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 – L & B Déménagement 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 – because 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.