Did you miss me?
After spending two glorious months of being fattened up on delicious home-cooked food and lazing in the hammock, it was finally time to leave Sweden. I’d be a pretty lousy nomad if all I achieved was to move back home with my parents! So good-bye laundry-that-automatically-gets-done-and-reappear-folded-on-my-bed and hello daily-battle-to-find-a-place-to-sleep-and-existential-angst-for-what-I-am-meant-to-do-with-this-life!
Coming back to London was interesting. I realise now that I worked far too hard during my nine years here. London is a different beast when all you do is have lunch with friends and read books at street-side cafés in the sun drinking iced lattes.
However, there was another – noble – reason for me to return to London: a stag night.
Richard’s Stag Night
The main reason for me to return to London for a week is that my friend Richard is getting married, and I am one of his two best men. That means it is up to me and the second best man (har har) to organize the stag night.
Because there was so much we wanted to do, we made it a stag weekend rather than a night.
First, we needed to address the issue of naked ladies, and thus our first destination was a gentlemen’s club. I figure Richard had a good time, but personally, I just felt uncomfortable. When the provocatively dressed
ladies sat down next to me and tried convince me that I wanted a lap dance, I felt the same uncomfortable feeling as I do when a tramp asks me for money on the street. Both involve the same long awkward discussion where I have to justify not buying what I don’t want, be it the big issue or a view of a spinning vulva. (I image I’d get the former if I saw the latter.)
To avoid the awkward offers of lap dances, stay away from the edges of your group as a free space next to you is a spot where one of the harpies may perch and peck at you. I tried to sit in the middle of my group, but that hallowed position was fought over by others also trying to avoid the lap dances. We resembled penguins, huddled together for warmth and slowly rotating to take turns at enduring the icy wind of the strippers.
The highlight of the many activities on the Saturday was a murder mystery. A small theatre company is in shock after the sudden death of the lead actor. Turns out that everyone in the theatre and their mother (literally) had a stack of reasons to murder the guy, and over dinner we all talked, bribed, threatened and schemed to figure out the real culprit while simultaneously trying to achieve a range of other personal goals. I’m glad to report that I am cleared on all charges except shameless overacting.
Finally, on the Sunday, we all finished off the weekend with an Alice in Wonderland inspired Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Everyone was encouraged to make an effort and dress up as a mad character from book, but apart from me and one other friend, no one took the slightest notice. It is an exercise in self-distance to sit at a five-star hotel and drink afternoon tea wearing a black-and-white striped straitjacket and matching mad-professor-esque round sunglasses.
Where I am going next
The most common question that I get asked is ‘Where are you now?’ and ‘Where are you going?’. I will create a page that answers those questions including ‘Where have you been?’, but since I can’t leave it alone at ‘short and functional’ but feel the urge to move it to ‘flashy and overworked’, that page is still a few days away. Until then, I hope the below cold hard facts will be enough to satisfy your curiosity.
- Thursday 4 August, I fly to New York.
- Tuesday 9 August, I fly to Los Angeles and Long Beach Island.
- Sometime around Friday 26 August, I drive to the Burning Man Festival.
- After Burning Man, I have no hard plans although I wouldn’t be surprised, nor would anyone else, if I end up in San Francisco.