I was looking through pictures this morning from London. It seems I took exactly 14 pictures with my Nikon ( so that was really worth dragging 4,500 plus miles in my carry-on), I took over a hundred with my phone. I’m not exactly sure where the impulse came from but while I was in London last week, I didn’t want to play the tourist. Or at least I didn’t want to look like I was playing the tourist. I palmed my Oyster card and moved through the tube and the bus just like the locals, no silly printed tickets for me. I acted casual, as if waiting for the tube was something I did everyday (and last week I waited more often for a bus than the tube, which did surprise me how much easier bus transport is than tube transport).
Something made me want to blend in. So, I was shocked when I had barely taken any pictures with my real camera. In fact, I only took it out that first day I arrived, and was flying high on no sleep, and no real idea of who or where I was.
Time zone crossings and 8 hour differences are not for the weak. Today is the first day since I’ve been back that I managed to stay in bed later than 5 am. I started nodding off at 7 last night, my most pitiful showing yet.
Even though the London locals could spot me, the American, a mile away (and I don’t even wear trainers, which I’ve heard is the dead giveaway of an American), I wanted to feel local. In a mere 39 days I will be a local. Or at least an American with a visa and a flat, and an app to help me navigate this new thing called ‘a no car city life’.
I am looking forward to that, very much so seeing as I was nearly crushed several times by Seattle drivers in the span of one hour yesterday. People really, really need to learn to drive here. I will not miss driving. Not one single bit.
I am anxious to blend in in London. To look local-ish. To appear like I am just living the city life, and shopping at Borough Market on Saturdays, and everything is something I’ve done before. Eventually, it will be. I will not be the tourist (and in fact, will probably rarely go to the tourist areas once we move since those ‘main’ areas are nowhere near our flat, we only crossed over there twice last week – Parliament and Tower of London).
It’s going to be a whirl-wind ride, that’s for sure. One I can’t wait to get started on.
39 more days….