After a lengthy discussion in a pub in Soho regarding the Brit’s use of “sorry” and “mate” in conversation, Pat and I were on the escalators headed to the Tube having an entire conversation in only those two words as we ended our day out in London.
It went like this:
Me: No worries, mate.
Me: Mate, sorry?
And continued as we giggled at our meaningless cider-fueled banter.
Pat, a friend of mine I had met in Las Vegas when we worked on Fright Dome (he did the photography/videography and I did the PR), and stayed in touch beyond both of our exits from Sin City.
Before I go any further, I have to admit I have serious visa envy towards Pat. His girlfriend, Lina, is Swedish and lives there, and he just got his two-year visa and moved to Sweden three weeks ago. My mind just goes into crazy overdrive hyper mode even thinking what I would do with a visa.
After spending the majority of my time combing the streets of London by myself, it was so nice to have an old friend to galavant around the city with me.
I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Notting Hill and Portobello Market — the winding streets of row homes all painted different colors, the little vintage shops and the pubs made me feel warm and fuzzy. It was easy for me to spend a day just walking around the area.
But it was the last day with Pat, his girlfriend and their friend that was my best day in London.
We met at Hyde Park and strolled through its maze of green and gardens en route to Buckingham Palace where the flag was raised, meaning the Queen was home.
Then, we hit St. James Park and Westminster, then on to Big Ben. After we were done taking the obligatory photos (because I just had to have one of me and the massive clock tower; me in front of Buckingham Palace; me in front of/in a classic red phone booth), we walked up to Trafalgar Square, Soho and Covent Garden, ending our day at a pub (naturally).
At the end of the night, I was so exhausted but felt so wonderful and warm. The value of familiar faces and friends goes so very far in a city that is not your own.
I kept looking at Pat during the course of the day and just felt overwhelmed with awe — 5,000 miles from where we originally met. I never expected to see him in London … on my journey ’round the world.