Between Amsterdam and Scotland over the last two weekends, I haven’t had a chance to talk much about what happened in London. Thus, I am combining two week’s worth into a single post.
I went to my first British theatre production… I’ll give you two guesses as to what it was, but you’ll only need one… Motown, duh.
It was at the Shaftesbury Theatre and is a definite must see, especially, in my opinion, at that theater. Even the cheapest seats, which my budget demanded I get, had a fantastic view, and the inside was super classy… Classy enough that the door guys were super anal about what was allowed in the theater.
You see, my friend and I went to dinner before and, like I always do, I ordered way more food than I could possibly eat. Thus, when we arrived at the theater, I had a bag of Indian food stuffed in the bottom of my purse. The door guy, let’s call him Clark (he looked like a Clark) shined his light into my bag suspiciously.
“Indian food…” I said, with a note of panic in my voice. I had forgotten about theater rules re: food.
“Yeah, you can’t bring that in here.” Clark said, shaking his head at me. I blinked at him.
“But… I couldn’t finish my dinner.” I said imploringly, “It’s leftovers, not for eating in the theater.” To me, there’s nothing more devastating then packing up a delicious meal for takeaway, envisioning the exact moment in the future when you’ll get to tuck into it, and then realizing you left the bag at the restaurant. The idea that I had been clever enough to remember the bag, yet my future enjoyment of said meal was now being thwarted by a burly mall cop was almost too much to bear.
So I stood in front of Clark, still holding my bag open even though he was done searching it, blinking up at him…
…until he sighed, taking pity on my abject pathetic-ness, and allowed me to check my Indian food in the coat check. No word as to whether many a patron went home that night, distractedly sniffing their coat and wondering where the faint smell of curry was coming from.
Regardless, the show was great. As an American, I chuckled whenever an actor’s British accent came through, was extremely impressed by the talent of the baby Michael Jackson, and sang along to all the songs. After the show, my friend went to the bathroom and I settled in the foyer to wait (oh, take note that the Brits pronounce this ‘foy-yay’). While waiting, I became aware of raised voices to my right.
Because it’s me and I’m dramatic, my ears immediately perked up. I always miss the fights. I don’t want to be in one or near enough to one where I could become collateral damage, but oh, to see one in real life? I slyly slid my eyes around, not wanting to appear too eager…
… Well, let’s just say this. Have you ever seen the meme “Anarchy in the UK”? No? Here it is:
This is literally how this fight felt. So-and-so was annoyed because his girlfriend had gotten in trouble during the first act for disrupting other customers. So-and-so’s girlfriend was annoyed that So-and-so was trying to fight her battles for her. Clark (yes, he was there too) was annoyed that So-and-so and So-and-so’s girlfriend wouldn’t leave.
Here is a sample of their dialogue – please use British accents whilst reading this to yourself:
So-and-so: I'm just here in the foyer (foy-yay!), trying to talk to her [gestures towards a woman behind the counter] and you're just not minding your business! Clark: Sir, the fact of the matter is that the show is over, and you need to leave. So-and-so: You can't treat us like this! Clark: You're being rather disruptive, sir. So-and-so gf: [to So-and-so] Please stop. I don't need you- So-and-so: No! I'm in trouble now, and this is all your fault! So-and-so gf: My fault?! You're the one that got all out of hand! Clark: Can you both leave? So-and-so and So-and-so gf start bickering amongst themselves, and Clark immediately starts muscling them towards the door. So-and-so gf: Don't touch me! You're not allowed to touch me! Clark: [immediately stops] My apologies. So-and-so gf: That's alright. So-and-so: Yeah, that's alright. And then So-and-so and So-and-so gf exit peacefully.
The crowd hovering around the edges of the ‘fight’ immediately breaks out in excited whispers over how “out of hand” that got and how they “can’t wait to tell their friends this crazy story,” and I’m just in the back, like, um…
Moving on… my two friends and I had a legitimate GALentine’s Day this year. We were all 110% single, and did the whole dinner and a movie thing, just us ladies.
First, we went to Burger & Lobster because a friend recommended it. I’m going to be an even better friend and unrecommend it. As a former New Englander, I know my lobster, and this was not lobster worth 28 pounds. Plus my friend said the margaritas were also no bueno… so, like, what would be the reason to go then?
After dinner, however, we went to see Black Panther. Luckily for us, being in the UK and all, the BP release date was a full five days ahead of the States. It was the perfect movie for our state on V-Day, let me tell you. All those badass women running around who don’t need no man?
