Day #12: They’re all dogs

The dawn breaks and I miss it! Yes, I am excited because it means that the scores of kids that were here yesterday have left. I have a luxurious sleep until around 8:30 but am too excited about Nicole Larsen’s arrival to stay asleep much longer. Today I will be going to Henley House Hotel over in Earls Court. I am excited for a hotel after so many days in spaces that aren’t mine. The only problem with today is that it is the beginning of Bank Holiday Weekend here and the tube line closest to me is closed. I have to figure the easiest route from here to Earls Court, which is in the West of London. I decide that I will bus to a tube station somewhere on the route.
At about 10am on a Saturday morning, there is nothing glamorous about a double decker bus. Perhaps they look very English and novel, but with a backpack the size of a cow, finding space on the bus is a task. What I end up doing is standing in the handicap designated area in hopes that no one in a wheelchair gets on. I haven’t often seen disabled people around London and so I think this is a safe bet. What I don’t notice is the next priority for the disabled area is women with strollers and two of them with strollers and extra kids in tow get on at the same time the bus fills up. I pick up my large bag and attempt to heave it to an empty space and realize that there is no empty space except for an older lady‘s foot. I don’t actually realize her foot is there until she sneers at me. Oh bus, I hate you.
As people hop on and off the bus, I maneuver myself forward and back, then left and right to accommodate their space. Unfortunately the space I need is just so much larger. Finally, the old lady leaves her seat and though a sign is clearly posted that bags don’t get seats in London, I give mine one. I decide that my bag deserves a seat, it is looking overweight and tired or perhaps that’s just me projecting. Anyhow, the bag gets a seat and I lean on it and attempt to do a tiptoe sit so that it appears as if I am a giant that will overtake the bus. Three stops later I am at my stop. Damn, well… all of that for naught but at least I will be getting on the tube soon.
It is easy from the tube to make it to my hotel. The hotel is only a two minute walk from the station and is ready for me to check in when I get there. It is 11 and I go down to wait for Larsen. We have two twin beds placed next to each other and at first I think we have full bed. I look around at our cozy maroon decorated room and decide to… sit, stand, dust off the top of the tv, turn the lights on and off, and then take a shower. Why are minutes so much slower when you’re waiting for someone to arrive? The shower did the trick though, I knew it would. There’s always something about taking a shower that makes people arrive quicker. It’s the steam I think that effects the time continuum.
A knock on the door. It is Larsen! I am so happy she has made it and I’m actually kind of happy to not be alone, not that I’ve actually been alone much of my trip. As I presumed, it’s been fairly easy to make friends for a day or two and then they disappear and you move on. Travel friends are like a bandaid you put on a small cut. You only need it for a day or two and then it begins to heal and you take the bandaid off. Okay, I don’t really want to equate people to bandaids, but yes they do tend to peel away.
Back to… Larsen is here! She is at the door with her luggage and a smile, but I am brushing my teeth and can’t say anything but “MMMMHHHMMMHMM. MHHHMMMHMMHM!!” So I finish brushing my teeth and come back out to give her a hug. I am so excited to see a familiar face for the first time in two weeks. I am also excited to be in a hotel where I can leave my stuff without freaking out about its potential disappearance. I am in heaven.
What is the first thing we discuss? Going to a pub crawl that night. I am almost excited about drinking with a bunch of strangers, but not necessarily that much. Nothing could really be as good as the first pub crawl we went on and what’s the guarantee there are going to be any cute guys that we can understand? Is it better not to be able to understand the guys you are dancing with or to be able to hear the droll things coming out of their mouth?
After a nap and some cleanup we head out the door in search of food and fun. And the storm comes. Everyday has been nice up until now and I wonder if Larsen has brought Seattle with her, but I wait and see. It is raining as we head to our destination and I wonder if a pub crawl in the storm will be bearable or fruitful. We each pay 12 pds and get a lovely green wristband to identify ourselves with and off we go. Well… actually not really. Larsen and I immediately decide we need food, so we leave the pub crawl in search of it.
Food. Food. Food in our tummies and lots of boys stared at later, we head to the next pub on the crawl list only to find out that we’re actually already there. Thank God we don’t have to go outside and get wet! Now it’s time to actually talk to people. Damn. Once again as stated in my first pub crawl blog, I need to drink to talk to people I don’t know and so I use my first free drink ticket to get a shot of tequila. I decide to sip the tequila instead of shoot it because I’m classy like that and await the social effects.
