Tales From the Other Side of the Sea

I lost my phone yesterday and my whole world came crashing down on me for a couple of seconds. I think you all know the wonderful relationship I have with my phone… But I noticed how more reliant you are on this particular piece of equipment when you are in a world far, far away from home and you don’t really know your way around as well as you thought you did.

It was at the cinema. I had just gone to see Contagion (Great movie) and was about to leave. I had used the great bathroom facilities the theater offered and taken a minute to rearrange my heavy backpack. But as I was walking out I noticed my phone wasn’t where it should be…

And I panicked.

Ran back inside… Interrogated a really nice couple who sat where I had sat before. They even offered their phone to call mine. I tried, but I couldn’t get a signal. I don’t think I even thanked them… But I was a bit lost at that moment. I checked my bag again -not there-, the bathroom -nope-, the seats -nuh-uh- … Wasn’t there. I ran back to the screening room. Made a very nice kid check the entire floor but nothing to be found. Then and there I extended that kid’s vocabulary with quite a few nice swear words. I’m sure he felt slightly awkward but I wasn’t in a state to notice or care.

I had lost my precious iPhone. And I felt really shitty. Here I was in a semi-strange country, and I had just lost my main way of communicating. What the hell was I going to do? At that point, I really wished I could go home. It happens on occasion I’ve noticed, that fleeting feeling of ‘What the fuck am I doing here?’. It is to be expected. At that point… it was really, really strong and I just wanted to go home and cuddle my dog.

As I walked downstairs to the exit I realized I have an iPad on me. I can just check where it is through its GPS tracker. So if it is still in the theater I will find it. They didn’t have wi-fi at the cinema, but the casino next door did. I ran outside. It was really freaking cold so I put on my coat and stuffed my hands deep in my pockets where they’d be warm….

At that moment, I felt like the biggest idiot in the world. Because there it was, safe and sound in my pocket. My own beautiful iPhone named Herbert. I’d been carrying it along the whole time.

Needless to say, I did not go back into the theater to thank their wonderful and understanding staff. I just walked on, still kinda shaky, cursing my own stupidity.

This is the best story I can tell you about my first few days in London. I was going to write it all down. Every small step along the way. Those little adventures on the train and those big adventures in an even bigger city.

But it seems I had forgotten that life is not exactly the same as a good movie. Most of the time, nothing unusual happens. I said my goodbyes to my family, my dog, and lastly, my friends. The train brought me to Brussels without delay. I watched Community and Grey’s Anatomy. That was it. At Brussels I changed trains to London. Nothing happened. I sat in my chair and read a Terry Pratchett novel on my iPad.

It’s mostly dull, really. But the people are very friendly. More than 3 gentlemen offered me to carry my bags. Being both lazy and very self-reliant at the same time, this was slightly problematic for me. In the end I resolved the matter by letting them do the lifting. Lazy almost always trumps self-reliant.

But London is great. I love this city and I can’t quite figure out why. It is really nice, but it’s not that much different from Amsterdam. It’s just bigger…

But somehow it still feels better.


And ‘m gonna leave it at that for now. I’m sure it’ll all change again. But for now, I kinda like it here. Miss my dog though.


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