Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The London Chronicles
Friday – Day Three
Shall I take you there?


I am sick just thinking about it. Yes, there was a guy involved. Yes, he was quite British. Yes, he was quite fine. Yes, I had to pray so that I would not act out. I have a special place in my heart for the Brit Boys. It is so dangerous that I’m glad I’m nowhere near the GB. (Great Britain) I love God and want to honour him in EVERYTHING that I do. But being human and fallible, I do not know what I would do if on a daily basis I was surrounded by beautiful British men of every race, color and creed who have no problems hollerin’ at a sistah. I thank God daily for his infinite wisdom.

After sleeping for 14 ½ hours, we rose at 10 to hit the markets. London is famous for it’s shopping and several people/books had informed us that a great deal could be found at the Camden Markets. We headed out that way around mid-morning. It turned out to be a really nice day. Little did we know it would be one of the last ones for the rest of our trip. I’m not much of a haggler. But I did get some great deals whilst I was shopping. If you’ve ever been to the NYC, the Camden Markets are kind of like Chinatown. And I’m not ashamed to say that I had one of the best chicken cheesesteaks that I’ve had in my whole life while we were down there. And in London no less. Who’d thunk? We will not talk about the guy who tried to holla outside of Starbucks. By the way, there is a Starbucks and a Pret A Manager on every other corner. Pret A Manager is like a Starbucks with a deli. Very posh, very trendy, and much like Starbucks, very overrated.

As I looked around to get my bearings:

Him: Hey baby!! Are you looking for me?!?

Me: (with MUCH American attitude) Not so much!!!

His Boys: AAAHAHAHA!!! (whilst pointing and laughing)

Once I bought more stuff than I could carry we headed down to Trafalgar Square. I am UBER-Nerd and wanted to go the London Museum. (Seriously, I can’t help it. As hard as I try, I’m still pretty nerdy.) I was glad to see that the pigeons that were notorious for running the area were nowhere to be found. I hate birds. Pigeons I truly despise. If I could, I would systematically destroy them and their ilk. The place was, however, teeming with people. It was Brit Boy overload. A guy in a skully cap went flying by me on a skateboard and my eye started to twitch.

The London Museum was sponsoring a reading of 1000 years, the 60-volume masterpiece of some obscure Japanese author whose name currently escapes me. It’s basically a collection of years listed in succession. 265 B.C., 264 B.C., 263 B.C., etc. At the cost of something like 1.4 million pounds (approx $2.3 million) two people will sit in an insulated locked box and read the years for the next few weeks. To say that this is a colossal waste of time and resources is a gross understatement. And it was all for the sake of art.

Anyway, I wanted a picture of myself sitting on top of the lions. I attempted to climb to the top of the statue. Hilarity ensued. I am not 11-years-old nor am I all that limber. So after several embarrassing attempts, I ended up with this. I guess beggars can’t be choosy.

It wasn’t until later that we realized that we were really close to Big Ben. Not going would have been akin to not going to the Statue of Liberty while on holiday in New York. It was to be one of several trips. After dinner we made our way down there. It is without a doubt one of the coolest things to see. And look how cute I am standing in front of it. We were going to wait for the sun to go down, but it was getting brutally cold and trying to be cute, neither of us had brought our coats. So this was the best that I could do.



We were totally turned around by the time we made our way back to the Tube station. FYI: Tube, Underground and Subway are interchangeable terms. Fortunately, the tube station near our hotel had connections for several different lines. Not even we could get lost. Or so we thought. We didn’t find out until the next day that just because a train says it’s the Northern line it doesn’t mean that’s it’s going where you need it to go. You have to look at the front of the train as it approaches to find out where it’s actually headed. It can be quite confusing. Who knew that the Northern line might actually be headed South or even West? Well we finally made it to what we thought was our Tube stop. It was only once we got above ground that we realized we were not at King’s Cross/Thameslink but rather we were about half a block down the street at King’s Cross/St. Pancras. But seriously, who did that? Why are they not just one station? They’re literally a half a block apart. And all of the same tubes stop at both. Whose idea was this? Anyway, assuming we were lost and not knowing at the time that the other station was as close as it was, I made a beeline toward the first blue and neon jacket I saw. Initially, I didn’t even really look at him. It was only when he didn’t say anything after I asked for directions did I look at him. That’s when I SAW him. UMMM…WOW!!!! The tall, blond, beautiful Brit boy with dimples like WHOA, was standing in from of me. Smiling at ME. I think I said something but I’m not completely positive. He just kept looking at me, SMILING that gorgeous smile. Help!!! He nodded but didn’t say anything. I guess it was to acknowledge that yes he’d heard me and could answer my question. Help!!!

Finally, he spoke. He kinda leaned in, HELP!!!, he was tall, and said, “Shall I take you there?” The deafeningly loud underground station that had just been teaming with people was suddenly quiet and deserted. huh?!? What?!? HUH?!?!?! Help!!!!!!

Inner Me: DO NOT jump him!! No matter what he says or what he SOUNDS like. Regardless of how beautiful he is YOU HAD BETTER ACT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

At some point the world around me started moving again. He sort of gestured for me to walk with him and we walked over to Megan, who was obviously quite impressed. Y’all he was FOIN. Anyway, as he was giving directions, I realized that he wasn’t going with us.

Me: Very little kid-like “You’re not going with us?!?!”

Inner Me: SHUT UP, TIA!!!

Him: “No. I don’t get off for 2 more hours. You could come back then.” Followed by big dimpled smile.

Inner Me: Tia, walk away. GIRL, GET MOVIN’!!!

Me: “….blubber….stammer…stutter….”

Inner Me: MAN, STOP SMILING LIKE THAT!!! AND IF YOU DON’T STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE PROBLEMS.

Him: “Bye.”

In case you’re wondering, NO, I didn’t go back. I know me and I know my limits. He was FINE AND BRITISH. In the words of the jailbird poet laureate Mystikal, “DANGA!!!!” Back in the day, maybe. Let me stop lying: definitely. But now I’m not trying to go there. I’m was not even going to put myself in a position to have to say “no.” I didn’t want to have to explain to little Eli why (baby) daddy lives “across the pond.” Like I said, I know my limits.

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