If anyone would have told me a year ago that I would spend my 25th Birthday in London, far away from all of my friends I would have laughed. I would have laughed even harder if you had predicted that I’d spend the night drinking with David -whom I hadn’t seen for over 2 years- and his friends who I never met before, and have a genuinely good time. And if then that person had said: “Trust me dude, and it’s going to end with you sitting in a bathtub that has a TV and sleeping in a bed that is bigger than your room.” I would have said: “Whatever Dude.”
Thank god no one told me that, because he/she would have been absolutely right. Which would mean that person can look into the future and that is pretty scary… even for someone like me who often makes a very good case for determinism.
Because that is exactly what happened over the course of this weekend. Friday I took it pretty slow in the morning and then went into town. Had some coffee (still yuck), wrote a bit and went for a long walk to think it all over.
Of course, I got really lost but there are worst places to get really lost in. For instance, alone in New York around Christmas when you are an 11-year-old obnoxious kid. Or at the airport in a strange city with only a snobby long-haired cat and a sweet Golden Retriever as companions is also not advised. Let’s not mention the dangers that lie in taking a wrong turn on the Yellow Brick Road. And you can even get lost inside your own computer memory, or the less silicon-based treacheries of your memories and dreams.
So, compared to that, London with the Christmas lights up and some money and a phone in your pocket is not too bad at all. Unlike in Amsterdam, the buildings here are not completely covered in piss and years of exhaust fumes eating away at the stones. Also they have no weird building projects where they put a very ugly-looking contemporary building between some beautiful old houses (you know I’m looking at you stupid green/salmon-colored building on the Rokin). So, it’s nice to just walk about a bit and enjoy the view. It’s incredible when you imagine how many people walked those streets before you throughout the centuries.
But I finally found my way to where I was supposed to be… Because I was supposed to be at a bar; raising a glass to my good health like I said I would. Fortunately I was not doing this all by myself. I say fortunately partly because other people seem to find it weird when you talk to yourself, but mostly because it is nice to have a friend.
So, I celebrated my getting another year older by drinking some sweet Apple Cider (which I love), met some nice people and learned that you can walk into a restaurant at 11PM when you’ve had slightly too much to drink and can still expect to be served a really good steak dinner. I love it.
The next day, I wasn’t as hung over as I anticipated which was good because Wez was arriving at 9.15AM to spend a weekend in alcohol-drenched luxury with me for my birthday. Due to some transportation problems it was 11 before we met up…Which was great, because thanks to the combined factors of a lot of Alcohol and only a bit of terrible sleep I was feeling like I was about to have a heart attack. My heart was racing and my arms were heavy. So while Wez was struggling to get to Piccadilly Circus I could enjoy a nice shower and some orange juice before meeting Wez.
After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we went out for the best Hamburger Brunch we ever had with the weirdest fries ever. They were called mini-fries but they were really more like gnome fries. That’s how tiny they were. But man o man… Best breakfast/lunch ever.
After that, we tried to do something cultural… I wanted to go to the National Portrait Gallery, which we did. Now you’re probably thinking… well, that must be nice. It isn’t! It sucks. They just had a bunch of old portraits of dead royals… and they weren’t that good either. The contemporary photography collection was alright, but a bit fragmented… and it was so crowded. I think we were out of there in 2 minutes because we realized we’d much rather watch a film.
That was enough culture for us for one day. And we went to the cinema and spent a crapload of money on a film. I would like to tell you which film we saw and that it was worth it…. but I am too embarrassed to say.
Ok, it was Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and I’m only saying this so that I can now say the following. The moral at the heart of Twilight is sick and twisted. But what’s worse, there is no excuse to make such a fucking terrible film. It was ridiculous and bad on every single level. If you’ve seen it and enjoyed it… Read this carefully… “You didn’t Enjoy it!!! It is a terrible movie and should be buried even deeper than the Star Wars prequels and the latest Indiana Jones installment.”
Well, I got that out of my system. Thank god. It was really, really bad. After 15 minutes I couldn’t stop looking at my watch. And at some point my brain just gave out. I completely shut down like EVE in Wall-E when she’s found the plant. I was just sitting there, starring in disbelief at the screen and just laughed at it all. It was the only thing I could do in order to survive. Just laugh and pretend I’m not really watching that film when I could be watching Moneyball instead.
We barely survived that screening and afterwards we were so tired we walked straight to our hotel. There we were shown to our room. I will put up pictures of it as soon as I have them, because if I don’t… you won’t believe me. For instance, Wez and I spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out what the remote in the bathroom was for, when we discovered out bathtub had a TV above it. Like I already said, our bed was bigger than my entire room. And when we went out for drinks, someone came in our room and cleaned up our mess (that was a bit of a scary discovery). And they had a blow dryer from the future (true story).
The room was awesome, but Twilight had beaten us pretty hard. We needed a drink. So the plan was to get one drink and then find a nice place for dinner. We did, eventually, find a nice place for dinner (KFC in our hotel room) but not before we emptied out the bar. What started as one innocent mohito ended with a binge of Tequila spiked cocktails and Bloody mary’s. We even left the hotel for a drink outside. I may or may not have proved to a strange Japanese Guy I would be the best rock star ever but the pictures look great (I hear). And I tried to talk a street magician in revealing us his tricks, but all he revealed was his email address (any takers?). Also, I discovered the KFC does not have Spicy Chicken here and I am now officially no longer a member of their fan club. But it was still nice to eat something that wasn’t alcohol.
Because the next day I woke up, hang-over free. Watched some TV in the Bathtub and had the best breakfast I ever ate. Canadian Pancakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup. O my God, it was so good I still dream of those pancakes. The rest of the morning we watched a DVD (Paul by Greg Mottola. Watch it, Bitches) on the flat screen and went out for lunch were I ate, again, the best food ever. They had carpaccio I didn’t even wanted to eat, it was that good. I just wanted it to last forever. And don’t even get me started on the Tiramisu. It was so light and creamy, it must have been made by angels (or at least Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp)
And with that, we concluded my Birthday. An event where I did nothing but eat, sleep and drink for 2 whole days. It was heaven in London. I even managed to score one decent cappuccino. I dropped Wez off at the train back home, and then returned home myself where I happily returned to my room unable to eat for the rest of the day.
It might have been the best Birthday ever. But I’m not sure because I cannot look into the future. So much more amazing stuff might just happen.
But let me say this then… It was the Best Birthday Ever so Far!!