Dear Bridget Jones,
Though this is extremely different from my other travel blog posts, I found it fitting that as I stumble through my life in London, I write to you. Your crazy scenarios were oh so enjoyable and painstakingly relatable, especially now. This could be an ode to your new chapter of having a baby, but let’s be honest, I would have written to you anyway. You are my hot mess of a spiritual guide and you will best appreciate the stupid situations I keep finding myself in. So cheers to embracing our inner hot mess. PS, how do I find a Daniel Cleaver? Before you shut me down on that one, I’ve decided I’ll learn that lesson the hard way.
I will note that aside from these shenanigan type stories, I’ve had an absolutely lovely time here in London so far. I’ve hung out with some great people and explored more of the city.
I would share all the happy, lovely, and slightly glamorous memories, but I figured that could get a bit dull. So here are the weird ones:
Thursday, September 1st: Literal Hot Mess
Today I was ecstatic to be meeting up with two of my friends who I met while travelling in Barcelona; Truc and Attilla. We all shared some reunion Prosecco and were having a ball of a time when I had to leave briefly to go to yet another flat viewing.
I’d been having crap luck with finding a flat, and this one seemed promising, so I wanted to make the best impression. Problem was, it was stinking hot outside, I was a pool of sweat, and I’m sure my feet weren’t smelling rosy either after a long day trekking around the city. “Guys, lean in and smell me. I feel gross.” Because they are nice, they responded, “You smell fine.” But I knew the truth.
I should note, I’m not normally so sweaty. London has been a great deal hotter than I expected and I didn’t bother packing any of my summer clothes thinking it’d be chilly once I arrived. The stuffy heat of the underground plus an ill-prepared girl makes for an unpleasant experience.
Truc graciously lent me her perfume, deodorant, and wet wipes. I wet wiped my whole freaking body and eventually, I was as fresh as a Daisy by Marc Jacobs. “Off I go, wish me luck!”
I stepped outside and as soon as I got on the tube I felt the first drip of sweat drop down my back. Here we go again. Cold weather please save me already! I do not need a preview of menopause at age 22.
All that being said, I got the flat! It’s in the perfect location and the flatmates are wonderful. I have Marc Jacobs and Truc to thank.
Thursday, September 1st: Pimped Out at a Gin Bar
That same night I headed back to Truc and Attilla’s AirBNB to celebrate finding the perfect flat. We had some more Prosecco then headed to a gin bar nearby. We stood by the bar to order and there were three guys standing at the bar in their business wear, being quite rowdy. It was quite entertaining so we joined in and ended up playing a guessing game on where one of the British guys was actually born. This guy’s name was Vincenzo, and spoiler alert, he was born in Italy.
The six of us sat together to have our drinks. Vincenzo scooted up near me in the booth, fascinated by my Canadian accent (take note here girls, the accent thing goes both ways). Now I’m not someone who will fall for any British accent, and Vincenzo wasn’t one of them. Truc and Attilla noticed his admiration for me and they whispered, “Hey, reckon you can get him to buy us a round?” I should mention these guys were in the finance industry and were throwing around drink money like it was no object, so another three drinks wouldn’t hurt.
“Hey, Vincenzo,” Truc called out. “We are having a party tomorrow, you should come by. Hey look, Sam has her phone out, add each other on Facebook!” Bad timing to have my phone out. He ended up buying us drinks, aka the pimping out worked – didn’t have to kiss the guy, not that I would have, each plain word I spoke was mesmerizing enough. Overall it was a fun time. Then I saw Truc and Attilla start to inch away. “Where are you guys going?” I called out. “We are heading back,” they responded.
I chased after them, out of the bar, shocked that they were going to leave me. On the walk home, I asked why. For some bizarre reason, they thought I wanted to stick around with this guy, who I had no interest in, and his friends. “Thanks for the effort guys, but next time, if I’m interested in a guy, I will THRUST MY HIPS in his direction so you know for sure!”
Friday, September 2nd: “Cheer Up Love”
This is more of a sweet story, but as I was on the tube heading towards a second-round interview with a huge advertising agency, I was deep in thought. “Cheer up love, there’s more in life to smile about.” I look up and a 20-something businessman came over and sat next to me. “Oh! Me? No, ya, I was deep in thought.” Note to self, don’t look so sad while thinking.