Hmm… tick tock tick tock. Okay… nothing. I use Larsen’s free drink ticket for a second shot of tequila and this time I shoot it. Tick tock tick tock. Yeah, this is gonna be rough. Luckily some Aussies start talking to us and one of them decides that we Americans know nothing about his country (which in this case is true) and he draws us a map of it and its states and gives us a little geography lesson. After much awkward talking and a lot of listening this pub thankfully comes to an end and we head to a club. But wait! Before we head to that club, on my way out of the pub I step into a giant puddle. I mean this puddle almost sucks me under kind of like quick sand it is literally that large. I’m pretty sure my foot has now caught a disease, but I walk on.
Here I realize I am sickeningly sober and should get a drink but don’t really want one. I think maybe I’ll take wallflower position on this, but instead Larsen and I decide to dance. I love dancing sober or drunk and I think there is a lot of time wasted on mindless chit chat as it is and so believe we should always just be dancing. The DJ here is amazing. The DJ here is amazing. The DJ here is… but it seems it’s time to go.
It is still raining outside and Leicester square might as well be a lake. Okay, it’s not quite that bad but my feet are soaked and I am cold. Once we get inside Oxygen we head to a bathroom to dry our feet and Larsen decides that her foot is so dirty she must wash it in the sink. The door into the women’s bathroom is open and an Italian man sees her washing her feet and stops to say something and laugh. He is amused by this American girl, I am also amused. The sink is now unclean but at least we have laughed off the cold and we head downstairs. There are three floors here. The upper is a bar, while the lower two are dance floors. I am not a huge fan of this club because it just doesn’t have the right energy and am grateful when it ends and we can go to our last club.
We make it to Zoo Bar easily since it‘s around the corner. I have been here before because it was also the last stop on my first pub crawl. We are quickly ushered in and told to go drink our shots. It feels like we are on a drink train, but I’m still waiting for it to move. I love the music here. I love the music. I love the… atmosphere, but I feel like we’re all over the place. After a bit of dancing a tall blond girl with long pig tails and bright blue eyes hugs Larsen. I still don’t know the details of how this came about, but I think it was the girl save. You know the one? The girl dancing with a nasty guy and so she finds her girls and tries to sandwich between them for safety. We’ve all done it at one point or another, the thing is that I don’t think this girl had any girls and so she ended up having us.
We head with her to the smoking area. I don’t smoke and instead just have it blown in my face so that I can smell like a European. I realize in the light just how insanely gorgeous this girl is. She is basically every mans dream and every girls nightmare. She is drama but I can tell I’m gonna love her. She is an Aussie from the Gold Coast (that I can now identify because of our earlier geography lesson). I usually would avoid hanging out with a girl that looks like this, but quite early on she is complimentary and says that I am gorgeous, which changes my mind about things. She then whispers in my ear and says, “is it vain of me to say that the people here are dogs?” I laugh and say, “yes,” because it’s the truth. She doesn’t seem to mind it though because she already knows the answer before I say it.
After this I lose Larsen and the Aussie and find them after a few circles around the club and the realization that there’s a whole other dance floor that I’ve somehow missed each time I’ve looked around. This is the hip hop room and this is where I should have been all along. Aussie girl is now dancing with a guy that apparently doesn’t fall into the “dog” category and she is smiling and excited. I just want to dance and definitely not with any dudes. We dance for a while, but Larsen is tired and so we decide to head back. Unfortunately the tube is closed and we pay 21 pds for the cab ride back to our hotel.
Was it all worth it? I think so, but I am disappointed that I didn’t actually dance more. To remedy this we will go clubbing in France and hopefully there will be much dancing and delight. Until then, it is time to say goodnight.

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One thought on “Day #12: They’re all dogs

  1. February 9, 1945At briefing this morning we learned that Weimar was our target and were quite happy because its flak guns were less than fifty. So we proceeded to take off in 718 after daylight at 9:30. We only flew six hours, landed at 3:30. It was 38 ° below, and we were carrying twelve 500 pounders. Altitude was 24,800. Over the target the lower ball ran out of oxygen, and Morganello came stumbling out like a drowned rat and finally got hooked on to the right waist. At the time we dropped our bombs no. 1-2 and 4 engines were smoking. Not one was feathered. So we dropped behind the formation mid the rockets, and there were plenty of rockets leaving their streamers from the ground. Some 262’s and J.V. 88’s were in the area. Twenty-one enemy fighters were shot down. Boy, could those 262’s fly circles around a 51.

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