Last October I survived my first flight ever and left German soil for the first time in 17 years alongside my colleague/good friend Maria to travel to London. Prior to the journey, I had multiple concerns and worries that troubled me, while also having high expectations of London. Would I die in a horrible plane crash? Would I be deported immediately by local Brexiteers? Would Prince Harry really divorce Meghan Markle to marry me? Would I annoy Maria with my very exhausting personality? (Editor’s Note: You’re a cutie pie. You could never exhaust me. <3)
Well, since you’re reading this, you can tell that I’m most likely still alive (physically at least), and I’m sad to announce that Prince Harry and I did not elope, and thus I’m not a prince and also cannot stop Brexit, sorry. But that’s besides the point. It was a great trip, and I’m going to elaborate a bit more in the following.
On day one, Maria and I had to get up at 3 am to get ready for our flight. Obviously, I was tired as hell. But at that point I was still 100% sure that I would die in a plane crash and hoped that my few friends would be able to cope with losing their ray of sunshine. I had accepted my fate and said goodbye to them the day before. Flying for the first time made all the airport security stuff new to me, and it was a journey. Of course, I was too dumb to take my headphones out of my jean pocket neither did I take off my belt, so a security person had to check on me more closely. And to be honest, that was the hottest action I had in years. (FYI: My love life is dead at this point, so I’m just taking what I can get).
On the plane I had to sit between two strangers, which wasn’t the greatest thing to do on your first flight. But I’m sure they were nice people, and we would perish peacefully next to each other once the plane would inevitably crash. But against all odds, we arrived safely. And nobody deported either of us. So that was a victory. We boarded our bus, from London-Stansted to the actual London, and took a nap. At this point, I probably looked really terrible, but at least I was alive. After dropping off our stuff at the hostel (I’ll talk about that one later), we decided to explore the city. Maria was an excellent tour guide and an expert at working the map, my wig was snatched. Queen of reading maps. I took some photos of special sights like Westminster Abbey, the Buckingham Palace (the Queen lives there occasionally, but I hear she’s rich and has multiple estates) and Kensington Palace, but on Day One I avoided taking photos with me in them, since, as I already told you, I looked terrible.
In Hyde Park, the mood turned. Maria told me about the dwindling population of the European Squirrel in London, which had been mostly pushed away by the grey, American squirrel. I didn’t know how to cope with that on three hours of sleep and only soft ice cream for breakfast. We explored the city further, and encountered a monument for the Glorious Dead, and from that on, we referred to ourselves as the glorious dead. Oh, the laughs we had. I spent way too much money at Waterstones, but what else are you supposed to do in London? I wasn’t there to save money. While Maria was a responsible adult and bought books that she needed for her PhD, I was the irresponsible fuck-up I still am and bought a random nonfictional book. For 20 pounds. And I still haven’t finished it. After that exhausting day, we decided to head back to the hostel at 3 pm and the girl working there was really annoyed by us, but that’s on her. We were as sweet as ever. We didn’t even complain about the clogged toilet.
Day Two was much more fun, since at least I felt refreshed from sleeping more than three hours and I finally felt the adrenaline you get from being away from home. Besides spending more money on stuff, I did not and still do not really need, we went to a couple of art museums. They were good, I really enjoyed the one with all the portraits of monarchs and historical figures. We explored Southbank and the part of London where rich people live and work. I could not relate to their struggles. We had delicious food at a nice place but I forgot the name. The fries were really good, and Maria took a cute photo of me taking a photo of the food. #someta #inception
A lot of other tourists mistakenly thought we were actual locals in London, and asked for directions. And as new locals we also sometimes crossed the streets when the traffic lights were still red. Kids, don’t try that at home. After taking a short break back at the hostel, we went out into the city again, to see A Star Is Born, the (then new) movie with Lady Gaga. It was the fateful night my friends have been hearing endlessly about. The fateful night I would start to dislike Keira Knightley. Now, at the time we were in London the London Film Festival took place. So, there were a lot of interesting movie screenings happening all over the city, but we checked if the cinema would show the movie, and online it said it would. We made our way there, only to be met with a lot of photographers and that red-carpet premiere stuff. There was no way of getting into the cinema, because Keira Knightley was in there for a screening of her movie Colette. Since we were locals, we decided to make our way to another cinema, even though I was slightly pissed off, I was still hopeful to see Lady Gaga on screen in another cinema while having a really gay time. But wait, there’s more. The other cinema had a screening, but only two separate seats were available. So that wasn’t an option. I probably looked calm, but on the inside, I was fuming. Keira Knightley had truly ruined our night. I swore to never watch another Keira Knightley movie again back then, but since then Keira and I have made up, and I’ll probably watch Colette at one point. But to be honest, Keira Knightley is on thin ice. We headed back to the hostel, disappointed that we didn’t get to watch the movie on that day but also hopeful, since we had tickets for a screening on Day three. On our way back, I might have said some things about Keira Knightley that I now regret.
On day three, we didn’t do as much as the first two days, since we kind of were exhausted. So, we just went around town, spent more money on books and DVDs, and then sat at a café for around 2-3 hours. And that was really nice. My feet were aching, I was tired and only wanted to sit until I’d be able to see Lady Gaga. And then later in the evening, we did. And it was a good experience, Lady Gaga was really good and I don’t care about anything else. The old lady next to me cried. Nope, not talking about Maria there. (Editor’s Note: Thanks for clearing that up.) There actually was an old lady sitting next to me, and she was crying. I could relate to her struggle. The glorious dead made their way back to the hostel before having to get up at 3 am once again.
At 3 am, when I wanted to do my hair in the bathroom, I realised that not only the toilet was clogged, the entire hostel apparently was clogged and it smelt almost as disgusting as the Thames. We took the bus back to the airport, getting through security again. Once again, I forgot to remove half my things and had to be touched by a guy again. Since he was handsome and had a British accent, I didn’t mind. On the plane, I sat next to a mother and her adult son who was pretty annoyed by her but she didn’t stop talking to him. #relatable #thestruggleisreal I had the window seat and enjoyed the view. Seeing the sun rise on the sea truly snatched my wig. It was a bittersweet moment. I enjoyed the trip very much, and I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to go again. I might have had a little cry, but I was tired so I don’t remember.
You should really see London now, while the European Squirrel still might be there to see. Oh, and Brexit is happening. If you want to go, you should take your chance now. Get yourself a wonderful tour guide/colleague/friend like Maria and it’ll be a wonderful trip. And if you go, please look for my heart, I guess I must have lost it somewhere there.
Article written by Robin and edited by Maria, photos taken by Robin or Maria.
Robin was listening to “Lust for Life” by Lana Del Rey while reminiscing about this wonderful trip <3