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Backlogged Blogging: London Log

I've been writeing as I go, just when I write the internet is very slow so I haven't been able to post. So here we go....

 

My first night out in London I had tickets to see Dylan Moran. I pre-funked with a couple baby bottles of Jack as I got pretty. Took the coldest shower I’ve ever had, it took five minutes to get warm (“Everyone in west London ‘Stop using TAPS!’”). I was rockin’ the up-do, my backless black dress my double breasted grey coat and my docs. I was feelin’ good. I even got a compliment by a passing bicyclist on my way down Bayswater “Great legs.” Felt nice. I went through the Madness that is the crowd on Oxford Street. I swear there were even more people once night fell. Now I understand why the internet time projections seemed long. I thought it was ridiculous that google told me it would take an hour to walk a mile and a half but it does just bobbing and weeving around all those people! I got the Apollo and picked p my will call tickets, then wanted to find a pub where I could have a sit down and write a bit. Unfortunately I took a wrong turn (not in Alberquerce, obviously) and ended up in Chinatown. Now, I love Chinatown districts, they’re usually my favorite parts of cities but I didn’t really want food, I just wanted a quiet drink. I looked and looked, trying to to stray too far from the theatre. The first bar I found was a cocktail bar full of attractive and fashionable 20 something’s. Not was I was looking for but I needed the restroom and figured one drink wouldn’t hurt. Besides, I was lookin’ smokin’ hot myself in my little dress. I ordered a Manhattan and was given two, apparently it was two for one night. I was a little worried. I didn’t want to get sloshed before the show started, and I know myself when I drink manhattans in too quick a succession. Also suddenly I had two up glasses to hold and not a single place to sit or even stand. As I looked around, through the crowd of cool people, I missed seeing a step and lost half of both my drinks all over myself and the floor. Everyone, short of the nearby plain Jane girl gave me the stink eye. The bar staff was really nice about it but I was embarrassed. I poured the half of one glass into another, downed it (it was a damn good perfect Manhattan too, pity to have wasted so much of it) and fled the bar tail tucked firmly between legs.

I was flustered and humiliated but I didn’t want it to spoil my evening. I went to Piccadilly Circus to take some night shots, and remind me I’m in London! Who cares about those people, I’ll never see them again. Then I thought about it and it wasn’t really a bar I’d frequent if it were in Seattle. I’m not cool or fashionable I’m a neard…and in my city that’s an okay thing to be. It was then that I decided that I would most certainly get my neardy tattoo the next day. I’m gonna wear my neardiness on my sleve quite literally.

I found a little pub, just what I was looking for, small, quaint. A proper English pub. On my way in a really really drunk guy was all “oi, you’re georgeous, will you be my girlfriend.” I mean I want to bring a British boy home but not just any. Anyway I went in, got a shot of whiskey and took to this stool in a corner by the window and wrote about the aforementioned story. Then the people sitting behind me complimented my Kasmir Melvitch tattoo on the back of my neck and I had people to talk to! They were all foreigners living in London and attending an English Language school. The girl was Russian, there were two guys from Columbia (one was cute) and another girl who seemed to know about as much English as I know French (I know because when I mentioned French she started talking fluently in it and I could only stare at her blankly.) They were very fun. I could have hung out with them longer but I had a stand up show to catch. I’m proud to say that at the Dylan Moran show I was the first person at the bar when it opened. I drank and when the awkwardness of standing around alone became too unbearable I went outside for a smoke.

Outside, a guy asked me for a light, I lent him mine and afterward he pocketed it playfully and when I went “hey!” he made some joke about MPs and the government that went completely over my head. I made the over the head gesture and he said “you pay taxes, right?” “Not in this country,” I said to which I said I was American. “Thank you for voting for Barack Obama,” he said and shook my hand. That was nice. Such a difference from the experience as an American abroad while Bush was in office. I kinda got even prideful about it for a moment, then went back inside for my second drink.

