my passport?"
"Say, is that a cigar in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
"Are those two things for real, or can you take 'm off?"

The boyfriend claimed back his girl and they took a seat a few feet further. Infinity lit his cigar. When the train departed, everybody took a map from their bag, to see where London was, and then we went for a quick nap...

The Arrival

Once we found a way out of the (very nice) train station at Liverpool street, we crossed the street to a small eating-place where they served REAL English breakfast at a reasonable price (unlike the ship who charged £7,- for some scambled egg, some bacon and a sausage of dubious quality). They also served coffee, but it tasted like the water had come out of the Thames. The rest of the breakfast looked like world war III but tasted like something out of one of those tellyvision cookshows...well not really, but we needed the energy and all things considered it wasn't half bad. In the small establishment where several other dutch people. As soon as we sat down, they left. Very odd. We encountered yet another nice girl stuck with her mother all the time. Damn!

"Would you be so kind as to take our picture?"
"Can I mother?"
"No...they are probably criminals!"
"No we're not!"
"They say they're not mummy!"
"Criminals always deny being one!"
"Yes we are!"
"Well....OK then..."

The streets of London

Since we had no idea how to get anywhere near our hotel by underground or bus we decided to walk.

"Sir! Could you help me please?"
"Which way is the Thames?"
"Straight ahead, jump in in the middle, never come up!"
"Will do! Bye!"

On our way there where several large office buildings, some of them had rainforests on the main floor. Nice touch, but I wouldn't like to be attacked by tigers or cannibals on my way to the elevator or something.

"Ugha, bugha! We kill and eat you!"
"Hey! Haven't you read that internal memo?"
"You are not supposed to attack anyone during lunch hours!"

We walked and walked and walked and bought a magazine called Time Out on the way and finally found the Tower...and 2542 tourists aswell. They were all trying to make the guards smile in front of the camera.

"A little more to the left please..."
"Show me those nice BIG armaments!"
"Smile please!"
"Sorry, that's not part of my contract!"

To our big dissapointment, Tower bridge was painted blue. We crossed it and took a big sniff. Thames smells of London coffee. On the south bank the glitter was off. Bums everywhere. They smelt of coffee so they had been taking Thames-baths. Or did they smell of coffee before, so that they were the ones that gave Thames this particular smell? Further down the road our film almost ran out so we had to buy a new one. While Infinity went into a shop, the rest read the adverts on the advert-board.

"Nice petit blond with big tits gives sensual massage!"
"Beautiful asian woman rubs all your troubles away!"
"Brunette 39C does massage.
 All your stress will be gone
 after my sensual fingers did their work!"
"Ford Cabrio '85 for sale!"

Our goal was Elephant&Castle. Since lots of signs and plates indicated us being on the right track we expected something really big and posh like Picadilly Circus. We were wrong. Very wrong! Elephant&Castle is more like Traffic Circus than Picadilly Circus. There is a big mall that some stupid (drunk) bloke had painted pink. Elephant&Castle is a bar tucked into a corner near there. We asked for directions and got them. Too bad they where wrong. Our starting point was about 100 metres from the hotel, yet our trip took an hour. We saw every back street in South London if you ask me but finally found our hotel.

The hotel

The London Park Hotel For Real It was 11.45 when we found it. Someone had done some pretty rigorous image-processing on the folder-photos. The photo showed a modern, clean, hotel in an almost new building. Real life was different. Our eyes saw a decayed, dirty hotel in an old building that was ready to come down any second now. With lead in our shoes we entered the ruins...

Immediately we saw a sign that said something like "Piss off, there's no warm water in this hotel!". Well, not exactly in those words, but there really was NO warm water in the hotel. We weren't planning on being in the hotel for very long, so we ignored the sign and moved on to the interesting looking guy behind the desk.

