My Day: What the hell just happened?
I just got to my friends house after being stranded at Paddington Station at midnight for what felt like forever. I was sitting on the floor next to a pay phone with a mini suitcase. I was the woman balancing the pay phone between her ear and shoulder trying to put the coins in the slot. Fine, really.
Today began like any other day. I took a train; this time to Cambridge. Meeting up with my friend’s friend at Kings Cross Station (YES. THAT station. Platform 9 3/4 and all) we went and grabbed sushi. We were to meet another group of people to go speak at Cambridge University. Nothing that fancy, I assure you. My friend a couple years back was invited by this organization to attend Cambridge Uni for a couple of days, kind of like how we invite students in the U.S. to have overnights at certain universities to get the feel of college life. Now as a thank you she goes back to help students who are applying in the fall with their personal statements.
Anyway, she invited me to tag along. I agreed as it was a free ticket to Cambridge and possibly a free dinner. Not to mention, you know, the fact that I just wanted to see the city and university. She had emailed the coordinator of the program letting her know that if needed, I would be more than happy to speak. I didn’t think she would actually hold me up to it. When we got to Corpus Christi College I was in awe. That university. Is. Stunning. Finding myself speaking to a group of students in a Cambridge University ‘common room’ was ridiculous. I basically gave them tips on what I used for my personal statement to get into the school I go to now in England. I also talked about studying English Lit and Theology.
After the discussions were over (and I was still pinching myself) we went out to dinner paid for by the organization. Here’s where my manners got in the way (almost): I didn’t know how much I could spend. My mind still converts pounds to dollars and seeing the prices at the restaurant made me squirm. Even though I had done the work same as everyone else, I still felt as if the organization had done so much for me. I feel guilty for a lot of things a lot of the time. A lot a lot a lot a lot. Looking around I saw that everyone else was ordering what I considered to be more expensive items, so I went with it. Fish stew and a glass of merlot for me. After the dinner a group of us went to look at the water and ended up getting drinks at this wonderful pub. Did I mention the pub was a across from a bridge designed by Newton? No big deal.
The train back to London at 9 was filled with Harry Potter discussions and nerd outs. I was compared to being a hotter version of Penny from Big Bang Theory because I actually enjoy nerdy stuff. I don’t really understand this since I don’t watch the show, but I guess this is a good thing? I quoted Yoda a few times and felt satisfied with my abilities. We all decided that taking pictures at Platform 9 3/4 was necessary. I cannot believe everyone I was with lives in London and never knew it was there! My friend jumped up and down when she put two and two together. After some photos (which I shall post soon) the people who were taking the bus (me, this guy named Shak, and another guy) said goodbye to people taking the tube (my friend and two other guys). This is where my mini adventure begins.
We waited for one of the many infamous red double deckers for what felt like ages. After one of the boys got off, the last (Shak) offered to help me get to Paddington Station. Told him he really didn’t have to, but he said it wasn’t a bother since the bus he needed was only around the corner. We ended up walking for 20 minutes just trying to find the entrance. A ton of construction is happening all throughout the city because of the Olympics. It’s making London a crazy place to walk around.
I stupidly bought my ticket back home without looking to see if there were any trains leaving the station. Whenever I’ve needed a train there has always been one- it never occurred to me that it would just …..stop. Here’s the part where I end up being stranded in Paddington. My phone is shit, so I tried using a pay phone. It’s now 12:30 am. Creepy looks from creepers are now flowing in at an all time high. I decide to call my friend in Cornwall to ask if he can look up train times aka WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO THE STATION IS GOING TO CLOSE AND I HAVE NOWHERE TO STAY. Of course the friend I had been staying with’s phone died and was on the underground, so that was out of the question. My guy friend ended up chatting to her online when she got home and they figured it out like pros. My friend texted me the bus lines to where we would meet in the city. They are as follows: Go outside the station and find the H bus stop. Take the N7 towards Russell Square, get off at Titchfield Street, and change to bus 25 until Green Street.
I slung my Cambridge Satchel (lolz) over my body, bought some caffeine and food for the looonnnggg journey, added money to my Oyster card, and headed out. It took what felt like forever, but it’s moments like these that make me thank the Bay for giving me my street smarts.I would check my next destination before getting off the bus as to not seem obvious that I’m clueless. I wore my ‘Don’t mess with me, I have purpose’ face. I’m now in bed and would like to crash. Cheerio.