Six Things I Did in London

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Having been to London few times, I didn’t feel the need to hit the touristy things again. I like Buckingham Palace as much as the next person but trying to get a reaction out of a guard gets old after a while. I only had four days and I wanted to make the most of it, to see friends and to get to know the London of Londoners.

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore and That’s Not a Soda

It’s 2009 and I’m sitting on a dirty blue couch in my friend’s brothers flat in London, having flown in the day before.

The boys have gone out drinking, Jade is in the bathroom and I’m sitting in the lounge drinking tea with an Australian girl who’s name I can’t remember anymore. I want to say Rebecca. Let’s go with that.

Rebecca doesn’t live there, she’s just as much a guest as I am but she doesn’t know that.

“Do you mind if I have some Coke?” She asks me.

“Oh well, it isn’t my house but I’m sure they won’t mind. Check the fridge,” I tell her.

She gives me the side eye.

“Um,” she says, “I meant coke.”

And she waves a little bag of white powder in front of my nose.

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Oh, hello big wide world! Just a young, naive girl from a small town.

So I sat there in total silence, watching Rebecca cut lines on a dinner plate with her Oyster card until Jade came in the room, took one look at what was happening and shouted, “Oh my god, is that what I think it is?!”

Now we were two young, naive girls from a small town and that was how we found out that ‘powdering your nose’ means something totally different in England.

She wiped off the dinner plate with her hand and put it back in the cupboard and when one of the boys used it the next morning for his toast, I didn’t say anything. But I did throw sneak glances at his pupils for the next hour.

Just in case.

God, I was young.

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