It happened. I woke up when I felt like it and typical London weather was there to greet me. Rainy, grey, gloomy, and chilly. It was inevitable, but surprisingly, I didn’t mind. Today I’d actually leave my hostel with my umbrella and roam as far, if not further, than the day before. After having smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast, complete with my kryptonite, Earl Grey, I returned to my hostel room because I couldn’t pay for my breakfast. I actually forgot my entire wallet in my room attempting to pack light, but thankfully I was on the block of my hostel and the waitress refused to keep my iPhone as incentive for my return. I swear I always meet the nicest humans in other countries. Now for all of you frequent hostel patrons, you may be thinking “don’t hostels have free breakfast?” Sure, most do. However, when I went downstairs and was greeted with cornflakes (how dare they not frost them) and some other bland cereal, in addition to toast that wouldn’t toast (i.e. bread), I knew I’d have to go elsewhere. The least I could do was sit and have my faithful morning cup of tea before tossing the bowl of cereal I made, right? Wrong. I had no patience to wait for the scolding hot water to cool. So, an impromptu breakfast it was. Delicious as ever too.
After speed walking back down the block, paying the waitress, and thanking her more times than necessary, I plugged my destination into my map. I didn’t follow step by step because I tend to remember paths I’ve previously walked and was heading in the general direction I traipsed the day before. This time instead of Oxford Street, I figured I’d visit Buckingham Palace and get some tourist shots. At one point I ended up in Trafalgar Square, a place I only knew about from my beloved Harry Potter, and I have to say, there were no tight, shop lined alleyways that sold witchcraft accessories. I needed a new wand, damnit
I was surprised to see how close I was to the palace the day before. I also was shocked that Buckingham Palace was in fact, Buckingham Palace. I even pulled up my map to double check that the less than mediocre structure in front of me was in fact home to any Royal Family. I’ll take the White House any day.
It was inevitable that another downpour would occur, naturally mid my excursions. I made my way back to Oxford Street and stumbled into a TopShop, probably the one I’d been looking for the day before. I was tired of being cold and wet, and my tennis shoes were soaked. It rained for what seemed like forever so eventually I had a seat and bummed their wifi that I wish I was aware of when I walked in. It took awhile for me to grow tired, but I did. Back to the hostel I went. I kicked off my shoes and placed them by the door to not only dry, but so that the fumes wouldn’t kill anyone who got a whiff. I looked around and noticed I was the last one standing. The last of four to be staying at least another night. As my new, cheerful roommate arrived and struck up a conversation it was only natural for her to inquire about my solo travels. “But aren’t you afraid to travel alone?” Yep, that was her.
After resting a bit more I went to that bar I told her about. It was dead and my cuba libre was more libra than cuba, whatever that means. I also had the slightest buzz and didn’t feel like going back to my room so soon, so I walked. I walked and walked until I stumbled upon hipster town. You know the type. An area full of bars with picnic tables as outdoor seating and lit by christmas tree lights. It was probably Williamsburg, Brooklyn before Williamsburg was Williamsburg. I found another bar to stumble into and ordered up a rum and ginger ale. Having used my card my entire time in London, of course this place would make it a little difficult and have a credit card minimum. That was okay though. Instead of ordering chips or peanuts like the bartender recommended, I just told him to give me two rum and ginger ales. Problem solved. After moseying out of there it was high time I find my way back to my hostel. Here’s where peaking at your map goes all the way wrong. I walked and walked, again, but in the wrong direction. I’m sure I ended up on the other side of town, but in my usual fashion I got back on track and arrived safely at my hostel. This time I was the noisy roommate coming in at midnight and fumbling around so that I could shower before my departure the next morning. Oh well, I’d earned the right.