I can’t sleep, so it must be time to write. I did manage to take 2.5 epic naps though, so I’m almost caught up – it’s actually 6:30 in the morning, which is a normal time for people to be awake (or so I hear). I could try to ignore my loud insistent hunger and try to get some more sleep, but I’m confident that it’d be a futile effort. Instead, you get words. How nice for you!
I’ve discovered that an important part of traveling long distances is having an adult with me so they can handle
all the complicated things everything. I do not function well when I am tired and I cannot sleep if I am not comfortable, so sleeping on the plane is out of the question. This ends up in an exhausted Kimli trying to make logical brain statements to border guards, and them not really believing her because she sounds really stupid. That might work in my favour, though – clearly I am too stupid to be trying to pull wool over eyes.
There were a bazillion people at the border, and it was very very warm. I was sweaty and plane gross by the time I made it up to the booth, where I encountered a guard who was highly suspicious of me. There were a lot of questions, and I could see him trying to find holes in my story (which was less a story than the literal truth):
- He didn’t believe that I was here just to do “touristy things”, saying “Didn’t you do enough ‘touristy things’ during your last trip here?” Dude, there is a famous quote that says “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” – which is basically my reason for being here. Yes, I am going to do “touristy things”. You live in a neat place, you see.
- There were a lot of questions about where I’m staying. One of my coworkers has family in London, and they own a row house with several units in it, two of which do not have tenants. He and his dad were generous enough to let me stay here for a ridiculous price, for which I am super grateful. The border guard thought that was weird – weird enough to ask me if we were “more than friends”, because apparently in his world people aren’t awesome. That makes me sad. :(
- Then came the questions about what I do for a living. I have these questions myself, so it was difficult to get my point across on no sleep. “I’m a tech writer. I manage things, like servers and apps. Sometimes I edit words, and JIRA is involved somehow, and I copywrite and audit things.” Basically, I’m a tech writer who doesn’t tech write very often but still has the title because it’s better than “no one is really sure but she’s pretty vital”.
- I forgot how to spell the company’s name.
- He asked to see my return ticket home. I opened the Expedia app which showed that I have a whole bunch of upcoming trips that go to and from Vancouver, which should have been a good sign that I am leaving when I say I am. He scowled at the app, so I brought up the receipt for my ticket which had my itinerary. It took a while to find, because I purchased the ticket in May. This was also cause for confusion – my god, has he never encountered anyone who plans the shit out of their trips months in advance?! I should have shown him all the lists I have of things I want to do and places I want to go. It’d have blown his mind.
- There was a conversation about how I get paid – which currency, and which bank. This may have been the final piece of information that allowed me into the country, because no one who earns Canadian dollars can afford to start a new life abroad.
Marginally satisfied that I was not planning to stay in the UK forever having illicit affairs with my coworker and/or take anyone’s job, I was allowed in.
I eventually made it to the flat, got all wi-fi’d, UK SIM’d up, and collapsed in a heap. I’m presently listening to 17 clocks and some rain, wondering if I could stomach the tomato juice I didn’t drink on the plane, and wishing that Pret delivered. Today I am going to explore the neighbourhood, get some groceries so I don’t have to have corn nuts at 4am, and settle into my temporary European life. I am a happy Kimli.