It shouldn’t be hard, to go away for two weeks by yourself, with no-one to be feel responsible for other than yourself.
But it seems that these days, I am an incompetent extraordinaire of the highest order.
And what’s even more freaking bizarre about this whole trip back to the motherland is feeling like a complete stranger in your own back yard.
I made it back, in spite of my many anxieties about flying, getting lost in Dubai airport, kidnapped and forced to become the eighth wife of some very rich Sheikh. And with time at a premium (due to the family duty of having to see them), I commenced my sightseeing agenda VERY early on the first morning (being still on Australian time) with an uncharacteristic zeal for life.
I thought I had planned well – I was a badged Brownie after all. The aim was to visit Borough Market, take a lengthy stroll and window shop along the Kings Road, (all the while feigning to be part of the Chelsea Elite), pop into Oxford St and pick up my hire car on the way back.
Being the professional blogger/photographer that I am, I was going to take lots of stunning photos to use on the blog, and then show off to my FB friends to prove just how fucking fabulous my life really is.
Sounded simple, dinnit?
Unless you are foiled by three of the biggest banes that seem to follow you through your life:
And walking in heels
So when your phone runs out of battery five minutes into your best-laid touristing plans, in future I will know not to waste time, but head straight back home. Everyone knows that it’s impossible to function without a phone these days and my first day in London drove that point home.
Without your device, not only can’t you record the experience to brag to your friends, but you don’t have the aid of maps or any location indicator to tell you where the fuck you are in the middle of nowhere – which is tricky, even in a place that was previously your home town.
Without a phone, you can’t text anyone to look up where the fuck you are or to find out where or why they’ve moved Borough Market since you googled the address two hours previously.
Without a phone you can’t call your parents when you finally get back and realize you don’t have a key either, don’t know their apartment number (because it’s in your phone), and don’t have the ability to call the porter for assistance, who has apparently taken a sabbatical down the pub, anyway.
Without a phone you can’t take wonderfully ambient shots of quaint East End market stalls so that for once in your life, you look like you have a life.
And you can get seriously lost. A lot.
And did I mention that heels, when you walk many more miles than you calculated for (because you chose your footwear on the basis that they went with your scarf rather than for any practical reasoning), can become super-uncomfortable. Walking the full length of the Kings Road seemed like such a good idea before you found yourself walking those five extra miles around the Tower of London – even thought it looked so close to Borough Market on the map.
So, every step becomes a wince and you’ve forgotten why you’re still going to the market anyway because you can’t take any photos to demonstrate the carb and paleo celebration of amazing breads and meats on offer. And you could have sworn that you switched on the power point of your phone charger in your drunken stupor the night before, but the ‘making your life as difficult as possible gremlin’ must have taken the same flight.
Read how I reversed into a black cab within five minutes of picking up my hire car in my next instalment.