As some of you know, over the past few days a small number of prolific Oddworld Forums members met up in London for some love and merriment. Being that this is the third time more than three members have met, we have decided that this is OddTour 3, despite not actually being a tour. I’m sure the other participants would love to say their own things about the great time we had; I know I plan to put together a day-by-day retrospective of the event, and I’d like to start right now with a prologue I wrote on my way home.
A Closing Prologue
It’s the close of the day, the night has reached its blackest, and the train is inching its way out of London to take me home to Norwich. OddTour 3 is over, and now it’s back to semi-normal life for the five participants. Nathan, whose presence in London opened the gates for the get-together, is going back to Australia; it’s a two-stage flight, and I’m sure he’ll need some time to recover. Marcus is back in Southampton, but seems capable of getting to London quite readily. Charlie is back in Surrey, only needing to return for exams and to see Peter, who alone remains in the capital, and will do for a few months yet—and since I have an open return, I can come back to London any time in the next month, and I’m quite certain I will. More on this later!
There’s a freaky man standing in the space between this and the nearest adjacent coach. He appears to be doing naught but examining the wall of this small area, and occasionally looking into the coaches on either side. The ticket inspector has just spent a good while having a go at a couple who seemingly missed their rightful return journey by a couple of hours, and forcing them to buy tickets. The trouble is, even with a penalty fine (which is apparently something new to British rail journeys), he’s paying less than I did for this journey. I can only presume they’re getting off before Norwich.* True I paid for an open return, but it’s only £1 more expensive than the cheapest single I could have, and I was planning on revisiting Peter some time in May already.
Still, this is London. Everything’s expensive here. I just had a £10** ’phone conversation with Peter to pass the time until my train departed. True, that’s just mobile ’phone prices, not specifically London, but it still could have lasted longer. So expensive.
But then again, I have had free lodging for four nights (more if it’d’ve been necessary), including toilet and shower, some meals, plenty of booze, and a bed warmer for a couple of nights. For this I am very grateful to Peter, and would like to thank him for his generosity, and also for recently purchasing the three new domains that point toward the Oddworld Forums. A wise investment for a near future. I’d also like to thank the guys who coalesced in London for a few very fun, enjoyable days. We may have known each other for several years, but this is the first time most of us have met. Only Peter and Charlie have spent time together before this month. To those who asked how we knew each other, we could only reply ‘from a website,’ followed quickly by the slightly less worrying amendment, ‘it’s a videogame forum.’ Yes, you guys have been really super company, and I look forward to hearing your retrospective impressions, and possibly reading a self-serving write-up if you can muster the energy. I will be scripting my own report over the next few days, to be enjoyed by all.
To those who were invited but couldn’t make it, Rexy and Xav, you were missed and we really wish you could have shared the great time we had. But you are still invited, because there wil be that OddTour 3b in May, and we’re setting about planning it right away. No time to lose!
But to all, remember: be careful about meeting up with people you know only form the Internet. We were safe to do so because we’ve all known each other for some time—Peter and I have been chatting for about six years. I’ve also had prior experience having also met Xavier, Mojo, Havoc, Gluk Schmuck, and Mutual Friend.***
Now, warning/boasting over with, let the story of OddTour 3, a.k.a. NAZIDEST, be told!
* They did!
** Given I was topping my ’phone up on a voice-recognizing automated line in a train station with a tannoy with Tourette’s, I can’t be certain it was a full £10.
*** Peter was also on the original OddTour; I am not the only person not a stranger to meeting strangers.