We spoke the entire journey and joked around. Coincidentally, we were both getting off at Blackfriars station. Not knowing what was going to happen, he gave me a hug, a kiss on the cheek, and wished me luck on the interview, claiming I “got it in the bag.”
That conversation definitely cheered me up, and I wasn’t even sad to begin with. I’m pleased that the rumour isn’t true, strangers actually can talk on the tube!
Monday, September 5th – 9th: Charlie and the Food Poisoning Factory
My first West End show! I was thrilled when Truc asked me over brunch at The Breakfast Club if I’d like to see a musical that evening. After sussing out a few options, we decided on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in memory of Gene Wilder.
On our way to the theatre, I felt extremely drained. I shrugged it off as just my body’s response to all the partying with the Aussies; they don’t stop. At our seats, I realized I couldn’t see the actors and didn’t have my glasses with me. I did, however, bring my prescription sunglasses. Who looked like a tool at the theatre? This girl!
The show went on. I started to feel really cold and began shaking profusely while slipping away to sleep. That is not who I am! I do not fall asleep during a musical, I am a theatre geek! The show ended and I needed to Uber home, so I accepted the increased fare. This felt like a serious fever.
The next day I had a presentation to deliver as part of an interview for a company, which I so badly wanted to work for. I awoke in the morning aching in a pool of sweat – worse than my daily life on the tube. I had to email my interviewer and cancel. This is going to look bad.
As the day went on, it was clear that I actually had FOOD POISONING … while living in a hostel of all places. Thank the mighty whatever is above that this room was empty all day because, for a room of six people, we had ONE TOILET to share.
Being on the top bunk, every time a cramp hit I had to struggle my way down to the floor and pray. Showering was a daily necessity and for some reason, my towel kept getting stolen on the daily. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to go downstairs to get a new one, but I was on the 3rd floor, there was one elevator working in the building, and there were no toilets on the way. Could I make it there and back safely?
This lovely experience lasted a painful three days and wasn’t officially over until Friday. However, I couldn’t push the interview out again, so on day three of food poisoning, off I went. I hadn’t eaten in three days, so beyond feeling sick I was extremely weak and my brain was not keeping up with me. Of course, there was also the worry that this was a 45-minute journey by tube, my furthest trek yet.
I arrived sweaty and short of breath but made it through my presentation alive. Will I get the job? Who knows. Would you hire a sweaty girl who’s brain was only half functioning during an interview? Stay tuned!
Sunday, September 11th: I Need to Change My Number
Being a stereotypical Canadian is sometimes a curse. On my way back from hanging out with fellow London blogger, The 20 Something Detour, I was stopped on the street by a stranger. First of all, this was embarrassingly just across the street from my flat that I have yet to move into, so my future flatmates may have seen this go down. Anyways, this man walked past me, was apparently stunned by my appearance, and ran back to chat. I blame the Kat Von D liquid lipstick; the label should say Warning: the bright colours may attract creepy strangers.
He starts spilling out compliment after compliment and my ego kept growing and growing. Then he started chatting me up about life. I’ll add that he looked dodgy enough that I held my purse close for the first minute. He may have even been high, now that I think back to his slightly closed eyes. I stopped being judgemental because he seemed like a nice guy. And then he asked me out. I was caught off guard and said … sure. Knowing that I wouldn’t actually have to go. And when he asked for my number, I gave him my real number! I am STUPIDLY nice (aka the Canadian curse). That was an extremely poor decision on my part, but in fairness, I was also worried he’d check and call my number on the spot.
It gets worse. As he’s typing my number, I notice he has NO NAILS! Sorry, he does on one finger, it looked like a baby toenail! This guy is either addicted to drugs or has horrendously poor hygiene. Regardless, NOT the man I should be saying yes to a date with.
We parted ways and I cringed the whole way home. I am currently on a pay-as-you-go plan for the month, so if I need to change my number I can do so when I switch to a proper contract. Sorry to everyone who already changed my number! I made a promise to my friend Jacob that I will look at peoples’ nails before I give them my number from now on. 😂
So Bridget, …
Think I can make it in London? The city hasn’t broken me yet, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
– Samantha xx