What More Could Happen?

Dec 9, 2007 by


Hello friends and family! Good to have you again!

I’m updating the Classic Chronicles show again. It should appear in the sidebar. Make sure you vote on my little poll I’ve got going. It’s the only way I can tell how many of you show up for the site. It will change with each installment of the show. But, since I thought the current issue of adding Ranch dressing to the dinner table was very important, I’m leaving it up for another week.

Someone (I think it was my cousin-in-law Patty? Only in South Carolina does a “cousin-in-law” exist) commented on the pictures in the last episode saying our flat looked “very bohemian”. She’s from the side of the family that actually has its roots in the old Czech Bohemia, making it a pretty funny joke… if you get our family’s strange, slow sense of humor. Thanks for the comment, Patty!

I’ve also added my five movie and book picks onto the sidebar. I keep finding cooler things to do to the blog. If you have any recommendations for me, especially books, please email me right away: justin.arndt@gmail.com. I’m urgently looking for my next book to read. Catherine Coulter’s “Blindside” just didn’t do it for me. I need something better.

Anyway, on with the show…

As I patiently await my work permit to come through things seem to be getting very interesting here in east London.

It all started on Wednesday… *diddle-lee doop, diddle-lee doop…*

There we were, Jamie and I, on a 29 bus heading towards a place called Wynchmore Hill way up in North London. We had an appointment to meet with an estate agent about a studio flat in that area, and we were running late.

I was finishing up the first burrito that I have had since we moved to London. Finding Mexican food here is a lucky thing, and I just happened to be hungry. The burrito was delicious, and Jamie and I were nibbling on the last of it as the bus hit traffic just outside of Wood Green, a shopping district also in North London. That’s when he got on.

Stumbling drunk, this man stared at nothing in particular, yet he had a stare about his face – if you know what I mean. He wandered past us, beer still in hand, and we didn’t think too much of it. I’m not sure why we didn’t take more notice, it was only 2:30 in the afternoon. Nobody should be that drunk at this hour, even in London.

We finished our burrito sitting in the very slow traffic. After I balled up the tin-foil that held the morsel together, I called the estate agent to let him know we were going to be late. As I hung up the phone I began to hear it. Someone was retching in the back of the bus. It was then that we began to put it all back together: the drunk man, the beer can, the length of the bus we were on and its strange talent of making people sick. I had the feeling that something awful had just happened behind me but if I didn’t turn around it might not actually be real.

It was real.

We were reminded of its “realness” (if you will) by a large black woman sitting directly behind us. As these seats were situated, Jamie and I were facing towards the front of the bus while Josie (let’s call her that) was facing the back. She saw him coming.

“Don’t you even think about coming any closer! Get off the bus! Get OFF THE BUS!!”

(Don’t these stories make you want to come and visit us in London and ride the great public transit?)

I am sure glad Josie had our backs, both literally and figuratively, because we wouldn’t have seen him coming and would have ended up with cheap booze and stomach acid all over us. (I hope you’re not eating lunch at your desk right now…)

Because we were running late, we couldn’t afford to get off the bus and wait for another one. Luckily and with Josie’s forceful help he got off at the next stop. He did leave us with a little present… the smell…

Later that day…

(I’m not kidding, this all happened in the same day.)

On another bus, this being the 41 heading east towards our flat, we were asked to “all change” at one of the bus stops because the bus driver had to pee or something. We are never quite sure why we must “all change” at strange hours during the day and night, but it happens regularly.

As we stood out in the rain awaiting the next 41, two of them appeared over the horizon. Most of the people who’d been kicked off the bus with us headed for the first bus, so we went for the second. This, however, was the bus headed for an accident.

Yeah, somehow we ended up taking off a guy’s mirror in the middle of a roundabout (they have them in the States now, but they’re much bigger here) and so instead of moving to a safe area to discuss the accident, our bus stopped right in the middle of this huge, circular intersection. After a few choice words from both offending parties, some paperwork, and an interesting hand gesture which would translate as the middle-finger in the States, we moved on.

We decided that things couldn’t get any more interesting and braved a trip to the shop for some essential groceries. After this long adventure we both required a stop at a toilet before we could journey through the isles of a busy ASDA (the Wall Mart brand of store over here. Leave it to the Americans to find the Wall Mart in London.)

As I emerged from the men’s room Jamie still hadn’t appeared. We had been out and about for quite a while so I patiently waited a bit longer. When Jamie did emerge, she had a very troubled look on her face. I calmly inquired, “is everything O.K.?”

“There’s a woman in there asking for an ambulance. I think she may be having a miscarriage.”

We hurried up to the security station and as concerned London citizens we reported the incident and went back to make sure this woman would be alright. She came out off the bathroom and her face was stark white. The security guard (who, thankfully was a female) took care of the woman as they waited for an ambulance.

Come to think of it now, we never did find out what was really wrong with that woman. But we did get some groceries.

All in all, not a bad day’s work. It’s amazing what can befall a young couple on their journeys throughout a large city. Heck, we’ve even had a more exciting adventure at home this weekend. That all happened on Wednesday!

We have been without water since Saturday morning (it’s Monday morning now) and it’s most likely due to the repairing (or banging, I’m trying to be optimistic) that our new neighbor was doing upstairs. The water shut off, and the guy mysteriously disappeared. Hasn’t been around at all this weekend, and I still have yet to hear him enter the upstairs.

This wouldn’t be SO bad if the water didn’t also control the heat in the house. Yeah, it’s been a bit chilly all weekend. At least it’s not getting below 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) at night. London is a bit warmer than the northern states in the winter – thank God.

But, that’s a story for the next episode. It’s still in progress and I’m hoping for a grand finale to rival any west-end musical. We’ll just see.

Alrighty! Thank you all again for your constant support and love. Jamie and I do appreciate it a lot. Drop us a line! Send us your Christmas email!


We’d love to hear from you. And we’ll send our Christmas email to you too! I won’t be posting that on the blog, however, so if you are interested in the Christmas email and don’t have your own, just write “Happy Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” in the body of an email and send it to the address above. We can then respond with our Christmas email, full of cheer and most likely a good dose of storytelling from the queen herself, Jamie!

Thanks again everyone! Good luck on the presents hunt and may the holiday cheer outweigh the holiday stress.

Cheers! (with a glass of homemade eggnog…)



Related Posts


Share This