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Shitfaced at Sainsburys

Written on: Monday May 26th, 2008

A journal entry from: Europa, Moon of Jupiter

O HAY GUYS.

 So I´m in Europe. I´ve been incredibly lazy about writing in my journal and updating my travelblog, but I got a twinge of the homesicksies (read: hangover) today, and felt like telling all my beautiful wonderful homeboiz and girlz what I´ve been up to. LET´S START IN LONDON, SHALL WE???

 I arrived in London on Wednesday 7 May (YEAH, that´s how they write dates in ENGLAND) at about 11 in the morning in a state of near total exhaustion, having spent nine and a half hours awkwardly basking in the complete lack of conversation with my seatmate on the plane -- a scruffy backpacking British boy with snowboarding gear and a beard reading a chick lit novel -- and not sleeping at all. Literally the moment the plane touched down, I saw a little red fox dart across the field beside the runway. It was like ¨WABAM. YOU´RE IN ENGLAND.¨ I also saw several sets of truly terrible teeth on my way through the airport. That shit is not a stereotype.

I was truly terrified of British public transport when I first arrived. Like, irrationally so. So much so I almost wanted to turn around and go home. I am proud to say though, that I am a seasoned transferrer from the Picadilly to the Central and master swiper of the Oyster card by now. Which sounds really gross and dirty. But I didn´t do any of that in London.

My first day in London was mostly spent sleeping in my uncomfortable hostel bed that was literally inside a cupboard and didn´t have a pillow, only a slight rise in the matress toward the head of the bed, in my room that was about 40·C (fo realz). As a result, May 8th saw me awake at 2am after sleeping for 12 hours. I killed some time in my hostel´s common room, ate the free breakfast at 6am (British bacon = NO), got lost on the tube, missed my walking tour, and got lost again in a really lame part of London that looked a lot like Richmond, BC. When I´d got myself turned around, I ended up wandering my way to Tower Bridge (much nicer than London Bridge, which is, like, the least exciting bridge ever) and the Tower of London, which is very large and medieval and nifty. Plus, lot´s of people have died really painful deaths inside it. So that´s cool. I walked around the outside (part of what used to be the moat has been converted to what looks like an elementary school playground -- odd?), and then bought an ice cream with flake like the one Lou buys for Andy in Little Britain and wandered back to my hostel.

At 4 I met up with Mirah and her friend, and we went sightseeing. We stopped off at the Tate Modern for some ironic amusement, and spent a good 45 minutes making fun of canvasses painted entirely red or with a single ¨carefully contemplated but rapidly excecuted¨slash through them. The plaque beside one piece actually confirmed my observation that it looked like a penis, and also Jesus. This must mean I´m smart. There was also one point at which we couldn´t tell if we were looking at spackling where a wall was being mended, or some sort of installation.

From there we wandered along the south side of the Thames in the evening sunlight, and oggled famous stuff across the water. We happened upon a Spice Girls break-dance circle (no, for real) and broke it down accordingly, complete with sing-a-long. We then hopped the bridge, took in Big Ben, the parliament buildings (GLORIOUS) and Westminster Abbey. Then we realized that we had NEVER BEEN HUNGRIER, so we found a pub for dinner, nearly fell asleep in our cholesterol-heavy food, tubed to our hostels, and crashed like Princess Diana (too soon?)

Friday I found myself strangely uninterested in the priceless historical artifacts at the British Museum (I KNOW RIGHT??!?!!!?), so I found a pub, had some meat pie and ale (YEAH) and finally finished reading the Amber Spyglass on the grass in Russell Square (WTF PHILLIP PULLMAN? Way to make the last chapter and a half the best in the whole series and then DASH MY HEART INTO A MILLION PIECES. You should read it though.)

From there begins the part of my story where Charmaine showed me all the very coolest bits of London, including Camden (like the hip, vintagy parts of downtown Van, but on acid) and the bar where Pete Doherty´s band used to play (I felt a little iffy sitting on the couches in my short skirt) which had a really neat photography display downstairs.

