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English Football Fan Journal: Last Day in the States

A British Airways (BA) Boeing 747 passenger aircraft taxis at Heathrow Airport in west London in this May 11, 2010 file photograph. British Airways still expects to break even in the full year, despite reporting wider first quarter losses due to the impact of volcanic ash and strike-related disruption, the company reported on July 30, 2010.    REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files   (BRITAIN - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS TRAVEL)
  • Bloody Exchange Rate

So this is it, my last day Stateside for some time. Months of planning and preparation have led to one final day in Lexington before an overnight flight delivers me and the Mrs. to Heathrow and the United Kingdom. It’s sure to be an incredible journey, one of which will be adventurous, rewarding, rainy, rowdy and maybe even a bit romantic.

Having secured tickets and press credentials already for a few matches, the search continues still for more. A large portion of the journey will be split between London and Manchester because of the wide variety of football on offer between the two cities. Scotland, specifically Edinburgh, will be seen while a week in mainland Europe still promotes possibilities.

Since this trip marks my first to the UK, myself and a few others deemed it appropriate to log my experiences for EPL Talk as a sort of continual commentary over the course of the next month. Although I don’t have a definitive blueprint for how experiences will be logged, those interested in following the trip can check EPL Talk daily (although daily updates are unlikely), follow EPL Talk on twitter, or follow my personal twitter account to receive updates.  

Final Thoughts Before the Trip

Spending a month away from your home definitely requires a lot of planning. The understated reliance on convenience really comes into play as days continue to erase before the trip revealing those random items you need, forgot you needed or can’t figure out how to pack.

Although there are deals to be found, let it be known that London isn’t the cheapest. Hours of searching were needed to find that perfect place (which I never found) while the British pound still outweighs the dollar by some measurement. Take for example the initial currency conversion I conducted a few weeks ago where $100.00 returned to my pocket £60.00.

Start adding incidentals, pints with Laurence McKenna, match tickets, programs, food, and Oyster cards, and one starts to see the £ multiply itself while sleeping. As sickening as the exchange rate is for us Americans, it’s been a known fact filed away neatly in the back of my mind for some years. It’s safe to say the Yankee dollar will be the last thing on my mind for the duration of this trip.

My thoughts will largely be occupied with the friends I meet, the football I watch and the cultures I experience. While I’ve got the rest of my adult life to scrimp and save, now is the time to branch out, to see something different and to study my passion of football before the opportunity runs away never to show its face again.

Throughout this series of posts, I look forward to feedback, ideas, suggestions and I’ll even attempt to answer questions, should they arise.

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  1. ianm

    October 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

    While your here try to get to either White Hart Lane or Stoke for the best atmosphere bar none.

    And remember, its a lift not an elevator.

    Good luck fella!

    • IanCransonsKnees

      October 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      I could be classed as biased but having experienced everywhere but Chelsea and West Ham following Stoke away I’d agree with that comment.

  2. Kristian Downer

    October 6, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Hi Jesse

    I really hope you enjoy your trip, my advice is to try and get to as many games as possible and have fun, despite what you may hear on the whole english football fans are a friendly lot 🙂

    It sounds like you have most bases covered, International, Premiership, Championship, but there is a charm in the non-league or lower leagues, the football is not the same but 3,000 people turning up to watch it is an education in itself.

    I look forward to reading your accounts


  3. Sir Guy

    October 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    It’s going to be tough, Jesse. Football. Pubs…..Pubs. Football.

    Somebody has to do it. Wish it were me…….creep. 😉

  4. The Gaffer

    October 5, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Jesse, have a wonderful time in the UK. Just be sure not to tell a girl she has a nice fanny (or maybe you should, when your girlfriend isn’t looking)!

    The Gaffer

  5. coachie ballgames

    October 5, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Have fun!

  6. Trade Mark

    October 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Looking forward to your reports Jesse. Safe travels and have a great time!

  7. IanCransonsKnees

    October 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Who’ve you managed to get tickets for Jesse? How difficult did you find it to get them?

    • Jesse Chula

      October 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      Fulham were excellent, easy as pie with them. The FA were brilliant with press credentials for England v Mont.,very excited about who I might bumped into that night.

      Manchester United has been tough, I’ve been quite disappointed with the whole ethos surrounding their policies. Pay a load for a membership just to be able to pay a load for tix.

      Championship I’ll walk up to the gate, still working on a surprise or two. Well, maybe.

      • IanCransonsKnees

        October 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm

        What TST says about Bath is true. Heads up with some easy ticket info, West Ham vs Stoke 27TH Oct £15 instead of the usual £36 to get in, Carling Cup hence the discount. Should be plenty of spare seats at Anfield soon when the daytrippers go to Eastlands instead.

  8. Jose

    October 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I hope you all have a great time. I too will be looking forward to your postings. Take care. 🙂

  9. Chris McQuade

    October 5, 2010 at 10:15 am

    To think you fly over the best part of Europe to get there. Such a shame.

    Good luck though.

    • The Gaffer

      October 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

      You’re talking about Wales, right Chris? 😉

      The Gaffer

    • David

      October 5, 2010 at 10:34 am


      • Chris McQuade

        October 5, 2010 at 10:40 am

        So close!

  10. The Scoring Third

    October 5, 2010 at 10:04 am

    We always enjoy following our follow bloggers on EPLtalk and this trip across the pond will be no different. Enjoy your trip, especially if you can take in a Manchester City match. I would suggest a trip to the Town of Bath in Somerset if you have a day to spare, amazing history and a very relaxing day. Safe Travels!

  11. Justin

    October 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Live it up bro! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventure. You must visit a Clarks store while across the pond. No stress, have a blast!

    • IanCransonsKnees

      October 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm

      ‘you must visit a Clarks store’ WTF! The most bizarre comment I’ve read on this site, unless you have a shoe fetish.

      • The Gaffer

        October 6, 2010 at 6:13 am

        ICK, Clarks shoes are revered in the States, We don’t have anything like them over here.

        The Gaffer

        • IanCransonsKnees

          October 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm

          Jesus and I thought we were on the verge of being classed as part of the third world over here!

          My missus has umpteen pairs of the things over here in boxes taking up half the closet. I’ll set up a business selling them on cheap to you lot if I can get them out of the sales.

          Is it all Zola Budd and Crocs over there then?

          Funnily enough I’ve often wondered about doing something for you on terrace culture and fashion over here, it’s a big part of the game over here that I’ve never seen touched on, on this site. Email me if you want to know more or think it’s got legs.

          • The Gaffer

            October 6, 2010 at 7:02 pm

            Crocs are very popular over here (unfortunately), but I’ve never heard of Zola Budd shoes (I’m familiar with the Olympian Zola Budd, so I’m guessing the shoes are endorsed by her).

            You could sell Clarks over here for a lot of money. They’re definitely in demand!

            The Gaffer

  12. Martin

    October 5, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Looking forward to reading your commentary as I explore England vicariously through you.

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