I really wasn’t exaggerating about my inability to navigate around London. Not only am I still turned around and upside down, but I also have to deal with streets that change names after every freaking block. This naming decision by city planners would be excusable if they were taking the opportunity to honor famous people on the street signs. Heck, they can even borrow some of ours. I’ve yet to see anything here referencing MLK. But really. WHY ARE THERE 50 DIFFERENT KENSINGTON-RELATED STREETS?! AND WHAT IS A MEW, FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE?! This place, I’ve determined, is unnavigable.
I was so frustrated after walking twenty minutes in the wrong direction (and finally referring to my tourist flag of a map) that I jaywalked all the way home. I really did. I cried, too, cursing these people with their proper accents and tea addiction. I hope British traffic engineers are happy. I laugh at your stupid crosswalks and deceptive traffic patterns!
Of course, once my journey was almost complete, I had another trial to endure. Opening the door to my flat. The British are very secure and rather absurd about their security, which is why it consistently takes me ten minutes to get inside the stairwell. There are three different keys and it appears as though they all have a personal preference about how they like to be rotated. Of course, it’s also most impossible to open the door when I have a full bladder. Since learning to open the door more quickly seems out of the question, I’ll have to do my Kegel exercises more regularly.
Then, this evening, I had a run-in with the gas stove top. I couldn’t figure out how to turn the thing on properly, which led the gas to fill the room with the sickly sweet scent of impending death. So instead of eating dinner, I almost died of asphyxiation. Then I figured out that there’s a little igniter button one must press right after turning on the gas, thus saving me from a gassing and/or an empty stomach. I ate veggie-infused pasta, which was an upgrade from last night’s cereal, and last week’s nothing. Oh, college.
Finally, I spent the last three or so hours hanging out with my landlady and her friends, drinking champagne, laughing, and talking about food and the inconveniences of growing old. I know they’re all three times my age, but I can totally relate. We all wear slips and glasses, don’t exercise as much as we ought to, and have creaky bones. Unfortunately, I’m not nearly as cool as any of them. I’ll get better with age, I hope.
In any case, tonight was so worth a day of getting miserably lost, almost peeing on the doorstep, and staring down an invisible killer. It’s the little things, after all.