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Of Hipbones and Hostels

Of Hipbones and Hostels (498 KB)

Every morning I walk through Kensington Gardens. The entrance is less than four blocks up Queen's Gate from the hostel where I stay with my travel-writing students. I don't care if it's cold and raw and mist coats my glasses. January in London is like that. Arms swinging, I share the crisscrossed paths slicing through greens and woods with joggers and walkers and Burberry-clad cyclists, their brief cases secured on metal racks. I share the paths with Corgis and black labs named Eloise and Walter, their owners in knee-high Wellies tossing balls and scolding when their hounds bolt from view. By the Round Pond I share the path with ducks and swans and sleepy nannies pushing prams. By the bathhouse, I share the path with the Serpentine swimmers, gray-haired, white-haired, and occasionally youthful men and women, circling their arms to warm their muscles before they step into the winter chill of the Serpentine Lake. "Great for a hangover," one fellow says as he exits the water, shaking drops from his ears. Wet suits are not allowed...