This was my first real week in London. The boring paper work stuff took hold- job interviews, phone sorting, insurance stuff, setting up bank accounts (which was made better by the cute English guy I spent an hour with). Not sure how far their customer service extends but it should include taking a girl out. Surely?
I even worked on Tuesday, doing some fascinating (NO, I’M NOT BEING SARCASTIC) work helping at a conference. Tip; stop wearing heels to standing events.
Had to go to the doctors this week, as I’ve had some weird pain in my arm for 3 weeks. The verdict was- get some blood tests. Went to visit the nurse who promptly pulled out seven empty tubes. I was like- ‘I still need some blood in me, you know just for vital organs etc.’ She was Russian and said- ‘You’ll be fine, get on the bed.’ I don’t mess with Russians, so I obeyed. But here’s the thing- I’m not and never have been good at having blood taken.
Anyway I lay down. After the third tube was full, it was all over. I drifted to faint land, the doctors came running, I was a sweating, had pins and needles in my arms and I could feel the vomit coming. The funny thing was all I could think about was that I wouldn’t be able to go on my 3-hour bike tour of London later that day. Shit.
However turns out, I was ok after about ten minutes. I may have hyperventilated slightly. Then Russian nurse asked me if I wanted to have the last 4 viles done. I replied- ‘best we do it another day.’ Jesus, Russians are tough.
In case you were wondering the verdict is still out- hand mystery still unsolved. Bright side I’m ok to write another blog post (or 500)!
So I did get to go on my ‘Secret’ bike tour of London with Ash, (who is here for her big Europe trip). Very cool. Before the ride I thought I might die in London traffic but it was all relatively safe. The highlights were whizzing around Harry Potter’s Diagonal Alley, checking out a Jack the Ripper murder scene, Canary Wharf and riding over the Tower of London Bridge.
We were meant to meet Kelly for dinner that night at ‘Lupitas,’ but not realising there were 2 we went to the ‘other’ Lupitas. Whoopsy bloody daisy. But by that stage we were starved, so decide to stay. The first thing we ordered was a pitcher of margarita, well deserved after a long ride. Lovely treat to catch up with Ash!
Thursday went to the iconic Globe Theatre. Which is a Shakespearean style theatre- poor people stand in the open-air area, while the rich people sit in the stalls. Saw Macbeth, which was a really great experience. Then had drinks with Linda and Kelly after. Heard about Linda’s latest boy gossip, which is always entertaining. I thought I had stories but they don’t compare to this girl, it’s brilliant!
Friday!!! Oh what a night!!! Met up with Nicko who’s also in Europe for a couple weeks. Went to London Cocktail Club, which is owned by his brother James. It was James’ birthday. What a bash that was! I thought I had walked onto the set of coyote ugly- drinks, bar top dancing and fun times galore.
Getting home was another story and whilst I can laugh about it now, at the time, it was definitely not funny Jan. It was too late to catch the tube, so it was to be my first night bus experience. No worries I thought. Found the 14, waited, got on, went one stop. Then this guy said, ‘this is the last stop’ and I said ‘no no it’s going on surely.’ No. Wrong direction.
Cross the street to go the other direction. Weird though, no bus stops on this side. After walking in the pouring rain for 20 mins at 1:30am I realised why there were no buses on my side of the street. It was one way! No choice but to keep walking.
Eventually I arrive at an intersection, which has police. I get some help, finding out if I go up to the next big intersection and turn left I’ll be fine. Yeah right. I got lost again, but then hope; I saw another bus number I knew, so I started chasing the bus.
It stopped, but it was going the wrong way. However I cross over to the opposite side of the road see my saviour- my stop on the map! I wait for my 19. Freezing and soaking wet. 15 mins later I get on the bus. Yay. Then some idiot vomits everywhere so the first stop we come to everyone has to get off.
I’m back in the cold, by this time it’s after 2am. To pass the time I chat to a random nice guy. Another 15 mins. The next 19 arrives, I get on, warm again. Until, someone else vomits! WTF, learn how to control your spews people! We have to stop, AGAIN.
Ok so I was freezing, tired and had been trying to get home for almost two hours buy this stage. I kind of exploded. I turned and exclaimed to the other passengers this was the second bus I had been on that someone had vomited, everyone found it amusing. I wasn’t amused.
Spent the next ten minutes pleading with the bus driver to just keep going. Then all the other passengers started harassing him. It was a nightmare. Suddenly a guy yells ‘bus.’ The next 19 had arrived. We all got on. I sat down and said ‘if anyone spews on this bus I will end you.’ I didn’t really but I don’t know if I would have been able to control my actions had it happened a third time.
When I finally arrived home at 3:45 am, I looked at myself in the mirror- make up was running all over my face. I looked like Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker, not even exaggerating. Won’t be catching the night bus anytime soon.
Saturday highlights- got lost again that night whilst heading to Morden for a Canadian thanks giving. Eventually arrived for a lovely feast, drinks and got to meet a bunch of nice people. Caught up with Ash and Nadelle there too. Ate pumpkin pie for the first time in my life! YUM.
Sunday was a day of rest, god would have been pleased. Just did some writing. Went for a jog in the rain. And watched Bridget Jones Diary with Kel. Oh Mr. Darcy, I know you’re out there. I hate to love Rom Coms!
Then we had a Mexican fiesta dinner extravaganza with Kelly and Simon, followed by Homeland, capping off another great week!
As I said earlier- this week was a lesson in patience. I think I passed, just! This was the reoccurring theme, I believe the universe was trying to teach me a lesson. I’m generally not the most patient person. I can be, but I also struggle with the concept.
The first lesson I got was on the bus (not the night bus)- an elderly lady got up and accidentally dinged the buzzer, when she didn’t mean to. The bus stopped and she was making a funny face, as though ‘whoops sorry’ when a younger lady pushed past, bumping her because she was in a hurry to get off the bus. Are you really ever that busy or important that you shove an old lady? YOU ARE NOT.
Next lesson was through a FB story that good friend of mine Tiff posted. She was on her way to the gym, pumped for a work out, but ran into (not literally) an elderly blind lady who needed some assistance. Tiff being the wonderful specimen of a human she is stopped to help the lady to the subway, which left less time for her work out. But she had the patience to do right thing.
Another lesson was the fateful bus ride home on Friday morning. I think I failed that lesson but it did take a lot for me to crack so maybe I got a B+ on that one.
I discovered there’s learning patience with others, myself and public transport. I guess you really can’t control what happens but you can control how you react!
The thing I did which scared me most:
- Sat in a busy bar by myself for an hour, not drunk
- Friday night cocktails at the The Goodge Street London Cocktail Club- it was London Cocktail week after all!
- Experiencing the Globe Theatre
- Realising that London is full of crazy people- I fit in!
- Getting lost three times
- Blood test reaction (or over reaction)
- Thinking that I was seeing versions of my friends everywhere, only to find out they were mirages
- Was on the bus and middle aged black lady was singing and preaching about the lord. Just as three guys got off she started yelling ‘if you love your lady, you gotta marry her. Sex before marriage is a sin.’ The look on their faces was- ‘too late lady, we be sinners!’
What I learnt this week:
- Patience is bloody hard but bloody valuable!