The Story so Far…

October 16, 2009

I feel a bit lame doing this, because everything I do seems either unreasonably pathetic or grossly exaggerated whenever I write it down. Thus begins THE LAUGHABLY INFREQUENT AND WILDLY INACCURATE TRAVEL BLOG OF TAC HABERDASH.

Yes. So. I arrive in London on October 4th and immediately regretted my decision. I didn’t even really know how to deal with customs agents (all of whom were VERY suspicious of the friendly American kid with no job and allegedly limitless funds) and here I was in a foreign country with my massive backpack and no guide. I  mean, granted, London is not so much a foreign country as it is the template for like every big city we have in America, but still.

I figured out public transit, which is fucking AWESOME here. You get this little plastic jesus chip embedded in a card that you can then FILL WITH MONEY AND USE TO SMACK YOUR WAY ONTO TRAINS AND BUSSES. You don’t even have to take it out of your wallet. Some people actually extracted the chips and put them in magic wands.

Anyway I went to a hostel, left my stuff, and started wandering through Soho, which i gather is the part of London most like San Francisco. I immediately got disoriented, since I’m pretty sure the roads in this city were planned by drawing some regular roads on top of a sliding tile puzzle, mixing it up, and then hitting it with a hammer (AND like 60% of the streets don’t have fucking signs on them.)

In an effort to get away from a massive line of people outside a replica of the Central Perk cafe from friends, I ran across a group of people reading poetry on the front steps of what I later learned was the house William Blake was born in. One of the readers dedicated his poem to “magic mushroom season” and then invited everyone out for drinks after.

So yay I got to actually go up to a bar and order a drink without any bullshit. Talked to a bunch of cool people there, then let one of them lead me around the seedier parts of soho, where we stumbled upon free champagne and a screening of the Rocky Horror picture show attended by the writer himself. It was about 9 or 10 when that finished and I was proper knackered, as they say, being as I was on the wrong end of a nasty bout of jetlag. So I headed back to the hostel alone.

On the way, I decided to try one of the alleyways that my guide had specifically designated as dodgy. I don’t know what instinct told me that the guy who stepped into my path  had a knife, but I just turned around and ran back out the way I came, with him chasing me yelling “Ey, mate!”

That adventure over and done with, I backtracked through the labyrinthian streets of Soho to the hostel. Met a guy from Malaysia. Then, as I lay tossing and turning in my bed, two other guys came into the room and I SWEAR, one of them was the guy who’d chased me down the alley. Maybe I was dreaming. I’m really not sure. But I recognized the voice, and when I rolled over it was the same silhouette I’d seen earlier. I just curled up into a ball and stayed awake all fucking night.