Running my mouth around London

2/16/09

2-something P.M.

I love London. I really love London.

THE FIRST DAY.

We get in. We get off the Tube at the Lambeth North stop and head to our hostel. I am immediately flushed with excitement and energy which, for the most part, takes away the remorse I feel about the ridiculously long train ride and the 230 Euros (Jesus Christ) I had to pay for the Eurostar (“Chunnel”).

We get to our hostel – “The Bestplace in Waterloo” – and are greeted by a cute blond named Jenny. She shows us to our room. There are twelve people in it. Wow. Hostel life gets back to its true meaning on the last leg of our journey. I trade bunks with a cool Canadian named Simon. He said he didn’t mind taking the very, very, bottom bunk that was like a dungeon. I appreciate it, as I didn’t want to sleep with a stranger’s head in my crotch. We set our stuff down and head down to the pub for a pint. Yes, there’s a pub attached to our hostel. Yes, indeed.

I order a cider and talk to Jenny. She’s off work at this point, so I ask her to play some pool with me. She does. I am doing very well, certainly kicking her ass, until the end when I shoot the eight-ball in. Jeez.

Cassidy, Nicole and I leave our hostel and go down the street to a “Sophisticated” pub. No, really, the pub was called “Sophisticated.” We see someone in the street who may or may not have been hit by a car. Which is kind of ironic seeing as how there are arrows painted in the street indicating which way to look for oncoming traffic.

“Sophisticated” is a little too, well, sophisticated for our nappy backpacking selves at that point, so we head back to our hostel. I flirt with Jenny and drink more. We go out to smoke a cigarette and I start running my mouth as usual. I talk to Jenny about the possibility of her being gay. She isn’t. She becomes visibly turned-off. I feel like a douche.

I meet a couple more people – an Australian guy named Chris, and a cute French guy who lets me smoke weed with him. Then I sleep.

THE SECOND DAY.

We wake up and eat breakfast. Bread with jam, cereal, and instant coffee. Sick. I really do not like instant coffee. Cassidy and I go to do some much-needed laundry. We read trashy magazines while we wait for our clothes to get clean. We get back to the hostel and meet up with some new Canadian friends named Joe and Audrey (or is it Aubrey?). We all decide to go walking, and make our way to Piccadilly Circus. It’s fucking awesome. The Times Square of London. We eat bangers and mash (sausage and potatoes) at a really cool pub. Delicious. We watch some rugby. Then we go walk more.

We walk by the National Gallery and around the city. We are supposed to be going on a pub crawl later that evening, so we go back to get gussied up. I shower and change clothes. We meet up with a bro/sis duo from North Carolina. We all go to the meeting place where the pub crawl was supposed to depart from, but when we get there no one knows what I’m talking about. It sucks.

We head over to another pub for another pint. It is boring and lame. I am disappointed. I want to dance. We finish up there and then head to Soho. We end up at a place called Digress. It’s a really cool place with really cool decor and a really cool vibe. We drink more. I smash my finger in a chair and it bleeds profusely. I flirt with the average-looking American bartender. I dance. I notice a beautiful girl on the dance floor and smile at her. I see her later when I go back up to the bar for a drink. “What’s so funny?” she asks. “Huh?” I question profoundly. “You were laughing…” she says. “Oh no, I was just smiling,” I retort. We talk a bit more. We dance, sort of. I can’t remember her name, but I know that she’s from some sort of Slavic country. I can tell that she’s into me, but she’s too shy to act on it in front of her friends. Apparently her friends are homophobic. Great. I don’t understand why people can’t just be who they are.

I try to strike a deal with her that if I can get all her friends to kiss me then she has to kiss me. She agrees, but assures me that it won’t happen. She was right. I get frustrated. I don’t like not getting what I want. We go home on the tube. I sleep. Alone.

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