Last week had been refreshing. It was impromptu, sudden and perhaps almost tipping to being unnecessary – though in a way, I’m glad that the last minute work trip to London last Thursday happened.
How last minute was it? I’d say VERY because I only knew I had to go on Tuesday evening, had my ticket booked and accommodation arranged on Wednesday and at 5.30 a.m on Thursday, I was well on my way to the airport to get to London by noon.
It was also pretty silly: My entire journey took more than 7 hours one way for a 45 minutes flight from Amsterdam to London City Airport. My trip back home was longer – I was on the road for 8.5 hours for the darn (delayed) 45 minutes flight.
Mind you, the trip was not cheap either; which made the entire thing even sillier. But I ain’t complaining for the summit was well-worth it and it reconnected me with an old colleague by proxy from at least 15 years back.
You know what else was nice? English! I mean, it was English everywhere! What.A.Treat! I mean, after living in countries where English is not the native language, it felt genuinely nice to be able to read, understand and speak in a language where I can actually understand. What a treat! LoL.
The last time I was in London was probably at least 15 years ago. I remember the Big Ben, the river Thames, SOHO, Indian Restaurants and not much else. This time, I didn’t get the chance to explore the city. I did not even take any picture except for this ONE:
Sad isn’t it? And that was only taken while I was in the taxi while rushing to get to the airport to go back home.
You know what else was crazy?
When I arrived at Schipol Airport, I languidly walked out to the arrival area…completely forgetting to take my luggage from the conveyor belt. I only realised I hadn’t taken it with me just as I was about to head out of the airport area. Luckily, the airport staff were helpful with my request to find my way back in to pick up my brains luggage (albeit via a different entrance) and I was out again within 15 minutes without much of a hassle.
That was not all. As I was rushing for the train after that, I had also forgotten to swipe my train card and only remembered my folly after the train moved. Oops. I still had to do a transfer.
Still, that was not the last of it. With minutes to spare when I arrived at the transfer station, there was NO card swiper machine in sight. Looking for it cost me precious seconds and when I finally located the darn thing, my card didn’t work. It took me at least 15 more seconds before I managed to fish out another card.
I ALMOST made it. Almost. But it started moving at the very second I stood in front of one of it’s door. You should have seen the defeatedly sad look on my face. Panting like a dog who lost her bone to a bully, I watched THE train disappeared into the night. It would be an hour ride and it was THE train I was supposed to take which would take me directly to my home.
Ahhh..story of my life.
The 48 hours of pure English surround-sound did wonders to my soul.For once in a long, long time I feel like I finally understood life without having to decipher the complexities of non-English language. It was so refreshing to be able to once again understand the billboards and instructions and street names and items on the menu!
For a long time in my life, I finally feel like I’m no longer misunderstood. It really was such a treat. I miss it already.