Last Week As A Londoner

The start of Pocky’s great adventure came on the heels of my studying abroad in London. That last week as a resident of London included frantically finishing essays, meetings with seminar instructors, saying bye to friends, and packing my tiny dorm room and kitchen. How is it possible to accumulate so much stuff in so little time…I left items for my roommates, packed two bags of kitchen items for Kristin and Dave (who live in Cambridge) and tried to figure out how to transport the rest home. I quickly realized that the carry-on I arrived with would not accommodate what I wanted to take home. One massive suitcase and five boxes later, I had it under control, at least the packing part.

On Friday, December 16, I was in a small panic. My meetings at King’s were running late, I had to make it to the post office by 4:00pm and move from my dorm to the fabulous London Marriott Hotel County Hall.

Let’s just say nothing went as planned. London is amazing, but trying to transport five boxes to the post office at the end of my street (in the rain) was difficult. I couldn’t take a taxi down the block, so I took three on my first walk, and stood in a very long line. But the nice young man at the desk found an outside company that would send all the boxes as one bulk weight, which was a deal. When I say deal, I mean just fewer than 200 euros, but I was prepared for much worse. They also held my boxes and gave me time to walk home, pick up the final two, and jump ahead of the line to finish my transaction.

Once I reached my dorm, it was dark and heavily raining. I cleaned my room, finished laundry and called a cab to transport myself and two of my three bags to the hotel. I still needed to have dinner and rest before Pocky arrived in the morning. Then, I waited.  After an hour I received a call stating they did not have any taxi’s to send, #$^&. Since I would never be able to manage it all in the underground, I took my bag for vacation and decided to leave the massive bag until our traveling was over, and pick up the bag for Kristin in the morning. As I tried to leave I realized that my door would not lock. I spent ten minutes in vain before I went downstairs to find the building manager. A half hour later, there was a new lock on my door and I was on my way.

I checked into my fabulous room with a view overlooking the Thames River and facing Big Ben. I went downstairs to the very fancy (expensive) Chinese Restaurant and had a nice meal, headed to my room and ordered wine, and had a soak. At the same time I began receiving texts from Pocky saying that his plane could not leave because it needed maintenance work; sigh. His plane finally took off and I drifted to sleep after a very long day.

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