Monday, August 15, 2005

Now I'm in London

I feel a bit weird writing a weblog after so melodramatically dumping the internet a short three months ago. I feel like a shady imposter. Whatever.

Right. I'm in London now and rather jetlagged, still. The 20-hour flight sucked arse. That's all I can be bothered saying. Or, really, it sucked ectoplasm as I seem to have an unlimited supply, it's not in a Ghostbuster-logoed vacuum on my back, it's in my nostrils and throat and it's truly disgusting. When booking my flight, I ordered vegetarian meals so I would be fed first. Big mistake. Everyone else got chocolates and passionfruit custard, while I got something that looked like a sago pudding from 1952 and no bloomin' chocolates only sultanas. I don't care if I grew up in Australia's dried fruit capital, I bloody hate sultanas. Unless they're in hot cross buns. And they weren't.

So, at Heathrow, a rather astonishingly handsome young man named Nick who works as an account executive at C________ (where I wanted to work when I wanted to work in advertising) was listening in to me talking to some old people about my plans (well, basically me bragging about my Penguin interview) and, even though he had about four backpacks of his own, he came up struck a conversation, and said he'd help me get my unmanageable two suitcases, laptop bag and backpack into town. It didn't strike me at all as odd at the time (which was 5.30 in the morning - an odd enough time in itself - and after a 20-hour flight), but now in retrospect it seems a bit strange that he was being so helpful. It couldn't have been my inherent hotness, considering the ectoplasm, my vacant dead-stare, stringy hair and eau du clamminess. Maybe he has a book he wants published. Or he's a psycho-killer, partial to older women with headcolds. He did have a hint of the Christian Bales about him.

Anyhoo, we, meaning Nick and I, spoke loudly on the Tube, as is the way of people who have no sleep and are excited about their travels. A South African girl tried to join our conversation, but we couldn't understand what she was saying for much of the time, so nodded politely. I know that's rude, but I'm just being honest. At the incorrect guidance of a Tube employee, we disembarked at the wrong station, clambered up a mile-long escalator like the one at Parliament Station in Melbourne, only 10,000 times more terrifying, ended up in the middle of roundabouts, climbing wrought-iron fences, rapscallioning our way across ring-roads, hiding from cavalcades of police, and, finally, temporarily marooned in a cordoned-off statue of the Duke of Wellington. Naturally, this prompted me to ask: "Do you like the band, Shihad?" before entering into my long bragging tale about interviewing Shihad and associated tales. I even stopped to retrieve my three picks from my purse (in the aforementioned backpack).

Then, finally, after two hours of misadventuring, we got to the Sheraton, where I was staying. Then, Nick jumped in a cab and went to his hostel. And that was it. Naturally. But I am seeing him tomorrow to spend about 50 pounds on beer as thanks for his good deeds. So, yes, Nick is my new friend. It's a shame he's going to Portugal on Wednesday and then going home... I'll hook him up with anyone willing to date a hot 22 year old with a great job ... yeah, why not?

My new housemate-to-be is Gilly-baby. We met in Shoreditch yesterday, which will be our new home as of August 31st. We walked past the place that will be our new flat and walked into the gym across the road that will be our new gym. Shoreditch is gnarly as, like all the best bits of Fitzroy and Prahran and Collingwood and the best alleyways in the city all rolled into one. Timbob gave me a book of Banksy to read on the plane, and I spotted a number of Banksy's works there. In Shoreditch.

As Gill and I walked along the middle of some narrow street beside a council estate, a horn started blaring and some brakes ground to a halt behind us. It was a woman in cornrows and loads of gold jewellery gesticulating wildly:

Lady in car: [rolling down windows, waggling a long finger at me] "HEY YOU!"

Me: [leaping off the road] "Yes! Sorry, I'll move!"

Lady: "No, not that! Now, is they stockings or tights you're wearing, love?"

Me: "Um, I dunno ... they're pantihose."

Lady: "What? So you're not wearing suspenders?"

Me: "No."

Lady: "Oh. You're missing out. What you mean to tell me is that you're wearing tights. Tights sounds better than pantihose. You know that now, don't you?"

Me: "Um ... yes. Thanks."

Lady: "Well, I just had to say something cos I appreciate the fact you went to the effort to coordinate your tights with your shoelaces AND your lipstick. I'm impressed by that."

Me: [I didn't go to that effort] "Oh. Good!"

[Now it seemed the lady was about to hoon away. There was an uncomfortable pause. Then she continued.]

Lady: "Where'd you get 'em then? Those tights?"

Me: "From Tokyo."

Lady: "Of course you did, didn't you? You cheeky thing!"

Me: [Nodding and smiling like a lovable scamp to fit the 'cheeky thing' mould.]

Lady: Right, then. Sorry to gob on! See you later!"

Me: "Bye!"

And then she drove off, leaving a confused Gill and I in her little red Ford Escort dust.

So, yes, in light of the odd and tumultuous events that are my life of late, presently I'm happy to be in London. I keep looking around and thinking "COOL! I'M IN LONDON!" then I'll suddenly feel sad about where I'm not. Still, it's going to be an adventure. I'm very nervous about my interview and very nervous at the rate pounds sterling seem to be disappearing from my purse. It'll work out.

End ... for now.