It had been two weeks since I had started traveling and I was looking forward to the two days that I would be spending by myself. In the past, I had loved those days, especially in foreign cities. I had wandered through Boston and NYC, discovering magic in every corner. And the same in Bangkok and Saigon. I would aimlessly eat and spend so wastefully…but all of it would be delicious.
But that Monday did not turn out to be anything like it. I had intended to start the day out by going to Tate Modern, meeting a friend for tea, networking with a colleague from IDEO…and then wandering around Marylebone…perhaps afternoon tea? shopping? And perhaps a meal at a famous Burmese place?
This is how it went down:
9:50 AM Missing package
I realized that I had left a box at my friend’s place—where I had stayed the night before. The box was intended to be delivered to the friend who I was meeting at 1 PM for tea.
It was 10 minutes to 10 AM and I had planned to go to the Tate Modern, but I could not find that orange box. In frustration, I stomped in my flat, glad that my host was not present. After a few texts and wandering about in fervor in Southwark, I hopped on the tube to West Kensington wasting half a few hours to retrieve the box. Fortunately the friend was hanging out at home. So all was well, but my plans to visit Tate Modern were completely disrupted.
3:27 PM Wrong address
I was so impressed with myself that I got to Shoreditch on time. I had taken the correct bus from South Bank. Although it went on a detour, I was able to get off at nearby stop and walk to the address…that was indicated on my Android phone. I kept looking for the coffee shop and found that the marker on Google maps was to a storefront that was obviously closed. Did the guy send me the wrong place? I was confused—because this seemed to be completely correct. Then it hit me. Earlier I had looked at the link on my computer and it had been close to Soho. But now when I had loaded the map link on my phone, it sent me to Shoreditch. I wanted to scream, “NO!” but thought better in a foreign country. After a moment of anger at technology breakdowns, I texted the colleague apologizing for being late and said that I would be there. I bit my lip and spent the next few minutes trying to wave down a taxi. As I sat in the back, I rationalized that at least I was trying out an old school black cab even though it was going to cost me 10 quid.
5:20 PM Lack of restrooms in Convent Garden
Just complaining. :)
6:30 PM Missing iPod touch bag
I realized that it was missing. NO! I thought again, angry. I told myself to breathe…as I was now wandering in Soho not completely in logical paths. It took me a moment to accept that it was missing. Then panic started rising as I started to wonder if I had my keys. The 30 seconds it took to find my keys raised my anxiety way too high…and somehow my resolve was broken. I knew that I could not spend the evening any longer wandering without panic and anxiety. I dragged myself to the last few places I visited where I knew that I had the iPod touch bag. I described it—blue with a mashimaro bunny. It’s sentimental really since it really didn’t have any value. Nothing was inside, but sorrow of its loss was growing. After the second place I visited, I accepted its loss.
7:20 pm Non-chocolate candy not visible in Tesco
This was supposed to be my way of feeling better, but I could not find it. I didn’t want any American candy and I was feeling my annoyance turn into something vicious. Fortunately, I found the right aisle 10 minutes later. About 3 quid later, I was happily stuffing sour wine gums in…forgetting the Monday I had.