My first couple of days in London have been uneventful. I’ve been so tired but it’s not just jet-lag. I literally had to work everyday for the last 6 months, without a full day off. So I guess my body has finally decided to crash.
Ironically, I’m finding myself having to resist the urge to call my company to send me back already! It’s like that scene in Shawshank Redemption where the guy was let out of prison and he hated it. I’m sure if I give it a few days, I’ll be able to pull through. It’s like when you’ve had KFC the night before and the next day, you’re still craving it because you’ve become addicted. That’s what ship life is like, only less calories.
I have to say though, the real world is dirty and smells funny. Or maybe that’s just London.
After being away from London for so long, I’m seeing it again with fresh eyes. There’s so many people around that it’s almost overwhelming. It’s like going from a small town (ie. my ship) to a huge city. Over here, people are dressed to impress and have no qualms about walking into you or pushing you out of the way. If Londoners really want to impress me, perhaps they could try smiling.
I loved living in London when I worked here 5 years ago. In the two years I was here, I saved more money then ever in my professional career, while traveling at least once per month. I would fly over to cheaper countries like Lithuania or Poland for the weekend and party like a rockstar. It was almost like I was kind of a big deal.
But now in London as a visitor, I feel poor. The other night when I was confronted with a £38 bill for a sushi dinner for two, I thought I was going to cry. I craved crew mess food again. Give me four kinds of rice and dubious meat anytime, if it’s free!
The funny thing is Londoners don’t even know how good they have it. That’s the difference I find between Americans and British. Americans are ignorant but they think they have it the best. British people are ignorant but think they have it the worst. I’ve had two people here already ask me if the USD is stronger than the pound. No folks, the USD may be the most prevalent currency but the pound is still much much stronger. (Admittedly, both are much weaker than they used to be)
Or like how English people complain about the weather. Yes, the skies are grey and its not as nice when compared with Spain or Portugal. But have you lived in Canada before?! One year when I lived in Toronto, there was 6 months of snow. If you’ve never experienced 6 months of snow, let me tell you what it’s like.
Month 1: WOW, this is amazing! I’m going to build snowmen everyday.
Month 2: This is so much fun. Look at me, I’m making snow angels.
Month 3: This is still interesting. Just wish my balls weren’t frozen. I’m not sure if I can even have kids now.
Month 4: I’m so over this.
Month 5: WHEN WILL THIS HELL FUCKING END?!
Month 6: Please kill me.
The only thing worse about being subjected to 6 months of snow in Toronto was how deliriously happy the Canadians seemed to be about it. If you talk to a Canadian during winter, they’d say something along the lines of “Great day to be out and aboat, eh?” I wanted to shake them and say “No it’s not goddamnit! This is hell and it has frozen over. I can’t even feel my balls!”
Admittedly, if we had another ice age, Canadians will probably be the most likely ones to survive it.
The best thing however, about being in London are the pubs. It’s nice to be able to enjoy a pint of lager again. But it’s seems so bizarre how half the people here are women. I kept nudging my mate last night going “Omigod, look another woman!” He gave me the weirdest look. But can you really blame me? After all these months, it’s like seeing a beautiful unicorn.
Have you ever visited or lived in London? What do you think of it?