Today is my last full day in London, although putting it like that makes it sound like a bigger deal than it is considering today is also only my third day in London. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind trip; I pretty much only just touched down and now I’m off again, heading to Scotland to meet the lady and make my fame and fortune when I inevitably find Nessie.
The last few days have been a bit strange, from leaving Melbourne to now. My flight was at 6am, so I decided to stay awake overnight before catching a (very) early morning Uber. This was probably the right decision but it did mean that upon arrival at the airport I was very tired and very grumpy. When I finally got on the plane I was stoked to see that I had a row to myself, and so pretty much immediately upon taking to the air I stretched out, put a blanket over myself, put on my eye cover thing and fell asleep only to be woken up five minutes later by a flight attendant roughly poking me to ask if I wanted a juice.
I was fucking mad.
Then, of course, I couldn’t get back to sleep properly and so the fourteen hour flight to Dubai passed in a weird twilight zone of drifting off, waking up, trying to watch a movie, drifting off again, repeat ad nauseum for what felt like an eternity. I was relieved to arrive in Dubai just to get a break from the vicious cycle, at least until I realised that Dubai was very much its own special class of nightmare. Signs that seemed designed to confuse you by directing you every way but the one you’re supposed to go, heat that was just that tiny bit too much, people everywhere, uniformed blokes standing guard outside the bathroom to welcome you and aggressively direct you into cubicles (I was so weirded out by this that I walked out and refused to go until I was on the plane despite the man yelling for me to come back); the feeling of going in increasingly frustrating circles was exacerbated as I found myself desperate to be back on a plane. Which, of course, was then another seven hours of trying and failing to sleep.
But everything clicked into place upon arrival. I spent my first morning in London trying to find my way from where I’m staying to the Thames; despite being told it was only a ten-minute walk I wandered around hopelessly lost for two hours until I arrived back where I had started and subsequently realised that it was only a ten minute walk, just in the opposite direction to the one I had set out in. Usually this would annoy me to no end, but I sort of just met it with a shrug before keeping on my way. This is one of the first times I’ve been travelling without a packed schedule, and I’ve absolutely loved the fact that I can just wander for hours on end, seeing the sights, experiencing the city, thinking my thoughts. It’s been so relaxing to just sort of dawdle from place to place, aimlessly killing time by exploring all the strange little alleys I stumble upon.
On Wednesday night I had a meeting with a producer followed by an animation networking event, which was really cool and resulted in my meeting some great people before jetlag made me look like that rude bastard yawning through speeches. I spent Thursday wondering again, stopping in at the occasional bar or café to do some writing before setting out again to just bounce around the place. Then last night I met up with a bunch of Sanspants fans at a London pub and had a fantastic time; we downed pints and chatted until the bar kicked everyone out. I always love getting to meet people who like the show and hanging out with them is always excellent.
So today I’m catching up with a few friends who also happen to be in London, then tomorrow morning I’m getting on a train and heading off for the next part of this trip. I’m pretty excited to see what Scotland holds, which I assume to be a certain plesiosaur in a certain loch that I will befriend and consider revealing to the world before realising that some mysteries are best left unsolved, but honestly I’ll be happy if I just keep having as much of a good time as I’m having here. It’s all been just a bit brilliant so far.
Writing words about writing words.