My seats were awesome a mere six rows back on the ground floor. The theatre was gorgeous in that kinda gaudy baroque way. Dylan Moran was supurb! I laughed my ass off and stopped every now and again thinking how insanely happy I was in that moment…until the cocktails kicked in and I suddenly had to pee so bad. I tried not to laugh, but he’s just too funny. So when I get home and people who know who he is ask “how was Dylan Moran” my honest reply would be “he damn near made me wet myself.”

I took a cab back to the hotel after stopping at Tesco to pick up some wine and wrote for hours only to press a button I shouldn’t have in my drunken state and lost everything.

 

 

Day Two “An American Warewoolf in London”

I wasn’t loving life. The night of drinks and the hours upon hours of missed sleep made me groggy and grumpy. I got up around nineish and took to the free continental breakfast. Then I went back in bed and fell asleep to the stupidest BBC show I’ve ever seen. It must have been for children or something. The cleaning lady woke me up twice and I answered in smudged make up looking like death. I was up and feeling a bit better by 11:30 and I got out of her way and let her do her work (though I found myself tidying up before hand, to avoid further potential judgment.) I had plans to check out Notting Hill then I was going to hit up Camden. I wasn’t feeling Notting Hill. Maybe it was my mood. Maybe it was because I tried to buy a travel card at the Underground but the machine wouldn’t take my debit card and the only ones working required exact change and it was crowded and people were pushy and shoving and the fucking Greenpeace people were harassing me every time I walked nearby…I just wasn’t feeling it. I went to the Queensway Tube and got in no worries (bought the wrong zone travel card but will not make that mistake again.) I now see why people have a love hate relationship with the Tube. My experience in Notting Hill was beyond inconvient it was fiercely aggravating (it didn’t help that the Circle Line was closed today as well) but by the end of the day my travel card was my best friend. I could go anywhere I wanted for the day, provided I could figure it out. I took the Central line, transferred to the Northern line and up to Camden.

I loved Camden. It was well crowded and had the same Oxford Street rush but instead of high end stuff it was alternative goth/hipster/clubber stuff. The Capitol Hill equivalent only more so. I went to the street market got a couple of cute shirts.  Then I wandered over to the locks and the markets there. No Noel Fielding sighting, unfortunately I didn’t really expect to but I can hope. It was around two and I decided to get my tattoo. I went to the Camden Piercing and Tattoo shop and they were very eager to do it. It wasn’t one of the suggested places in my research, however what I liked about it was that it was attitude free, something I really needed, especially with as neardy a tattoo it is. Again, everyone was a transplant, my tattoo artist was Polish, the counter girl was Russian, the owner was Moroccan, and the other tattoo artist was an adorable gay boy (or the most UBER metrosexual in the world, he was French so it was hard to tell). I didn’t have the cash on me to cover it so they let me go over to an ATM but the ATM wouldn’t give me any money (I might have already taken out my allotted amount for the day I’m not sure if I should be worried. But the bank that Bank of America told me to go to in London to avoid the fine didn’t accept my card either..fuckers.) Well they ran my card at the parlor when I explained my situation (I don’t know why they didn’t do that before maybe they try to avoid using it, couldn’t say.) The owner was really nice (though I thought him kinda skeezy at first, like he clocked me as a pidgin the moment I walked in). However once I threw down, he went out and bought me a coffee while I waited for the tattoo mock up to be done. Then towards the end he came down with orange sodas for his customers and his artists.

I didn’t really realize that it was a particular difficult tattoo when I designed it but it took about three hours. I have to say that I kicked ass on the pain threshold. That’s without a doubt the longest I’ve sat for a tattoo and while he was doing the outlining the worst I did was a few muscle tightening spasams. Now when he started filling in I wasn’t loving life. At one point the angle I was sitting for him to get the back bit of the arm, my body was positioned in such a way it was as if rest of my body was trying to escape limb in question completely. I found my happy place and got through. I kicked ass at getting that tattoo and I’m very happy with it.

