DAY 23: Last Day in York/First Day in London
Too soon. Before leaving York I was already missing it. My friend and I had lunch together. Delicious chinese restaurant near the station. Fried vegetable rolls, dumplings, sweet and sour chicken with fried rice; All of it stellar. My friend saw me off and I can’t express enough how important this visit was for me. True friendship couldn’t have come at a better time. I felt ready to dive back into my wandering through Europe again. Recharged.
Took the Virgin East coast train back to King’s Cross station, then the Victoria underground train and then finally a double decker bus to reach my new host. Upon exiting the railway station, a fight was breaking out. Police were involved. Yelling. Tension. Tons of people around. Back in the chaos. I called my host to ask for directions to her place from the main road. She was clueless. She admitted to never using the bus and only her bike, which is fine, but still isn’t an excuse not to know some street names. When she couldn’t help me, she passive aggressively hung the phone up and said “bye” in the midst of me trying to get directions. Wonderful.
My GPS was useless without Wi-Fi, so I stopped at a closing Kebab shop that was advertising free wifi on the front of their building. I explained my situation and asked if I could use their wireless internet for a brief moment to find my way. The owner gave me the smuggest shake of the head I’ve ever witnessed. I was so astonished, I asked again to confirm it and see if he’d answer the same way; He did. He shook his head at me like he was reveling in telling me to piss off. I gave him an exaggerated thumbs up, which in some countries like Iran, or Greece can be highly offensive, so I hope he took it as such.
Found an internet cafe and paid 63 pence to create a route from where my current location was to the new, unhelpful host. It was only a 13-minute walk. Found it rather quickly. My host was quiet and awkward but nice enough. The place was kind of a shithole though but the price justified it.
London is the polar opposite of York and I’ll be diving more into that tomorrow. Tonight though, I’m resorting to grocery shopping. The British are preoccupied with class systems and this extends towards it’s grocery markets. Iceland, the one closest to where new "home” is, was considered, by far, the worst and poorest. And rest-assured, the two Iceland supermarkets I’ve been too thus far are total shitholes. There’s another called Tesco, designated more so towards middle-class families. Or Sainsbury, which is populated by young well-educated people unlikely to have children. Waitrose is the most prestigious; So much so that upon admitting to her friends in York, my York-friend’s ladyfriend received massive amounts of flack for having shopped there. She suddenly became a high and mighty aristocrat because of where she bought her fucking milk at one time. I only spent 13 pounds for all the groceries I needed at Iceland, so that's a win in my book.