 Jenni came down from Newcastle on Saturday, and we proved our noob status by buying tickets to Wicked at the first stall we saw in the tube station at Liecester Square, thinking it was the only one. But on comparison pricing we saw we´d actually managed to get a pretty good deal, and all remained well with the world. After a lunch of Bangers n Mash at the Crooked Surgeon, and a brief glimpse of a white British man rapping about Jesus in the sqaure, we headed off to the West End, and had our minds blown. I had GOOSEBUMPS. Gaaaaa-linda was hilarious, and Elphaba was the sassiest little person with green skin I´ve ever seen (and we all know how much I love green), and also sounded like Rachel Weisz, the set was AMAZING, and the effects -- GAH. Just go see it. It was great.

That night we met up with the lovely Helen Smith, got Cornish pasties (OMYGOD GO EAT ONE), and watched some people contract AIDS by wading in the fountain in Tottenham Court Road (WHERE HARRY AND RON AND HERMIONE WENT AFTER TEH DEATH EATERS CRASHED TEH WEDDING). Then Charmain and her roomate Dolly joined us, and we all went off in search of somewhere to predrink in the gay district of Soho, before dancing our asses off, but we had trouble getting in anywhere. We then epitomized class by buying a bottle of wine at the drugstore and drinking it on the curb across the street from some policemen. I hadn´t slept in about four days, due to my hostel having an identity crisis about being an oven, so I accidentally got TANKED and don´t remember much. Unfortunately though, from what I can recollect, the night took a bit of a nosedive after that. We tried to get into a club called Heaven, where Charmaine´s very sweet and mild-mannered friend Tiago (sp? sorry!) ended up getting manhandled by the bouncers, so we went elsewhere, which proved equally lame, and eventually we hit the hay.

The next day I checked out of my lame sauna-I-mean-hostel, engaged in some hand-to-hand combat with my suitcase getting it into a locker, and met up for lunch with Charmaine, Dolly, Helen, and Jenni. We went to the George, which is London´s oldest pub, and allegedly where Shakespeare and Marlowe used to get drunk and bitchslap each other.

After lunch, and I ran out of camera batteries, so we made a stop at Sainsburys. Charmaine and I were standing in line, and this old dude who was absolutely shitfaced at Sainsburys at about two in the afternoon, pointed Charmaine´s hair, which is bleach blonde, and then to her eyebrows, and mumbled, ¨not the same¨. He then pointed to his eyebrows, and then his crotch, and said, ¨same?¨which Charmaine confirmed. Then he caught sight me, said, ¨hers must be the same¨ and proceeded to stumble away. It was a beautiful moment. From there we hit up the Sunday Market at Spittle Hill, where I spent FAR too much money, but got some neat stuff. We then went to the Brick Lane market, which is just sort of... beyond words. It´s basically a big long street and people just spread out blankets and sell the most random stuff, a lot of which they probably dumpster dove for. I bought some really cheap and amazing red vintage heels, which I wore clubbing here in Barcelona (the balls of my feet were SO MAD). But it´s really the crowd and the atmosphere and the people watching that makes it amazing. Some favourite overheard quotes include [insert thick British accents] ¨did you say BOOBS or BOOTS?¨and, ¨it´s Pimms-o-clock, dahling.¨All in all, it´s probably something to be experienced, not described. But it was great, I´ll post pictures.

 That evening Jenni and I trained up to Newcastle to stay at her Grandad´s, and I promptly fell alseep for about 12 hours. We spent the next three days in pretty low key tourist fashion, doing some shopping, checking out a neat exhibit on depicitions of love in art, daytripping to Durham (ADORABLE. But don´t eat prawn cocktail flavoured crisps. They´re like ketchup chips with extra lame.), getting yelled at by a grumpy lady in a hat stand, walking around Alnwick Gardens and the grounds of Alnwick Castle (where Harry Potter was filmed... OMG OOOH), and eating roast beef flavoured crisps which were simultaneously free of artificial ingredients AND safe for vegetarians.

And after THAT I spent an amazing nine days in Paris with Richard and Nick, and then three days in Barcelona, which included drunken late night skinny dipping with strangers, but THAT, my friends, is a story for another time, because I am tired, and the people in the hostel are giving me dirty looks for having been at this computer since about the dawn of time.

So I bid you adeiu for now, and know that I LOVE and MISS you all VERY much, am having an AMAZING time, and will lavish you with kisses when I return!

Oh, and also, my hostel in London was right around the corner from Daniel Radcliffe´s high school. YEAH FO REAL.

 

From jacquie on May 27th, 2008

ps. i just laughed. a lot. which NEVER happens!! i can't wait to hear more storiesss love!