Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Journey's Shit, It's the Destination That Counts... 3

I had just enough credit on my French phone to text Kat telling her I was stuck at Calais for who knew how long. I told her I had a Bad Feeling.

There was no Deadmau5 for me. I’d been daydreaming about would happen if they made us all exit the train and walk for miles in the snow and suddenly it seemed as though that might actually happen, which was weird because normally when you imagine something very specific it doesn’t come true, that’s the only comfort of imaging in glory detail all the horrible things that could happen to you. (For example, it’s pretty unlikely for a man dressed as a whale to climb down your chimney and throw anthrax down your bra, but more so if you’ve just that second been randomly thinking ‘What if a man dressed like a whale climbs down my chimney and throws anthrax down my bra?’)

I tried to think, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get into London dead late and meet them all at Soul Clap, at least you’ve got your ticket printed’ (By the way, by some miracle, all my Eurostar tickets for the next two weeks printed off at the little machine at Gare du Nord.) but I could feel a familiar panic rising up in me… it’s the same panic I always get when I’m lost or very late, or normally both. I think of it as my Travel Panic and when we were sat in the darkness in the snow in Calais, already an hour behind, with not very much money and no phone credit and also the feeling that I was doing something wrong and sneaky, I got Travel Panic very badly.

Thank fuck the train started moving again after about forty minutes. As soon as we reached England I sent my mum one of those free ‘Call Me Back’ texts because she never rings me when I’m France and I needed a bit of Mum Reassurance. She rang me and suddenly I was in hysterics. You know when you’re trying to talk through your tears like a four year old and everyone stares at you? Well I was that hysterical. My mum reassured me by saying what she always says ‘At least you’re having an adventure!’, but she didn’t know that the family I work for had no idea I wasn’t tucked up in bed two minutes down the road, so her point that if I 'just ring them tomorrow and say the trains have stopped and that it's nobody's fault' made me feel worse, not better.

But she pointed out that the whole night would be a waste if I didn’t enjoy it. And she also pointed out that I do actually speak English so I could always grab someone at the station and make him them me how to get to Earl’s Court.

By the time we got to St Pancras, I was calm. I was excited. It was only half seven. (A two hour delay isn’t a six hour delay) I was in England!!

Luck turned around and smiled at me.

I walked past a little office where a kind mind exchanged my Euros into pounds for me!

Then I bounced up to the ticket office and another nice man sold me a zone one card or something and told me what platform to go to!

Then I got on the tube and went to Earl’s Court, didn’t even need to change!

Then I got off the metro and there were loads of young people dressed in leopard-print harem pants and fir jackets and hi-tops and leggings and hoodies and they were all walking in one direction!

I joined in the crowd, my mum rang me, Kat rang me, I had good news to tell and I was in London!

The snow was lovely now; it was Christmassy and English and the night was fun again. I got to Earl’s Court and met Kat. She gave me my ticket and I went inside and I swear I forgot I’d ever even been to Paris.

I didn't take any pictures when we were in there because my camera was in the middle of my Mary Poppins bag which I had to carry because the cloak room was full, although for most of the night Ricky carried it on his back like a turtle which meant I could dance about rather than sway lopsidedly like someones mum at the back of the disco, moving to the beat of Hips Don't Lie whilst holding their kids coat and school bag.

But anyway, here are a couple of pictures Kat took with my camera as were leaving:

1 comment:

  1. aaah tabs this gives me the shivers.
    as always love reading your blog... this though, is my favourite adventure story yet.... t.b.c

    (nye. x )