Monday, February 02, 2009

Filthy perks of London

I have a lot of baggage, and I'll unload it on my boyfriend as soon as I get the chance.

When he picks me up at Heathrow, he'll help me haul my weight in luggage back to his flat – 120 lbs of my favourite things, the maximum allowed by Air Canada. My life in England begins with this simple recipe: one part each, person and parcel.

Empowered by Customs with an entrance stamp, I'll begin the travel equivalent of a Walk of Shame via the London Underground. My eyes will be red from the sleepless overnight flight and good-byes. Nothing about me will be especially fresh, and with politely peripheral glances, everyone on the tube will see I didn't exactly make it home last night. I won't be home again until I make a new one. But first, I have a few more things to purge, a long way to travel, and a job and a flat to find.

Fitting twelve years of living in Montreal into a duffel bag, a backpack and a rolling carry-on is proving challenging, and expensive. Everything I didn't pay to have shipped to my parents' house in Nova Scotia, I undersold to friends.

I'm going to do my best to forget about the moving company РL & B D̩m̩nagement et Entreposage, whose driver demanded $500 in cash when my shipment arrived two weeks past schedule, exactly 30 per cent more than I'd been quoted Рbecause I don't want the fire-breathing dragon in my belly to incinerate the butterflies.

Besides, that was weeks ago. Since then, I've been camping out at my friend, Cathy's, and living among piles. A seismic heap of clothing is graciously smothering my enormous, unsorted stack of "important" papers, and I really hope they die.

Tomorrow, I'll carry another bag of donations to the vintage boutique, attempt to sell my printer, and store my bike in a friend's basement until I can sell it through Craigslist this spring. Then, I'll buy health insurance, say a few good-byes and drink.

That should leave plenty of time for panic.

I know I've made the right decision, and it'll be great living and working in a city where English is the first language for once. All that gooey love stuff I'm feeling will smooth the transition, and there'll finally be perks to monogamy. Filthy, filthy perks.

Meanwhile in London, my boyfriend's getting ready to incorporate me into his life. Beyond helping me pimp my CV, he's prepping his roomies for my arrival, and customizing our happy place – a bedroom oasis. Best of all, he's added an original Nintendo Entertainment System to his games corner, so I can play Super Mario Brothers when the fog and flurry of London is too much. I'm not going to pretend he bought the NES for me, but I'll enjoy it as much. We are, after all, about to switch to the ultimate two-player game.


surviving myself said...

I see Goldeneye there. That is the best game ever. Aside from Mike Tyson's Punchout. My high school/early college life was like this: 70% - smoking pot and playing Goldeneye. 30% studying and eating.

i am playing outside said...

oh my god. super mario. awesome. i just played 2 and 3 with my new man the other day on his Wii. i much prefer the first one [obviously] but i didnt want him to pay to download it just for me. ill give it a few weeks LOL

wyliekat said...

I am so excited to live vicariously through you on this adventure!

(is that weird? It might be weird.)

Sam said...

"he's prepping his roomies for my arrival, and customizing our happy place". One of the other "filthy perks" of London will be the lawsuit slapped on you by my lawyers for publishing such libel. The suggestion that "the boyfriend" acted alone in making his room an oasis for your sordid consumation is so utterly offensive to my being I don't know where to start. My lawyers will know where to start. Maybe they will open with an account of two of my precious weekend days spent lugging his shit to Tottenham, maybe with the illegal, life endangering furniture runs to the hell hole of Ikea, maybe with the smoky trips to the Holloway Road for IT desks. OR maybe they will start with my extensive tool kit being employed along with my technical expertise in converting a hideous shelfing unit into the entertainment centre you and your loved one intend to use as some sort of strange retro gaming foreplay. Either way you're going down (pardon the pun). Remember it was insult enough to hear from Isherwood of all people "whats it like being Dow's bitch?" but this re-writing of history by your journalistic hands is the last straw.
Or maybe I'm just hurting - the realisation that you will now be "his bitch" instead of me is too much to bear. At least I'll be able to sit down again.

bobby said...

"I know I've made the right decision, and it'll be great living and working in a city where English is the first language for once" oh man, i am sooo feeling that sentiment right now. i love montreal but even being fluent in french isn't doing me any favors. good for you on your move, i can only imagine how awesome your adentures will be. x

Anonymous said...

very exciting! i lived in london for a year and loved it. i have to admit i'm just a tad bit jealous. just a bit.

pistols at dawn said...

Ha ha ha! Sadly, as a man of this era, any girl who'd make Super Mario Bros. a metaphor for a relationship would indeed be worth moving to a new country for.

Kate Savage said...

surviving myself - Because my boyfriend refuses to comment on my blog, (I think to think out of fear that he is not as witty as I am - OOH!), I am forced to speak for him. Apparently, since you loved Goldeneye you are in fact pretty cool, even if my blog has a crush on yours. That, and it seems you had very similar educations.

i am playing outside - So far, he sounds like a keeper! And you found in OTTAWA!?!?!?!

Wyliekat - That sort of enthusiasm makes me want to password-protect certain entries, and spill all the hot, hot beans. Or, at the very least, allude to the possibility of there existing hot, hot beans.

Sam - I am very seriously considering starting a blog for you. I will call it SAM'S CAVEAT, and its description will go something like: "For every moment of glory, for every glimmer of hope, for every leap of joy, for every fond memory, there is something you've likely failed to consider: Sam's Caveat."

Has a nice ring, I think.

bobby - You'll be here long enough for me to finally get that camera case to you? I have 6 more days. I promise I won't hold your fluent trilingualism against you.

Carmen - Please, please be jealous! It means I'm doing something oh-so-right! Where can I buy Clamato over there?

pistols at dawn - It's such a romantic notion, I can nearly forget Luigi and Mario are related.

wyliekat said...

Kate - you totally lost me with the hot beans. And I'm eternally grateful. ;-}

Bobby said...

I sent you a message in your Flickr (:

Sam said...

I saw a "straight" man quiver in anticipation last night. It was due to the mention of your imminent arrival. It was genuine and moving. But in true "Sam Style" I thought of a caveat.....I doubt he'll last one "filthy perk" let alone many.

London was wicked in the snow last week - people talked to one another, the place looked beautiful and everyone had was bloody cold though.

ling-ling san said...

Here's something you'll enjoy...
That Super NES is almost identical to the Japanese version, the "Famicom".

However, its CPU plays games 17% slower than usual. I suspect it has something to do with the PAL fps rate.

Anyway... this means you can expect to kick everyone's ass overseas as you've been trained to play 17% faster than them.

Signed, the Biggest Nerd Ever