"Hello, we come to pick up our keys..."
"UNFORTUNATELY Your Rooms Are NOT Available To You Before Two o'Clock."
(smile smile smile)
"O well, that's okay I guess. Can we get a drink here then?"
"UNFORTUNATELY Our Bar Isn't Openend Until Six o'Clock."
(smile smile smile)
"Where can we get a drink then?"
"UNFORTUNATELY You'll Have To Walk All The Way Across The Dangerous Street And Through The Lovely Park, To The Elephant&Castle, Or You Could Walk To The Bar At The End Of..."
"Unfortunately we have totally lost our interest in you, your explanations and your hotel. Goodbye!"
(smile smile smile)

The Charlie Chaplin Cafe

We found a small cafe opposite to the Elephant&Castle. It was called the Charlie Chaplin Cafe (or some other Chap-lin). It was a dim, moody place, and a few (drunk) businessmen looked at us with great interest. Behind the counter was a small woman who had probably never seen a counter before from that side. (Or any side of you ask me!) We ordered a Grolsch, she didn't know what we where talking about and threatened to call the police.

"We'll settle for a Heineken then"
"I Warned You! Get Out!"
"Well what have you got to offer then?"
"I've got BudWeiser, Carlsberg and Guiness"
"I'll have a Budweiser"
"I'll have a Carlsberg"
"And I'll take what's left..."

She had a very particular way of pouring beer.

  • 1. She would take one of those big glasses
  • 2. She filled it up with froth.
  • 3. Then she would toss out a bit.
  • 4. Filled it up again.
  • 5. Then she moved back to step 3 and repeated until the whole glass was full of beer with no froth at all!

This took quite a long time, probably to make the customers thirstier or something. We eventually got our beers half an hour after we ordered it. Considering the fact that she had been working on them for such a long time, they were quite cheap. Any normal bartender would ask the same price for a beer he'd pour in only 10 secs! Luckily WE got our money's worth! While drinking we flipped through Time Out, searching for a place to go to at night. We found one: Heaven.

First Underground Ride

All the gorgeous girls seem to travel by underground (No, Not the redhead), so we figured it would be a means of transportation completely suitable for The Problems way of life. It was. And you get free airconditioning into the bargain! Before we saw any girls or trains however, we saw several big purple machines, labeled Cadbury's. At first we thought it were Condom dispensers (with all the girls around, not a bad idea), so Infinity immediately took his wallet and tried it... He pushed 19 of the 20 buttons, but no show! The 20th button got us a strange looking (but okay tasting) chocolate bar. Too bad the thing was out of condoms though. There where an awfull lot of people (76.54% definately female, 14% male and 9.46% of doubtful gender), and after finding ourselves a way to the trains we heard the voice:

"Find... The Map!"

"You got the map haven't you Solution?"
"No, I thought you had it Infinity" "Don't look at me!"

The voice kept raging on:
"Mind... The Trap!"

"So they've got this place boobie trapped I guess..."

We were confused, what was the dear fellow talking about!?

"Mind... The Gap!"

"Who the hell is the Gap?"
"Don't look at me! You're supposed to be the expert. You've been here before Solution!"
"Yeah, but I never minded any Gaps!"

"Stand Clear Of The Doors Please!"

AlcoRhythm almost got decapitated trying to understand what the hell the voice was talking about. Other people made a game out of standing as close to the doors as possible without getting a free shaving. Judging by the colour of the tunnels, some had failed.

And we were off. And YES! Girls! Yep! And jealous boyfriends! Oohhh YES! The ones that didn't have a boyfriend, or who were allowed by them to peek, looked at us with awe! We talked half dutch, half english...

"Wow! What kind of accent is that? I can only understand half of what they're saying!"
"Mmm, they must be from Aberdeen or Northern Ireland!"
"Naaah! They must be some of those hyper-intelligent people that can speak TWO languages!"
"Look at that one on the left!" (Pointing at Solution)
"Yeah! He just made an english joke and continues on in Swahili!"
"No! It's spanish!"
"I want to have his baby!!!"

Just as this gorgeous girl lunged forward to Solution, we had to get off the train...

End of part 1

Read more in Part 2

Trip To London was written by Tao of The Problem.
HTML file created by AlcoRhythm. ©CopyRight 1998 by The Problem
See you in part 2!