I nearly peed my pants on the way to Shaun’s flat. No, really, I nearly peed my pants.
After having two rather large glasses of Peroni with Tim, I headed back to the tube. I was half way into Bank’s massive station when it hit me how urgently I needed to use the loo.
“Sorry,” I said to a tube staff person, “where is a restroom.”
“There isn’t one in this station,” she said.
I figured I could hold it so I hopped on the DLR towards Poplar. Only, I was way wrong.
By the time we hit the next stop, Shadwell, I was pretty much certain there would be a ridiculously embarrassing situation with me at the center of it, if I didn’t get off the train and relieve myself.
So, I did what any person would do who didn’t want to digress to being a child in diapers — I ran off the train and into the nearest kebab shop I could find and snuck into the bathroom.
Then, more like a normal human being, I returned to the station and boarded the next train to Poplar. The excitement creeping back into me now that I no longer felt I was going to have an unfortunate incident my first 10 hours in London.
I nearly ran the few blocks back to Shaun’s, my smile quickly growing across my entire face.
I had hoped to beat her to the house, but when I got there, the little iron gate in front was closed, meaning someone was inside.
I opened the door slowly.
“Hello?” A familiar Australian voice called out.
“Hi,” I exclaimed, bouncing into the room to see Shaun sitting on the floor of her living room.
All of the memories of Croatia came flooding back. I was seeing someone I really never imagined I would see again. I had hoped I would, but when you travel, the reality of really seeing any person you meet out there in the world again is slim to none. Five months after we said goodbye in Hvar, I was seeing her again … as an entirely different person living an entire different life.
But, there we were.
On her floor in London. Sipping some red wine. And, when that was finished, we cracked the Croatian plum brandy I had saved for a special occasion and hauled 4,000 miles across the Atlantic to open.
I was exhausted, but managed to keep my eyes open for a few hours as we sat and toasted and talked and ate.
When I could hardly keep my eyes open any longer, she suggested it was time for me to go to sleep.
She was so right.
Sleep hit me nearly the moment after my head hit the pillow. It wasn’t a great sleep — but how can it be? There was way too much excitement pulsing through my blood as I began my travel adventures with a person who was there to witness the day I realized my life needed to change.