I am actually too busy to write terribly cleverly this morning, having turned off my 6:30 alarm instead of getting up, so I am dashing this out between bites of oatmeal. Apologies for the utter pointlessness, but hey, that’s blogging, amirite?
In 24 hours, I will be in London, a city that I first visited in 1999 and vowed to never to set foot in again. That didn’t last. I’ll get into details eventually, but it involved anarchists, the World Cup of Cricket, a royal wedding, and fleeing for religious contemplation (kind of).
Tomorrow morning, I will be stumbling off a plane, contemplating whether to pay a heap of money to have a shower at Heathrow or just go airplane grubby all day until I can check into my hotel. That dry-yet-oily sheen from travelling has never really made sense to me (even though, per QI, airplane air is not as clean now as when smoking was allowed because they recycle half of it, whereas they used to pump in 100% fresh), because you don’t really do anything to get dirty on a plane, and yet that stale, slightly greasy feeling is somehow unavoidable. I hate it. And all flights I’ve ever taken to the UK (and there have been many, having lived there (temporarily) on two occasions) have resulted in it and arrived too early in the morning to check into my hostel/hotel to wash it off.
Being in London sure doesn’t help. Tourists and locals know the pain of washing their face and finding that the water rinsing away is dark grey or that contents of a tissue after blowing one’s nose can be black as tar. You get that many squillion people, cars, buses, and other stinky things together and things can get icky.
Once, after flying into Heathrow, I took the train to Penzance. I do not recommend this. That made me smell like I had buried in a McDonald’s rubbish bin for a couple of weeks, under the expired Big Mac sauce. And not (just) because I’m a filthy, disgusting, slob, because everywhere and everything to do with transportation is a little bit gross. And the first thing I always do when I travel to the UK is go to Boots (oh, Boots, I miss you so – there was one three blocks from my house when I was little and now Canada has none at all) and buy some el cheapo baby wipes. Perhaps less necessary in London in November than, say, July, but it’s the easiest way to (kinda) degrub after facing an airplane loo, anything on the Tube (WHERE IS MY OYSTER CARD?!), or eating a Prêt-à-Manger sandwich* in a park. I can’t wait.
*Let’s face it, this trip has to be done on the cheap, so any park sandwich will probably be from Boots too.