Friday, October 08, 2004

London, baby!

I'm feeling sad and nostalgic today because it was a year ago that I left for the most fun, happy, exhausting trip of my life.

I remember sitting in the airport, waiting for my plane to come in. Logging onto the Internet to check my email one more time, to send a message to my parents saying "Bon Voyage!" (or something slightly less boring), buying a Juicy Tube at the Duty Free shop (where I sang Kramers "I like to stop at the Duty free shop!" song to myself repeatedly in my head) and thinking about everything I was about to see.

I remember standing in the tube station in London looking up at the sun and thinking "I'm here!" and being so happy (and, let's face it, damn tired and jet lagged) in that moment it makes me tear up, still.

I think about walking in Notting Hill and looking at buildings.

Buying too many cards and too much stationary at Harrods (as Mereubu recently reminded me from an email I sent her while I was there "I traded paper for paper!")

Spending hours in Internet cafes, drinking cappachino. That Italian guy who was listening to his headphones and smoking up a storm. He was nice enough to offer me a cigarette too.

I laugh at the memory of getting to Edinburgh and waiting for Andy. I saw him once, as he ran by me in his oversized coat, looking flustered and confused. I called out to him, but he didn't hear me. I knew he would be back.

Walking the streets with him while he told the story of Duff Brogan (Andy, did I spell it right?) and "BLOODY HELL!" I developed an intense pain in my big toe and I limped back to his house after him where his five year old Catronia called me "Amalieee" and said "play with me!" It was an order, not a request.

V, Andy's wife, made me love her when she said she would spit her drink in my face. You may have had to be there.

I think about how thrilled I was to be there and with these people I knew only because of this crazy weird Internet world and feeling like everything was for a reason. Things were the way they were supposed to be, and I was in the very right place.

Remembering being lost in Brighton while I searched for that band that I lurve. Two drunk Englishmen begged me for a pound so they could buy cigarettes and one kept telling me "Agughg, you're GORGEOUS!" and finally kissed me on my cheek before he stumbled away.

Spending an hour sitting at the beach, taking photos of the dilapidated boardwalk and filling my pockets with jagged rocks, tumbled smooth.

I think about my Angel Bouncer outside the club who first informed me the show was Sold Out. Then seeing my FACE BREAK IN TWO and hearing my meek "but I came all the way here!" He said "not from AMERICA", and I laughed and said "well, not TODAY". Finally he LITERALLY DRAGGED me to the back of the club and said "STAND BY THE BUSES! GET ON THE LIST!" I looked skeptical, I'm sure (not wanting to be That Girl) and we were chatting when he suddenly yelled "There's the BASS PLAYER!" Silent monologue 'oh, The Lovely Bass Player (TLBP) I have a little crush on? His first interaction with me will be my BEGGING FOR A TICKET? Awesome'. Anyway, thanks for that Angel Bouncer, I got in the show. I got on the list. I got TLBP looking in my eyes and repeating my name back to me twice. THANK YOU ANGEL BOUNCER, wherever you are! Good karma goes around and will come back to you, for sure.

Remembering Miss Leah and screaming our lungs out the next night at show #2 of That Band That I Lurve. Blinding all those boys with my flash and making lotsa MEANINGFUL EYE CONTACT with my LBP.

Buying three ginourmous T-shirts outside the club, for Mereubu, Zan, and Me.

Spending hours at the National History Museum and going to the cafeteria only to discover OH MY GOD THEY DO NOT HAVE LARGE COFFEE? Running to Pret a Manger to buy a sandwich and PRAISE THE LORD A LARGE CAPPACHINO!

Going back to Harrods on my last day and buying Yet More Paper.

That lovely lotion from Boots. (Stupid America with our boring CVS)

Riding the London Eye with Steve and Barry. "We're not going to fall to our death, right?" "Right." ... "Good."

Trying to fit all the stuff I bought back into my bag. Thinking 'SWEET BABY JESUS WHY DID I BUY ALL THIS PAPER?'

That extremely annoying woman who sat next to me on the way home and could not for the life of her figure out her headphones. "Do yours work? Mine are broken!" After putting on my headphones, my sunglasses AND grabbing my magazine she TAPPED ME ON THE SHOULDER to shove her free Virgin socks in my face and ask me "what do you think of this color? Would you wear these?" Oy.

Dad picking me up at the airport to tell me Mug fell down and broke her arm. I left and SHE FELL DOWN AND BROKE HER ARM. Oh, the guilt!

Going home and petting that poor neglected cat.

Looking at pictures, organizing souvenirs (OH MY GOD, THE PAPER!) , and getting re-acclimated to my stupid boring everyday life.

The best trip ever. I was in charge, I was the boss of myself, and I did everything I wanted to do. I am such a spoiled little girl.

I'll even talk with a British accent, if you like.

because I said so