My absolute favorite part *spoiler ahead* was when the Dora Milaje and Border Tribe security are all fighting each other to the death and being all aggressive. Then Okoye finally comes face-to-face with W’Kabi, and he’s all like “Are you really gonna kill me, my love?” Tryna sweeten her up ‘n all. Hmph.
And Okoye just looks at him and goes “For Wakanda? Without question,” all like come for me, son, that don’t work here! And I’m just sitting there in the theater like:
WITHOUT QUESTION. GET AT ME.
Culture over everythangggggg.
(say it with all 5 syllables, please)
Best movie ever. Over $4mil first day in the UK. What’s realllllly good.
Okay, so after the movie we went to a hookah spot next door. We’re there, wrapped in these plush snuggies provided by the restaurant (since hookah is an outdoor activity in London and its February), gossiping about how good the movie was, our respective hair and skin care regimes, all the things we don’t like about men, blah blah blah, when the hostess comes up to us with three red roses. First thought? Omg how sweet, someone had roses sent over to us. Haha – no.
She legitimately laid the roses down on the table and says “Since you have no one to give you flowers.”
I think all three of our mouths just dropped open in horror because she quickly said, “I mean, just to brighten your evening! Since you don’t have a man with you.” At this point, I just started laughing, ’cause, I mean… true. Awkward… but true.
Last note… I decided that this stint abroad would be a great time to finally get into shape, particularly considering that once I start working it will be infinitely easier to maintain an achieved fitness level rather than trying to actually get into shape. So, after doing some Type A research, taking into account my complete lack of accountability when it comes to sticking to work-outs, my un-fantastic eating habits, my fear of looking like a total fool and noob at the gym, and general overall laziness, I settled on a private London-only fitness and health studio that provided group classes, personal training, and nutritional assistance, all in a single package.
I went in for my free consultation to discuss my budget, what I was looking to get out of it, etc. I was already pretty nervous. Gyms have always made me nervous, which is weird, considering I’ve played competitive sports my entire life, but there you have it. Gyms typically have these crazy gym-bunny, ridiculously ripped, no cellulite-having body types that make me feel like a tubby fourth-grader. This studio, based on the pictures on the website, hopefully wouldn’t present these concerns.
So, I went to reception, subtly taking note of the trainers and clients, noting with pleasure that they were all normal individuals that I definitely would not feel uncomfortable working out in front of. The receptionist had me fill out my form and then told me my consultant would be along shortly. As my head was bent over the clipboard, I heard a chipper, British voice:
“You alright, Becca?! Welcome!” I turned to my consultant, taking him in, feet first, up to his head, and all I could think was:
For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you might have noticed I mention a distinct lack of black people in my area of London, and even greater lack of halfies, like myself. Well. Here I am, in the one place I sincerely hope to never unintentionally and unpreparedly encounter a prime specimen, and this… man (god?) is who I get for my consultant? He’s like 6’3, green eyes, caramel skin, short curly hair, all lean muscle, the biracial Adonis, if you will… just kill me now. Literally the last person on Earth I would ever want to discuss my body insecurities with, thank you very much.
But, thank gawd he was just the consultant and not my actual trainer. ‘Cause, let be honest, I would probably injure myself trying to work out around him…
Travel Tips & Recommendations from Week 6:
- HBO: This isn’t so much a recommendation as an outraged comment. HBOGo is not available outside of the United States. This was my first time attempting to use it, and I was both offended and broken-hearted. Why, HBO, why?
- Club-hopping: If you want to go to the club, don’t go to the club, go near the club and look confused. A lot of the best dance places in central London have cover charges (as well as wicked expensive drinks), so if you’re too overeager and just make a beeline for the line in front of the club, be prepared to pay all that. However, if you hover confused near the corner of the club, looking like you’re not quite sure a club is for you, chances are that within 2-3 minutes a lurking promoter will find you and try to convince you to come to the club. Have a brief faux debate amongst your friends before faking concern and accepting his invitation. He will lead you to the club, past the line, past the person you’re supposed to pay, and he will inform them that you get free drinks inside. Now, I know what a lot of you men are thinking: Um well, yeah, ’cause you’re a girl. But oh, no, my friend. Free entry and drinks via promoters transcends gender barriers in London. I have several male friends who have tried it and succeeded.
- Booking Travel: Many of you may know this already, but the best time to book air travel is Tuesday or Saturday evening. For those of you who didn’t know this, no, I did not just make that up. I have it on good authority those are the days the airlines reset their prices. Between Tuesday and Saturday, the prices steadily go up. Between Saturday and Tuesday, the prices steadily go up. But on Tuesday and Saturday? Get ’em while they’re hot, people!