If Regina George from Tina Fey’s classic Mean Girls were a city, she would be London. There are a myriad of reasons why, but I will delve into them later. For now let’s go with the obvious. Regina, of course, means Queen in Latin, Italian, and Romanian. Regina is the Queen Bee of the Plastics just like England thinks it’s the Queen Bee of Europe, but they love their Queen across the pond – she’s everywhere. I think if they had it their way she wouldn’t even have to share a bank note with Charles Darwin. I’m assuming that she either is a narcissist and basks in the notion there isn’t one pound not donning her face, or is terribly embarrassed and tells people, “Well, no, no, it certainly wasn’t my idea!”
I’m more of a twisted Janice Ian type, so I knew we wouldn’t get on too well. In the beginning though, I thought London would be my girl crush, but I slowly caught on to her signature scent of dirty history and stagnant air. In all honesty, London is like the homecoming queen of Europe. She is painfully gorgeous but has a bland personality and is kind of a stone cold bitch (literally). If you really want to get to know her you have to squeeze yourself into the places you were never meant to go, far off from the winding road your hotel was supposed to be on, and even further from another living soul. The place is one miserable circle where one street has five different names and every hostel claims to be on “Buckingham Palace Road.” I’m being harsh. She’s not all bad. She has some good qualities. For example, I will say the public transportation is phenomenal. As the anxiety ridden spastic girl I am, I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it- I mean I’m from New York and I still have to ask myself, literally, every time, am I going towards Downtown and Brooklyn or Uptown and The Bronx? The glorious underground though, gave me no such problems.
Due to my lack of knowledge of all things London, I reached out to the few people I knew in the city. My best friend’s brother is in London for the summer and we decided to go for a pint. He called me and said, “Come now to Farringdon.” He’s been there two weeks and he refers to London as “his city.” I knew he knew I didn’t know where the bloody hell Farringdon was in relation to my location, but I was up to the challenge. I retrieved my blue oyster card (the much more elite equivalent to the Metro Card) from my purse bogged down by little Queen Elizabeth II’s and made my way to the nearest underground. To my surprise, the maps made sense. The lines were clear as to which direction they were going, and luckily for me, Farringdon was a stop. I thought I finally had this London girl all figured out, and for the most part I did. I had eight stops to go, and sat observing the incredibly rude people did not help my eagerness to get off.
As I popped off the tube, I scanned my surroundings. There was one pub called “The Castle,” and then nothing. Since there was relatively no one and nothing, finding my friend’s brother proved easy. I followed him into his apartment which is wildly similar to his personality; extravagant with a hint of douche. There wasn’t much to do except remark on the lone lemon in a bowl on the table and how his dress shirts were not properly hung up in his closet. Somehow, this led to a pre pub whisky.
“So little lost girl made her way through the tube.”
“Whats your necklace mean?”
“Cool. Well you look nice.”
“Haha, thanks, you too.”
“Want a tour?”
We snaked around the apartment slowly, careful to note the Piet Mondrian paintings and discuss his part in the neoplasticism movement. In his bedroom where I guess I was supposed to be seduced by his three pairs of dress shoes, he told me I should stay with him.
“You could stay with me ya know.”
“This is nicer than St. Georges in, which is the farthest thing from holy, but I’m good thanks.”
“Oh come on. We could play house, it be fun. Let’s go get a pint now and get out of here.”
We went to the pub down the street and at the bottom of my beer I realized just how weird this place made me feel.
Go see the London Eye. Don’t get on it. It’ll most likely ruin the nostalgia of your first ferris wheel ride at your respective hometown’s fair with that boy you liked with the freckles.
Communicating is often difficult with the lack of free WiFi, so to meet my friend Laurel and her friend, Erin and I had to get old school. I went off on my own looking for her along the pier that shares a shadow with the Eye, and maybe it was the whisky, but everyone seemed to be attacking me with their words. A man with a speaker and a terrible tie shouted at me, “Susan! Stop stalking me or I’ll have to get a restraining order.” On the way back from my search, I encountered the man again, who proceeded to follow me around. “Susan, not again!”
My name’s not Susan, and no London, you’re not very nice.