Shite. I’m at Gatwick Airport and once again arrived too early for my international flight like the poindexter I am. It’s 9.40am, my flight is at 11.50am (having been pushed back half an hour). I’ve already walked the floor twice, seen all the duty free I have no interest in buying and now I’m biding my time until dehydration based delirium kicks in and I start to think airport food prices are not only reasonable, but worth paying. I have £10 left to feed me for the next ten hours (including the flight). I’ve gotta make it count. Sadly, I believe this means a day without coffee. Given that I’m in an airport, skipping the airport coffee might not be such a bad idea after all.
It’s sort of hard to face the notion of going back to the office on Monday, so in true British fashion I’ll instead repress any thoughts of commutes, cubicles and performance reports. I’m going home to my girlfriend, home, friends and impending winter apocalypse. I have blankets and fellow human based warmth, I’ll be fine. Toronto is home and I’ll soon be home again.
London still feels like a stone barely turned. I explored, but to what extent? I did so much but left so much undone. I failed to find my way to the Chistlehurst Caves, old tunnels carved by the druids. I never saw any interesting art pieces at The Barbican. Didn’t make it out to any Bethnal Green Workingman’s Club events. They were so many musicals I could’ve seen had I known about cheap day of ticketing. Due to poor scheduling, I missed so many weekends in London. All those weekend markets, big events, concerts, grungy dive bars that could’ve been. Which interesting, niche museums did I not discover? What more is to be said? I need to come back.
Still, I was no slouch. I saw The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History. A bizarre collection of curated taxidermy, vintage smut, macabre art, cultish relics, skeletons and celebrity excrement. I visited The Huntarian Museum and its pickled jars of foetuses, body parts, afflictions and experimental grafting. I explored Camden Market’s sprawling boutiques and stalls, alternating between unique creations and mass produced trinkets. I found Cyberdog, the bitchin’ raver emporium. Drank my way through Belfast nightlife and discovered the purity of Guinness close to the source. Went to my first football game and got drenched pitch-side. Took the Bushmills whiskey tour, sampling a selection of aged spirits. Watched Book of Mormon and Wicked, finally catching up on some bucket list musicals.
I ate curry, Ulster fry and full English breakfast. Had my first Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding. I took a massive loaf sandwich on a plane. I drank beers of all kinds, had shitty London coffee after shitty London coffee. Gorged myself at the first class lounge.
I had the freedom to explore and the comfort of reuniting with close friends. I was able to keep contact with loved ones back home, bridging continents and time zones over an internet connection. I commiserated over Trump and celebrated my maritime disaster in the Titanic Museum toilet. If this wasn’t a vacation, a departure from the norm, then we wouldn’t really call that “the norm”, would we?
Till next time London. We’ve got unfinished business.