Sophia visited me in London on Thursday, and it was really nice seeing a familiar face. We talked about her aunt, and she watched me wolf down a giant bowl of pasta and vegetables as I do regularly because it’s one thing I’ve mastered as an art. Then we bought 40s at Sainbury’s. Neither of us had a bottle opener, so we had to buy a bottle opener that I carried for the rest of the night in my pocket—not at Sainsbury’s, but at Londis because Sainsbury Local doesn’t carry bottle openers. (Why?) I see that guy working at Londis all the time. He has very judgmental eyes, in my opinion. We walked to my campus and sat on the steps and drank our 40s like we were back at Columbia until we both had to pee. So we did. Then Sophia wanted to walk to the river (was that subconscious?), and so we went on our way to the river. But then we got sidetracked by a “Mexican” restaurant. We thought, “Sure, why not.” (Read: life happens, why not!) Sophia ordered a margarita, and I ordered a mojito and dedicated it to Yooni and Livy. They were both tasty. We wanted chips, so we ordered chips. This is the best part. We waited I don’t even know how long for chips. Multiple waiters and bartenders on their own volition assured us that there was nothing like some grand kitchen conspiracy—just some mishap. They even offered to give us chips on the house because we had been waiting for so long. We happily agreed and waited, just laughing and talking and catching up. We were in a chip-less blackhole for, like I said, I don’t even know how long. We watched as many other parties all around us got chips. But it was fine because our chips were coming soon. Except that they never did. Eventually they apologized, saying that they ran out of chips. To make it up to us, we could order something off the menu free of charge. We ordered some tostada with avocado. The lady commended our choice and assured us it’d come up soon. Except that it never did. They (at that exact moment in time, d’uh) ran out of avocados. She apologized again and suggested tacos—free, naturally. So we did. And then there were tacos in front of us. And then we ate the tacos. And laughed. And then we left. Oh, I forgot about the Bohemia. Whatever. It plays no crucial role in the overall plot of this mundane story.
We took the tube to Shoreditch. First we visited the Book Club. It was full of 20 to 30-somethings and felt a lot like Brooklyn, which made me miss New York. Some British man sitting next to me asked me if I knew what the “Shoreditch #&*@$%#” was. (That’s not profanity; I don’t remember what he said. I couldn’t even remember after telling this story to Sophia approximately five minutes later.) People danced and we had Mexican beer and then went to Catch. The poster or whatever for that night was too funny to pass up. (I just spent the last 10 minutes looking for it on the internet to no avail.) I asked the bouncer how long the line was to get inside. He was confused. I came to my senses and used “queue.” Yank.
Then we got to my room and watched the trailer for “A Dangerous Method.” Keira Knightley does a Russian accent. The plot suggests many things that I’m not sure I’m happy with. It also has Michael Fassbender in it.
We just barely arrived at Bill’s before they stopped serving breakfast. (Why would any establishment cease breakfast foods at any point during the day? TIME IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT.) I had a near-proper English breakfast, as there were no beans. However, my eggs were so perfect-looking. We tried their jams and laughed about the chips. The grapefruit and ginger flavored jam was my favorite of the four we tried. Sophia also ordered bubble and squeak (link to Wikipedia page). We didn’t know what it was either. Bill’s also had really nice bathrooms with the pully thing to flush. I rarely see nice bathrooms, which is why the previous sentence was noteworthy.
We finally walked to the Thames and walked along the water to the Tate Modern. There was a scary performer in a box with face paint that almost gave me a heart attack along with those metallic men that give me nightmares as well. The Tate Modern is a really strange space and very un-American in design. A lot of it is unused and industrial. We went through the third floor. We felt hung over. We got more coffee. We went to the fourth floor and debated whether or not to pay 9 pounds to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. I thought of Yooni. We didn’t end up going, but it’s there until June, so I’ll see it eventually. We went to the fifth floor, which I think I preferred to the third floor.
Sophia and I then walked some more and eventually settled at Foyles. We laughed at the goofy covers of British edition books. We both got lost looking around. I always get hit by this sense of longing for a steady home for my books instead of in boxes. This time was no exception. I paced around the aisles without much purpose after that. Always in transit.
Then sadly, Sophia had to go back to her aunt’s. We walked to Euston Station and said goodbye. I bought a bagel to combat the heartache. I also wanted a bagel. I arrived home, bagel in hand, and sent Simon a homey gift.