You’ll never live like common people You’ll never do whatever common people do You’ll never fail like common people You’ll never watch your life slide out of view and then dance and drink and screw because there’s nothing else to do
My homeless year began early October 1985 and ended in the last day of August 1986. I was thirteen, and then fourteen, and it’s a story I’ve never told in part because I slept so many different places that year. I slept in the broom closet of a friend’s apartment building. The closet was just inside the entryway, past the eight slotted mailboxes. It was the size of a single bed, crowded with mop buckets and cleaning solutions, and I could stretch all the way out and my toes would just touch the door. The building itself was a tan/yellow brick four flat. Kwan lived with his parents and grandmother in a two-bedroom on the second floor, part of a wave of Korean immigrants arriving on the north side of Chicago in the early eighties on their way to the suburbs along with the Kurds and Russian Jews. When I would come over to visit after school his grandmother would clutch my head in her bony hands and pray for me.
Hey, you! No worries. I'm always good for any kind of questions, especially travel questions. I'm a bit confused as to what you're asking me, but I'm guessing it is if those layovers are normal? Like having such a long layover? If that's the case, then yes ma'am they are. Especially if you want the cheaper flights. Which my family excels at finding. Almost every trip I've taken to Peru has had me waiting at the Miami airport for like 10 hours. It sucks. You're in luck though b/c at least the London airports connect to public transportation that can take you into the city. I would recommend, though, venturing out into the city - if you get really bored of reading the same magazine with the same Kardashian and/or eating food court food - more so with the 12 hour layover than the 8 hour one. Which airports are you flying in/out of? If it's the cheaper ones (like Gatwick, Luton, Stansted), then they're relatively unbusy so you wouldn't have to worry too much about checking back in, but they're a ways out of the city. I'm guessing you'll be flying through Heathrow, though, if it's international to the US. I don't know if you've ever been through Heathrow, but it is some of the most intense security I've ever had to go through. Not to mention it takes a good half hour to take the tube into the city. But seeing as how you have 12 hours to spare, it might be worth it. I would stay at the airport just b/c I'm always paranoid about missing flights, but the good thing about London as opposed to Buttfuck, Texas is that you have the option to do something. Otherwise, just stock up on books, magazines, candy and charge every appliance you own. The hours do end up going by surprisingly fast, though. Especially if you find some corner to take a nap in. But yes, in conclusion, if your question is whether that's normal, it is. I've had layovers like that myself. My best friend one time was in Ecuador for like 23 hours on a layover. Ridiculous. But the cheaper the flight, the longer the layover. It's the life we cheap people lead. ANYWAY, if that didn't answer your question, then just let me know. I'm all ears. And Coke. But that's a given. Good luck!
Wow, ok. Damn girl.
So, to clarify: I realize that cheap flights (Christmas Eve flight! For a reasonable price) come with caveats- and in this case, that’s (likely) no in flight entertainment, and a massive layover. I am flying into heathrow— never been, so not sure about security, but, I too am super paranoid about that whole area. Especially after I missed the flight from Budapest back to Dublin when I was living there- that scarred me pretty good.
My question was more… tips to survive it? The way to EWR, it’s form 10 am to 6 pm, which isn’t awful, and I could theoretically venture into London, though I’ll have been traveling since midnight the night before and probably won’t be into that drama, but the way back, well, it’s 9 pm to 9 am. And I hear the aiport shuts down overnight. And I’m not sure I want to wander around London by myself at night. Cause sometimes I get scared. But yeah. That’s my life.
Happy Thanksgiving, to those who celebrate, and especially to my fellow ex-pats. Thanksgiving has never been a holiday that resonated with me- it always rang a bit false, and had more than its share of bitter disapointments. So, sitting where I am, in the Alps, far from my family, and the majority of my friends, I don’t feel as if I’m missing out something. Well, the traditional watching of horror movies, but that’s about it.
Still, I’ve always liked this idea of giving thanks, and people don’t do it nearly enough. It’s too easy to assume that what you have, has always been there. So, in short, I am thankful for:
the obvious. My friends, my family, my life.
Coming home for Christmas. As much I enjoy living in Europe, and enjoy my life, it’s still hard to get used to not being able to take a train to see my mom, or to be able to call my Dad whenever I want. I’m really looking forward to going home for a few weeks, and not just because it’ll happen to be the same time some Aussies arrive.
Music. Seriously. Music has always been the medication that works, no less so now, that I’m not taking any medication. And I am so friggin’ grateful for it, I don’t think I can express it eloquently.
My education. Oh student loans are kicking in. And they’re a beast. But I am so grateful for my education- both BU and WM have given me wonderful things, and in this time of being broke-broke-broke, I don’t remember that enough.
Thanks love. It may be squared away, but won’t know for sure until tomorrow. On a happier note, the best part of the trip was not the vegan restaurant I stopped in for lunch, but the fact that there was a BIG “Visit NJ!” post in the (American) waiting room of the US Consulate. Made my day.
“Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you’re free to live. You no longer care about your reputation. You no longer care except so far as your life can be used tactically to promote a cause you believe in.”— Saul Alinsky
Tonight. Last minute. To ask the US Embassy what the fuck, and how t quickly get a visa before mine under the Schengen runs out and I’m faced with seirous fines and being unable to leave the country and come back and all the drama, even though I’ve waited 8 weeks for my damn criminal background check. Ugh.
Needing some love, people. Letters appreciated. Plus, I’ll send one back. Promise. You dig?
“Slowly, desperately slowly it seemed to us as we watched, the remains of passage debris that encumbered the lower part of the doorway were removed, until at last we had the whole door clear before us. The decisive moment had arrived. With trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper left hand corner. Darkness and blank space, as far as an iron testing-rod could reach, showed that whatever lay beyond was empty, and not filled like the passage we had just cleared. Candle tests were applied as a precaution against possible foul gases, and then, widening the hole a little, I inserted the candle and peered in, Lord Carnarvon, Lady Evelyn [Lord Carnarvon’s daughter] and Callender [an assistant] standing anxiously beside me to hear the verdict. At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, ‘Can you see anything?’ it was all I could do to get out the words, ‘Yes, wonderful things.’ Then widening the hole a little further, so that we both could see, we inserted an electric torch.”—Howard Carter, on the discovery of King Tut’s tomb
Mom: What’s the name of that actress? The harlot one? Me: The harlot? Mom: Yes, the harlot. She’s blonde. Harlot something. Me: A blonde harlot? What are you talking about? Mom: She’s very famous. She’s married to the guy who’s going to be the sexiest man alive. Me: OH, SCARLETT….