Sunday, May 16, 2010

First Impressions

So, I can officially say I’ve slept on the terribly attractive (and uncomfortable) blue carpet of the London airport. Couldn’t sleep at all on the nine hour flight from Calgary to London, but the industrial grade carpet in the London airport—the kind of carpet I will always associate with my high school band room: basically some short, velour-y fibres over concrete—felt like a superb place for a nap.
But I should go back a bit. I had a weird week. I’m a really bad packer. When it comes to packing, I'm notoriously bad. Ask my best friend, who generally bears witness to my 4am-the-night-before-I-leave throwing random shit into a suitcase fiasco. Ask my parents, who've had to take me shopping numerous times upon arrival because I've forgotten a swimsuit, or a pair of shorts, or a toothbrush, etc, etc, etc. Ask anyone who's travelled with me, and had to see the too-large bag I bring only to hate "everything" I have with me because none of it goes together.
I freely admit to being really, really bad at packing. And I gotta tell you: I've never had to pack for more than two weeks. And I'm pretty sure I get exponentially worse at packing as the length of stay increases, so I truly have no idea how to pack for 7 weeks. 49 days is a long time. So as you may have guessed, packing stresses me the hell out.
On top of that, one of my dogs (Zap, our youngest, the black and white springer spaniel) had to be put to sleep on Wednesday. I was pretty awful and extremely quick. 2 weeks ago, he was perfectly fine. The same day, I went to the Chuck Palahniuk reading which was a really intense experience given the day I’d had.
I was also trying to see several of my friends before I left, so scheduling in packing time was ridiculous, and I ended up staying up until 5am on Thursday night, and then getting up at 9 am, just to continue getting ready. I fought with my bags and declared that I “didn’t want to go anymore” more than once. But eventually (after buying a new, bigger backpack on the way to dinner and the airport), I got everything into my bag and carry-on, and got through security (which was, yes, as fun as you might have expected it to be).
My flight from Calgary to London left at about 9:30 at night. And just for the record, this will have more significance to some of my friends than to others, but I was on the same flight as Christian Bök. Small world, huh? And I was further forward on the plane than him. Make what you will of that. The flight was about 9 hours. I did not sleep more than about 10 minutes on it. I hate trying to sleep on flights. I am no good at it. The food was really good, actually.
I watched a couple of movies, and thought I was dying from a blood clot when my leg started aching so bad I wanted to cut it off. Otherwise, it was uneventful. There was a 3 month old baby one row in front of me, but after fussing in the first 5 minutes of the flight, it didn’t make a sound the rest of the flight (admittedly, I had headphones most of the time, but it didn’t make any noise that I heard).
Then, the London airport. That bitch is big, kids. When we finally made it through the buses and another security checkpoint, we wandered around the really expensive stores (Tiffany and Co., Cartier, Burberry, Versace, Harrod’s etc.), then found somewhere to hang out for a couple hours while we waited. After being uncomfortable and trying about a dozen different places, I gave up and slept on the floor for about an hour. And now we’re caught up.
Flight to Vienna was pretty quiet. We arrived in Vienna local time about 10pm, but Calgary time, it was only 2 in the afternoon, and we were getting hungry, so after we got to the hostel (disturbing our already sleeping roommates), we went back out to find food. The only things open were a few really expensive restaurants, and some street vendors, so we found a stand that said pizza and hot dogs. The guy didn’t really speak English, but I managed to end up with some sort of spinach struedel. It might have been sleep-deprivation induced, but it was really good. We ate in the subway station because it was the only dry place we could find around. Did I mention it was pouring rain? I suppose not. And it’s forecasted to rain all week.
We couldn’t find anywhere to hang out, so we gave up and came back to our rooms. Our current room is about the size of a postage stamp, but I’m told we’re supposed to be switching because we were supposed to have a kitchenette and this one doesn’t even have room for a mini fridge. I shared a bed with a guy I’ve known for about a week. Technically we’re on separate mattresses with one sheet over them and separate blankets for over us. It’s weird. Anyway, I slept eventually. I’ve now had about 5 hours of sleep, but given I slept 4 hours Thursday night and...well, I guess the hour on the London floor counts as Friday night, so getting 5 hours on Saturday night is pretty good. So we’re gonna hit up breakfast pretty soon here.
I love you all back in Canada. If you’re reading this, comment so I know someone’s interested. Hopefully my stories will get more interesting over time.

"there's something coming around/as wicked as it may seem/as wicked as anything could be"

-"As Wicked" Rancid



  1. wow sounds like a good start so far lol hopefully it doesnt actually rain all week cause that would suck. who is the we that you are with anyway you may have told me but i forgot. anyway i cant wait to hear what happens next on the amazing adventures of angi

  2. Keep telling us all the details. Those of us who have to live vicariously through you need to know the whole scoop.
    Your grandmother will be impressed to hear that you slept in a bed with a guy you had known for a week.
    I hope your new room is a little bigger but I suspect the standards for room sizes are closer to New York and not so close to Canada.
    I have had "Leavin on a jet plane" stuck in my head since you left.
    By the way, weather here is sunny and really hot, going to 26 tomorrow.