Since we have a scanner at work and I still haven’t emptied out my wallet i decided to scan all of the things that were still in there from London and Italy. Obviously you can tell i don’t go through my wallet much. But its just a bunch of transportation tickets, a left over 5 euro from Venezia, 50 pence from london, PTM concert i went to over there, and i believe a coffee receipt from italy. Bits and bobs really. I should go through my coat pockets and other bags to collect all the tickets and everything for a collage. I’m sure i have plenty to create something into a souvenir.
I sit staring out the same window that I’ve come accustomed to for the past two months. A window that looks out to a skyline that has kept me company and surprisingly, been a friend as well. Even with me needing to be up in three more hours, my mind just knows I can’t sleep just yet without saying thank you.
I started this journey in my head. I told myself, i’m going to back pack through Europe, and i did it. I got on that plane at Washington, DC and flew to Venice, Italy. Without knowing the language, without knowing the culture, without knowing anybody at all. I did it. I did the most unsafe, unknowing, and unsecured thing in my life.
This city for as gray, cold, and rainy as it’s reputation has done the complete opposite to me. It’s made me vibrante, colorful, strong, inspired. Fuck, London has been the best relationship I have ever been in. In the two months that I’ve been here, I’ve grown. Yeah my legs got stronger from all that walking, but my mind and my emotions have gotten so strong. Yes, every day i missed my family, i missed the convenience of a steady life. I missed being able to settle down with somebody. But I quickly realized that i don’t have to settle myself in order to have all those things. It took me putting an entire ocean between every body that matters for me to know that they’ve never left me to begin with. I can survive on my own without having physically my family around. Technology has enabled that for me and I can be by myself. Europe has taught me that.
I’m going to miss the continuous streets that are always occupied. No matter what hour of the night, there is always something going on outside. I’ll miss getting on the tube and being able to hear Russian, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and Chinese all within one subway car. I’ll miss the culture, the art, the museums, minding the gap, and the people who I’ve met. The people who took me in, without even knowing me. I risked every thing for this adventure and I received more than I could ever, in a life time, have imagined. And this is just the beginning of me doing it again.
So I want to thank Ray for picking me up a complete stranger from the internet in Italy and setting me up with Mad who graciously took yet again, a complete stranger of a friend of a friend in and giving them a place to live. Mad, you and Sharon have welcomed me so amazingly and me telling you thank you over and over again will never do it justice. You let me live with you and you have been the greatest flatmate a gamer comic chick could ever ask for. Callum, you made me ride the tube by myself unaccompanied. Which at first I loathed you for, but you were right, after a couple of weeks, I did know exactly where I was going. Even so, i can now give directions to other toursits. Ben, your kindness meant a lot to me, and our conversation over cake and coca-cola was truly a highlight to my journey here. Giulia, you are the sweetest girl I’ve ever come across. Meeting you and talking in the cupcake shop was an absolute perfect day. I still can’t believe you gave me Christmas presents to heal some of the homesickness. Everyone else that I’ve met, rooted me on. or who have helped me along the way, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I’ve written this entire blog with a teary face, sniffling, listening to England outside of my room. It’s funny, I started this whole entire adventure to find myself, little did I know I’d end up not only defining myself, but knowing who exactly I want to be. We’ve got many more adventures ahead of us, Peter Pan didn’t just have one. And you and I both know, i’m not leaving Neverland any time soon. So goodnight London, and good morning. This won’t be the last time I see you, I can promise you that.
I was mapping out ways to get there on the tube, googled little shops to mozy around in, went through these underground zine’s I picked up at the comic shop that exclaimed if I didn’t go to (insert random cafe on the east end) or (insert super indie music shop on brick lane here) then I was pretty much a loser in this game called life and I need to cut the shit and go there. I’m sitting here on my phone plugging in all these addresses like, “fuck yeah kyoko we’re going to be amazeballs today!”
I ninja rolled off my bed, put on some clothes that decently matched during the sunlight but totally didn’t matter once the evening came, grabbed the flat keys, chucked my bag over my shoulder and tossed the RENT soundtrack on my iPod. Don’t judge motherfuckers, RENT is the shit. Got down to the tube station, went to go buy a day travel card, but before I purchased I wanted to double check my banking account. Brought that shit up, $0 dollars. My paycheck was SUPPOSED to be dropped in my account, but apparently everyone wants to be lazy tarts in their Christmas jumpers.
So now my super adventure is sitting in the middle of my bed, eating cheeseballs, blogging my present woes, and sending my dad youtube links that I have found to be hilarious.
I don’t even know what my life is anymore. I don’t even go here.
I got on the tube this evening and heading home I was sitting across from a little girl and her father. You could tell her parents let her dress herself, she was just a mess. But at the age, an adorable mess. She was mixing patterns, colors, sizes, and she even had on two different shoes. If anything, she was my hero. She was kicking around her feet, eating pretzels and pestering her father with what seemed to be a 100 million questions. As most daughters do. I was giggling to myself, admiring the little girl’s spunk. She actually reminded me of Pepper Ann.
I had a while until I was getting off the train so I opened my bag and took out my Superman comic. As soon as the girl spotted what was in my hands she threw her hands up and pointed directly at me to her father and yelled out in dispair, “DAD!!!!! I TOLD YOU GIRLS READ COMICS!!!!!!! SHE’S READING A COMIC BOOK!!"
He just put his head in his hand and started shaking it. Clearly, she was embarrassing him. I laughed and said, “it’s okay, I was exactly like that at her age. I can promise you it gets better, but only if you give her comics.” He laughed and thanked me for taking his daughters enthusiasm with fun. My stop was before theres, I gathered my jacket and told her, “girls do read comics, keep the tradition alive” while handing my Superman comic to her. She squealed and her father thanked me, along with three other people riding on the same train. But I think they were thanking me because this energetic little girl had something to do other than asking people why we’re not living on another planet yet and why cats can’t have wings.
Here’s hoping there are more little girls just like her in this world, and if you come across one, do me a favor, give her a comic book. Because, girls do read comics.
This is Ben. I blogged his audrey piece last year and we ended up being friends through this magical world of the internet. We met up today in Soho and he treated me to some very yummy cake and coca-cola and sat outside chatting about everything art related. It was great to meet him and it was even more amazing to meet somebody who I have a lot of respect for as a person and as an artist. He’s incredibly sweet, ridiculously talented, and an overall really great guy. He’s a fine arts artist doing street art, tackling giant walls with brush strokes and showcasing people he admires. He’s passionate, and I am very lucky to call him a friend.
He promised me he’d start utilizing his tumblr more, we’ll see about that. But you should follow him, he posts his finished pieces and like I said, he’s a really great guy. He also has a flickr (which I snagged all these images from.) I’m all about great artists and great people, so Ben - thanks for the cake and the drink, you’re going to do amazing things, I know it. And thanks for the lovely chat this evening, you have been a great highlight to my London adventure!