Day 2 in London: 1 Day Down, 39 To Go?

Posted on March 12, 2016 in

Let me start by describing the night I had. I woke up just a few hours after I went to sleep and absolutely couldn’t get back to bed. It was only around 1 a.m. Thankfully, that meant it was afternoon back home and I could text my dad. I wanted to come home so badly it was ridiculous. I was easing in and out pretty roughly until 3, when two girls decided to come in and turn on the lights. I could feel all the girls silently fuming, but you get what you pay for.

I was able to get a few more hours of sleep. By the time I was showered (still no shampoo) and ready for the day, it was about 10 a.m.  I’d already decided that I was going to head over to Postman’s Park. I thought it would be a nice walk and a great way to see everything near my hostel, even though the walk was almost a mile and a half away.

Well, it was a whole big thing.

The trip to the part was just fine. It took a little getting used to crossing the streets, especially as it seems people just ignore the crossing signs and go whenever they feel like it. I’m not that bold yet. Give me a few days.

I also found a Starbucks, which you’d think would make me feel at home. My coffee tasted a bit off. In fact, everything that has had milk in it has been odd-tasting to me. It just wasn’t the same. On the other hand, the price of things always delightfully surprises me until I remember all about Pounds and how much it cost me to take out 100 of them.

Postman’s Park is beautiful. It’s gated and green. It’s so shady that I actually got kinda cold waiting for a tour group to move away from the memorial I was there to see. Plus, the bench I was sitting on smelled a little.

The George Frederic Watt’s Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice is amazing for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s designed to pay respect to regular people who ended up dying as they were helping somebody else. Secondly, it’s beautiful to look at. Third, I just really love the end of Closer.

Only a few people came to look at the memorial while I was there. A man and two young boys were already there, and the boy was just old enough to be able to read the wall. One of the memorials referenced a man who had died jumping in to the water to save a woman who had “thrown herself” off a bridge. The little boy asked, “What does it mean to throw yourself off a bridge? Does that mean she did it on purpose?”

I loved the man’s response so much that putting it into words doesn’t really do it justice. He went on to explain that sometimes people are very sad. From the things he said, I could tell that he explicitly came to the memorial with his kids to show them the tiles of children, some as young as 11 or 12, who had died trying to save their friends. He also tried to explain to them the plot of Closer, which was odd.

But still, I’m really happy I overheard this conversation. It’s really easy to be here and just see faces as “other” people. They’re nobody to me. They seem different. Kind of scary even. I really love moments that humanize people and remind me that most of us are just doing our best to get by.

The walk back to my hostel was what really threw me for a loop, literally. I thought I’d found a new way to go, but construction prevented me from going that way. Also, a construction worker told me to “cheer up, it’s Saturday.” Go away.

I ended up going in the wrong direction entirely and ended up at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Honestly, the outside was pretty, but I wasn’t possessed to stop and look very long. Crowds and crowds were sitting on the steps, taking photos, and generally just being there. I wasn’t into it, being lost and a bit confused.

So, finally I realized that I was on the right street. I had to make just one turn and I’d be back! I found my way over to Starbucks again to pick up some apple juice and water for my room, which seems to cause dehydration instantly upon entering.

Here’s something cool: my hostel sells shampoo. I’ve been grunging it up for the last few days unnecessarily (and out of laziness). So now I have actual soap and will be very clean tomorrow morning before I check out.

I am so exhausted from jet lag and lack of sleep. I’m going to stay in for the night even though it’s Saturday and get some much needed rest. I need to do laundry tomorrow before I leave as well, and then I plan to head over to the Tower. I intend to take the underground this time, as I am not doing that walk again. Then, I’ll be moving to a new hostel for the next couple days. I’m kinda okay with that. This place is okay, but I could do better.

My current struggle right now is figuring out how to get to Hever as well because it does not open until Wednesday for the week, plus where to sleep when my next hostel stay is over.

Also, I still kinda feel that desire to just go home. It’s not as bad as it was. One day at a time, right?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Rebecca March 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I really enjoy your posts. In the moments you are wishing to be home, remember you are doing something incredible. How many people talk of life goals but never go after them? You are really living right now. 🙂

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