Lost in London

Oct 1, 2010

It was 1 am and I was wide awake. I'd gone to sleep only 4 hours earlier and I didn't have to be up for another 2. Unfortunately I was unable to fall back asleep and I braced myself for what was sure to be a long and exhausting day as I headed to London.
Somehow I made it through the flight and to the hotel without falling asleep. It was pouring rain and quite chilly outside as I considered my options. I could make the 45 minute journey to the city, wander in the rain and take photos... or cozy up inside my hotel room, order room service, take a bubble bath, and sleep early. So what did I do? You guessed it. I got changed and headed downstairs to wait for a bus. On the bus I met up with a couple from New Mexico who were in the city for a vacation. They were so friendly and we chatted until we reached the train station, where (having been there just once before) I expertly led the way. As I sat on the train I was barely conscious. I noticed the Chinese lady sitting next to me was watching a Chinese movie on her iPod, which appeared to be quite erotic. Not the typical train ride entertainment, but to each her own, I suppose.
5 hours later (okay, it was more like 1 hour but it felt way longer) I arrived at the Piccadilly Circus station. I stepped out into the heart of the city, relieved that I'd brought my umbrella. I spent awhile wandering the tourist spots, taking more photos of double decker buses and phone booths. I browsed shops full of tacky souvenirs for a brief chance to warm up and dry off from the rain. I strolled through China Town and eventually wound up in Soho, where I window shopped. I was extremely sleepy and getting hungry, so I found the nearest Starbucks and sat down with a latte. In my dazed state I found myself people watching... slightly envious of the normal day to day life that these people led. I still wouldn't trade my job for a 9-5, but they all seemed so content and relaxed as they sipped their coffee and caught up with friends in the warmth of the coffee shop. Continuing my aimless wandering I strolled down streets, turning at any that looked interesting. I soon found myself completely lost on a random street in the pouring rain. I was concerned for an entire 5 seconds before I shrugged it off and continued walking with my camera in hand.
Eventually I ended up at Hyde Park, which was the opposite of the direction I'd thought I was walking. My sense of direction is terrible, but in my defense I'm in different corners of the world every week. It tends to get confusing. I hadn't had anything to eat yet, so I found a nice cafe where I was able to access the internet for a whole 5 minutes. I suppose it was better than nothing. Layovers are difficult as I don't have constant contact with Ryan, and I'm a needy girlfriend who misses him after an hour. It was getting dark and I still had a long ride back to the hotel, so I decided to find the nearest Tube station and head back. Along the way I spotted a supermarket where I stocked up on fresh raspberries and blueberries to eat the next morning for breakfast... simple pleasures that I'm deprived of in the heat of Dubai.
I found a station and headed to the platform to wait for the next train. What I hadn't considered was the fact that it was 6:30 pm on a weeknight... and thousands of other people were trying to get on a train as well. 2 trains came and went, far too full for me to squish on board. By the time the 3rd arrived, I was determined and pushed my way on. I didn't care that I was sandwiched between people with no room to breath, let alone stand comfortably. As luck would have it, the train didn't depart. We stood anxiously waiting to move until we were informed that it should just be a few moments as they tried to work out the problem. Finally, we were off, 15 minutes later. At some point the train had changed destinations without me knowing and I'd missed the stop that I'd needed to transfer at. Irritated and ridiculously sleepy, I hopped off the train and caught another one back to the previous station, where I caught yet another train... finally, the right one!
10 years later (yes, exaggerating again) I was safe and sound in my hotel room.
I took a bath and snuggled into bed....I've never had such a great sleep in my life!
It was time to return to Dubai, so I proceeded to get ready for the flight. I made a stupid mistake and gulped down 2 litres of water an hour before my pickup time. I felt the urge to find a bathroom as we proceeded through security, but I could wait. Continuing my streak of luck, it took ages to make it through security as they felt the need to search each and every one of our handbags. Finally we headed to the terminal, where we sat with a view of toilets which were on the other side of the gate. "It's okay." I told myself, "I can wait." We had our usual crew briefing, which seemed to take longer than any other one ever has. Crew members were asking multiple questions and the purser went to the ground staff to clarify answers that he was unsure of. I didn't know how much longer I'd last, and I began to consider the embarrassment that would come with peeing my pants in the middle of an airport. FINALLY we were given clearance to board. I rushed past everyone and fought through the crowd of cleaners onboard until I finally reached the lavatory. Oh my goodness. Never again will I drink so much water before a flight.
One day of rest and then it's back to the UK for me... this time to chilly Manchester once again!


Tleppihs Nayr said...

needy is right <3

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