Smoke bomb, motherfuckers is the epitome of “show, don’t tell.”

For the first time in almost a week I’m back traveling in London proper. Which also means I’m back to crashing on the couch. Kind of. Dissatisfied with the last couch set up, I jury rigged up a one seater perpendicular to it in a lower case “y” sort of deal. Still not spectacular, but an upgrade, allowing me the luxury of straight legs while I slept. Bonus. Tonight’s accommodation will revolve around trying out a one person airbed, surely the highest honour amongst squatters.

Why would I opt for a single? I tried for a double, honestly, but Argos didn’t have them in stock. What’s Argos (you’ll probably now ask)? It’s like a physical version of one of those old Consumers Distribution catalogues. You go into a store, leaf through catalogues, looking up codes and numbers for different items. You then check the items’ availability and, in my case, are thoroughly disappointed time and time again. Considering the mattress is for all of five nights accommodation, I wasn’t keen to get a top of the line mattress. However the prices shot up pretty quickly. There was also the consideration of manual vs electric pump. Did I really want to spend half an hour physically pumping up a mattress to spare £5? Some vacation. So I’ve got a dinky little single mattress, which sucks because I wanted to leave my friends a double they could use for visiting couples.

Still, my day has been more than just buying a mattress. I’ve been out exploring Camden. It’s a neat market area with an assortment of boutiques, pop up shops, stalls, street food, bars and cafes. If anything has brought back that feeling of trawling through “same same but different” tents like Thailand, it’s Camden. I sank a few hours in, looking at trinkets, art and offbeat clothing. It felt like the stalls would never end, fluctuating between neat artisan pieces and obviously mass produced items. Still, hard to beat on a day of aimless wandering.

I sat down with a big bowl of pho and overheard a bunch of twentysomething British lads talking about girl troubles. Obviously I eavesdropped. Tell me you wouldn’t have. They each chimed in on their mate’s qualms, giving reasonable, respectful advice, taking her side of the equation into account too. I listened and thought about it. Thought back to previous similar relationships in my life. As I finished my bowl there was a lull in the conversation, I offered my perspective. I brought up a bunch of the factors they hadn’t touched on, but could help shape his decision. I didn’t lean towards any particular direction, but suggested outcomes and potential issues. Dumbfounded, the guy thanked me and asked me what I did, if I was a counselor or something. I replied that I just like to see people happy in their emotional connections, for things to work out for each party. Everyone deserves that. Then I said goodbye and disappeared off into the distance like a goddamn Manic Pixie Dream Boy. I need to start carrying smoke bombs.

Anyway, I’m off. There’s an insane rave clothing store and I’ll kick myself if I don’t grab a piece or two while I’m here.

Smoke bomb, motherfuckers!


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