We went to the Henley Regatta today (a famous rowing tournament). It was a very “posh” event where everyone was dressed “smart” (check out all these British terms I’m picking up). It was a lot of fun, even though we didn’t see much rowing.
We survived, but barely. No, the flight was fine, as long as you don’t count the gajillion kids that were on it; the tight squeeze that is called coach seating; the nasty pillows you have to use when you forget your own and become too tired to care; and the horrific food they serve (BTW it was heated in plastic). I knew I was in trouble when I forgot my snacks. Jay could probably go two days without food and only be mildly concerned; I can hardly go two hours. On top of that, I don’t think I’ve eaten that much white flour since junior high. Goo.
Jay would like me to add that even he thought the food was gross.
Next up: Customs. We were in the front of the pack walking to customs, but then we had to duck into the bathrooms to change our clothes. Apparently Brits don’t think sweatpants are appropriate (for showing we have a suitable amount of money to support ourselves). So I walk into the bathroom (or toilet as they call it here) and realize I have quite the dilemma. First, I have to fit in the stall with a large carry on suitcase and backpack (it was actually less of squeeze than fitting into my seat on the plane). Second, I had to fully open my suitcase to retrieve my suitable outfit. Had I thought this through, I would have put these clothes in my backpack, but I didn’t. I really didn’t. After a moment of panic about putting my suitcase on a public bathroom floor, I remembered I had packed some Clorox wipes in my purse (insert a “Thank God”). I quickly wiped down the toilet seat, let it dry, and plopped my bag down on it. Now comes the tricky part of actually changing in a public restroom — must keep shoes on at all times. I finally made it out of the stall – it was at least 10 minutes – to look at myself in the mirror. Not a pretty sight. If it was my appearance that was going to get me through customs, I was going to get sent home. I finger-brushed my hair, attempted to put on some make-up (turns out powder foundation blows when you’re sweating – I swear it was 85 degrees in that bathroom), and added some lipgloss for good measure. Unfortunately, none of that really helped. I walk out of the bathroom 20 minutes later… Besides the major pain in the A** that it was, we looked ridiculous; who gets off an eight hour overnight flight wearing business casual?
It took us 2.5 hours to get through customs. And either Heathrow isn’t air conditioned or the AC was broken, because the employees were handing out free water. I’m pretty sure airports don’t hand out free anything. It took us so long at customs that our driver left the airport. Awesome.
I’ll be more positive tomorrow. Cheers.
This all started almost two years ago. Jay and I were in the car and he casually brings up the fact that he signed up for a work rotation in England. He tends to drop bombs/start slightly uncomfortable conversations when we are in the car. I think he does this on purpose; he knows I’m trapped and I can’t get out. Funny thing is, my Mom used to do that too (weird, right? I’m wondering if there is a secret conspiracy between them). She would try to talk me about puberty and sex, not my favorite topic as 10 year old. At that time I stuck my head in a book, a parent can never fault you for wanting to read. I know, I know — brilliant. Unfortunately, that tactic doesn’t work so well as an adult. Anyway, my first reaction to this was what any typical, Type A personality would say: “You’re kidding, right? Who just packs up and moves to London for six months? I have a job… responsibilities, people that (I think) count on me. I can’t just up and leave. Really? This isn’t a joke? You want to move to London? What would we do with the condo, my volleyball team, the utilities?” I think this is all part of the oldest child syndrome; we are trained to be responsible. But I know what you are thinking, what a lame way to react to such a great opportunity. Well, at least that’s what Jay was thinking. But lucky for me, he knew I just needed some time for it to sink in.
So here we are, sitting at the airport, ready to start our adventure. While I am seriously excited, I am slightly apprehensive about a few things: 1) The food. Yes, I fully admit that I am a food snob. Not the kind of snob that doesn’t like to try new foods, but more of the “is it high in protein – I prefer organic dairy -fried food makes my stomach hurt” kind of snob. 2) The flat. I’m not sure what to expect. But let’s just say there are some things I’m not willing to live without. I’ll be checking the kitchen immediately for a crockpot. 3) My allergies. The joke is that I should live in a bubble; I’m (basically) allergic to life, I have skin like SnowWhite, and I tend to constantly warn people of the dangers of microwaving plastic and eating pesticides (I just can’t help it). I’m wondering what kind of havoc the damp, England weather will have on my system. On the up side, we are moving to London (well, Reading, but close enough); we get to travel across Europe; I get to keep my job because my bosses are awesome (I’m sure my co-workers will give me a hard time for being a suck up); and I’ve already found 4 pilates studios within a 3 miles radius. What else could a girl ask for? Oh, and to add a little puke factor in, I get to do it all with my husband to be.