I intended on starting this journey across the pond and hit the ground running. Being busy right until the flight didn't give me much time to actually swim in the anitcipation, but I was still pretty stoked. I have never been to Europe. I've always been jealous of people who got to go for school, during school or after graduating from college. To me it just didn't seem possible. I thought it was never the right time. I didn't have enough money. It could be dangerous. I lost my citizenship papers at a bar in Los Angeles. Oops! These are all valid excuses. In the end, they are all just excuses. After I went back on a pilgrimage to my home land of the Philippines last February, the travel bug bit me. And it was the best thing that has happened to me to date. I realized that there are many different worlds out there that didn't care about Beyonce. Wait let me retract that. I might get shot in the back of my head. There are worlds that don't give a damn about who turned me down for a date or why my dvr never recorded the last episode of Modern Family. And I, for one, find that very interesting. I know right! Who doesn't care about Beyonce? So part of me accepting my late bloomer status was not giving a fuck and putting aside all these excuses and just go.
First stop. London. I had my assumptions about what this city was going to be like. I thought everybody was going to be around 12-17 years of age, have a wand on one hand and talk in made up latin words to conjure up magic. If they didn't do that, I thought they dressed in crushed velvet suits, said "Groovey babey!" and listend to 60's music. I also thought that they only ate potatoes. Okay, that's a joke. they eat other... things. But before I did my research, I was kind of limited to two or three things that the English did eat. What did happen even just boarding the Virgin Atlantic plane that I booked was so interesting, it's like opening up the front gates to the Buckingham Palace and enjoying tea with the Queen. It's that trippy!!
When I boarded the plane, I sat right next to these two guys in their 20's with dark hair and dark features dressed down but somewhat in style; Tapered sweatpants with just a little hint of a drop crotch and flat baseball caps. I almost thought they were New Yorkers but some other things hinted that they're not. But when they started talking, I realized how far away my hunch was. I was transported back to the movie Snatch and I thought Brad Pitt was sitting right next to me talking in that garbled speech. Like when the dentist numbs your gums before he pulls the teeth out. Where am I? More importantly, what part of England are they from? How many of my friends do I know have encountered people who actually talked like that? I was so impressed at my experience so far. Then there was the language of the flight attendants. I could understand them but certain words never crossed my mind to use the way they use it. One called a passenger madame! It was so new to me. The captain of the plane started talking on the intercom for a while and then realized he was rambling so he said "I shan't talk to you anymore!" When was the last time I heard the word shan't? Probably the last time I saw my friend Austin in a Shakespeare play. Needless to say, I was giggling inside the whole time.
Seeing London for the first time was amazing. It was my first taste of the Old World. Small and cute cottages lined up the streets on my train ride from the airport to just about when I hit the city limits. On a brisk morning, it couldn't have been more perfect. Red phone booths on corners of streets still exist like the ones I see on a Rimmel London lipstick commercials. Although people use them as hotspot now a days rather than making phone calls. That was smart on the government's part. People hardly talk anymore. Then there were the buildings of London which reflected a world gone by. Yes, I felt a little like I was in a Harry Potter movie, but one can't deny why such franchise would exhibit such detail. The intricacies of the architecture is astonishing to say the least.