The tattoo artist was probably the second most laid back non threatening tattoo artist I met (the girl at Supergenious that did Raye’s tattoo was really sweet too, and apparently we went to elementary school together.) He was kind of weird though. He was talking about conspiracy theories primarily that all terrorist attacks are really performed by the government. Though I couldn’t understand his argument very well because I only understood about half the things he said in his thick euorpean accent. He did an excellent job with the tattoo though. I’m very pleased with it. I didn’t know the custom here about tipping in reguard to tattoo artists so I tipped him anyway. So with the tip it came to two hundered quid. That’s about a hundred an hour, seems right to me. I don’t know. Maybe I got ass-reamed and they’re all at the pub right now laughing about me but who cares. It’s an investment. I’ll have it until my body is cremated so, really day to day like, it’s a drop in the bucket, right?

However, when I came out (at the gloaming hour) I figured I needed to get out of Camden because I was hemorrhaging money there. I took a walk around and took some night shots. I needed food and wanted Fish’n’Chips. However the stalls in the market for Fish’n’Chips were closed so I had to further explore Camden a bit more (I didn’t WANT to leave I just felt I had to). It was a pain finding a fish and chips shop, I say a pain I really just needed to get off the high street. Right when I was thinking “who do you have to screw in this country to get some fish’n’chips?” I stumbled upon a shop. Omigod the Fish ‘n’ Chips were AMAZING! Best I’ve had ever. It’s so much more buttery, the fish is beyond moist and tasted so much more fishy. I can never go to Ivars again and be satisfied. It was literally half a cod, skin and all, fried to golden perfection. Even the chips tasted a bit different, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Satisfied I got the fuck out of doge (after a brief stop and Sainberrys for cellophane for my tattoo) right as the Halloween drinking crowd started to come out of the tube station. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to drink. I didn’t want to spend anything. This is where my travel card became my best friend. I realized that I hadn’t even seen the bloody Themes yet, so I decided to just use my fancy travel card to it’s fullest and explore. Also the moon was full or at least looks full and it was a clear night. It was the perfect “night shot” kind of evening. I took the tube to London Bridge stop, got lost, got nervous, found my way to the actual London bridge, crossed it at took some pictures. Then, back on the tube over to Embankment and got shots of the Hungerford Bridge, the London Eye and Big Ben. As I was walking closer to it to get a picture, Big Ben bells tooled at eight o’clock and I got all faklempt. I almost cried with happiness.

Eventually I was beat and had to tend to my tattoo and I wanted to write so I headed back to the hotel. It wasn’t really what I had imagined of my Halloween night, but I was not disappointed.

 

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
jadens_world
Nov. 4th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
Color me jealous. I'm really happy for you that you're having a great time. How are you finding being alone? I've never traveled that way and have always wondered what it would be like.
pandapropaganda
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:20 am (UTC)
Taveling alone has it's ups and downs. I'm an independant girl I like being able to go where I want to go and not arguing about which way is which. However, it's getting to me. Part of the reason I haven't gone out nightlifeing very much is becasue it's hard on your own. Londoners are much like Seattleities in the "not talking to people they don't know" area. The isolation is kinda getting to me but that's part of the test of this whole trip. If I go to school here I'm going to be totally alone at first...can I handle it. I seem to be doing well so far.
angelsong
Nov. 4th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great trip so far! You should join a local LJ group to where you are and see if you can meet some people for some nightlife!
pandapropaganda
Nov. 4th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah the nightlife is hard I'm friends on the Brits/Americans grop on LJ. I don't knwo I'm so cynical about meeting folks on the internet. Unless I've known them for years (I have some friends I've know for agen on line and met). Or tomorrow I'm meeting a friend of a friend. My friends hooked me up with him so I'll mee him whilse he's in the city.

Otherwise it is all me, which is a bit rough, acutally. It helps being a writer, I can pull out pen and paper and drink and write at any pub but after a whole I've run out of things to say or my hand gets tired. Traveling alone aitn easy.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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