Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hungry And Lost!

Hi again.

I don't feel much better than I did yesterday - it seems my body still thinks it is night time... I just figured I'd be one of those people who just don't get affected by jet lag. I was wrong.
I woke up this morning at a normal hour, and then I didn't really know what to do with myself. I finally dragged myself out of the house after watching an episode of Britan's Next Top Model (so not as good as the Australia version!) and half an episode of H2O. Pretty cool seeing the show you've worked non for 9 months on tv in a foreign country... (not cool enough to watch an entire episode though.)

Since I hadn't made any plans, I just went to Oxford St again.. I only saw a little ofit yesterday - and I figured I should probably check out Topshop. I needed a jumper or something - because it was cold, and my jacket wasn't enough. Topshop is so confusing. It is massive.. and there are just too many clothes. I saw some liberty print things going past on a rack and then I couldn't actually find them in the store. I can't believe how many liberty print things there are in London.

All I've really done today is walk around... I found myself in some random suburb before and just kept walking.. I found myself back in soho and I have been trying to find somewhere to get a sandwich - but I never want the ones in the shop!! I knew I should have gotten that waffle when I saw it... but I'm so terrified of the heathrow injection that I kept walking - and now I'm starved.

I found the same internet cafe and the man in the shop made a pass at me, so I think I'm going to have to find another place. dammit.

Thats all for now... hopefully I will have done something exciting next time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I have slept 3 hours in 2 days. The Result:

It's been an eventful day. I am so jet-lagged and messed up right now, so don't expect any big words that fit together well in sentences. Or something.

But first of all... The journey started out fairly slowly. We checked in without having to pay for extra baggage - then jumped onto the plane for the 8 hour leg. It's been so long since I've flown internationally that I kind of felt as though I was flying to Melbourne for the weekend, and I didn't prepare myself for the lengthy flight. It's also been a very long time since I've watched so many romantic comedies in a row. I believe the order was Confessions of a Shopperholic (possibly the worst script ever made into an actual movie,) He's Just Not That Into You, Bride Wars, Marley and Me (I was almost making actual sobbing noises at the end of this one. Jessica Had to get me a tissue.) I almost watched Twilight! But, I didn't.
We had a three hour stop over at singapore, and I was already ridiculously tired - not helped by the 30 minute back massage that I treated myself too... when the man told me it was over, I was stumbling around, finding it hard to speak at all. It was embarrassing really. Before the massage, we all had a shower - and then after a very quick sit down and a 'quick lets rehydrate before the plane sucks evey last drop of moisture our of your body again' session, it's was time to jump back on the plane for the loooong leg of the trip. Jessica and Sophie both slept so well, I was very jealous of them.

When we arrived at Heathrow is when it really started going downhill. We raced to customs, so that we wouldn't be at the end of the que, and Jessica and Sophie could both get to work on time. (not so jealous afterall!) Jessica and I went together to show our passports etc, and the immigration officer was such a horrible bitch! When she saw that Jessica had a working visa, and I didn't, she immediatly assumed that I was trying to find work in the UK illegally. She started asking all these questions about what I do back home and when I explained to her that I work on contracts in film and tv, she started labelling me unemployed and asking (not asking) if I had been 'laid off.' So she continued to take shots and me and blame me for not looking for more work, (ah - I am travelling!) and telling me about how hard it is for anybody to find a job at the moment... and then she decided to take both mine and Jessica's passports. After a while she came back and told her I was being detained for further questioning and that Jessica was free to leave...
I was put into this little fenced off area beside the customs que and gradually more and more bewildered looking (mostly) Australians joined me. After probably and hour, some ladies came and got a few of us and went through out suitcases. These ladies were nice. Everyone was nice except the horrible initial lady, who almost made both Jessica and I burst into tears, for no good reason. After that, they took us to an office where we were allowed nothing but our money, and told as we could have as many disgusting snacks as we liked. They took and mug shot of me and they took my finger prints! And no one really told me what was going on. They just gave me this piece of papers telling me that I had been detained, (for not answering the questions properly) and that they had taken my travel documents, including my passport. OMG!!! So anyway I was there for about 4 hours all up. Finally one of the offices opened up and the HORRID lady from the beginning called my name. She interrigated me for a while.... She was obsessed with the fact that both my brother and my sister both had working visas, but I didn't - so obviously I wanted to get work in London also. She was more relaxed and actually let me answer questions proerly this time, and I was more relaxed, because I wasn't as surprised by all the questions. She wasn't nice though. All the other officers were so nice, and she was just down right mean. After my interview she went and spoke to the chief of immigration for about half an hour... I could just imagine the conversation after twenty minutes -
'So, what the problem again?'
'Well she says she is here on holiday, but OBVIOUSLY she is lying.'
'Has she got her departing flight booked?'
'Has she got any money.'
'For gods sake let her in!'

And alas, she allowed me into the country with strict intructions not to obtain any employment and to leave within 6 months. I hate her.

So I finally made it past the border and I bought myself a UK phone number and a train ticket. I had a note that Jessica had passed on through one of the nice immigration offices, instructing me how to get to her flat. I rode the 'Heathrow Connect,' from terminal 2 (I think) to terminal 4... Then I had to get off the train... and so I waited a half hour and got on a train that took me back to terminal 2 (I think) and then I got out and took the (correct) train to Paddington station. From there I jumped into a black cab and went straight to Jessica's flat for a SHOWER! The whole time I was at customs all I wanted to do was wash my face - I could feel all these horrid pimples rising from not washing off my make up, and I knew I had big black eyes from all the crying during Marley and Me.

Jessica's place is lovely. Maida Vale is a really nice area from what I have seen and the flat is great. I can tell there are going to be some squashy nights, because I am sharing Jessica's room and there isn't much space for my sweet blow up matteress and luggage.... it is one or the other - so I am going to have to continually repack my suitcase and put down the matteress. After waiting for what I literally think was probably 20 minutes for the hot water to activate - I showered! And it was incredible!

I went bought myself a weekly oyster card for the tube and took myself to Oxford Circus....

This is where is starts going back uphill.... even though I was already off my head on jet lag, I pottered around some shops and marvelled and the all the store windows - and then I saw it. My dream! THE LIBERTY STORE! I had no idea how incredible it was! I didn't realise that it was a department store hand picked by Liberty... I just thought it had a bunch of liberty scarves, ties, shirts... (I would have been weeing my pants just to get into THAT store...) but a whole DEPARTMENT STORE, filled with nothing but PERFECT and BEAUTFUL (and incredibly expensive) things. I can't even begin to explain how incredible it is inside... I was walking around with my jaw dropped the whole time. It's like you're walking through the pages of your favourite fashion magazine. It was today, the 26th of May 2009, that I decided that I want to be flithy rich. I want the things in that store. I want them all. The handpicked vinatage couches, the Vivian Westwood jackets, the ENTIRE cacharel line (made completly of liberty fabrics,) the sheets, the liberty buttons. They have every designer that you could possibly want in there... and EVERYTHING is beautiful and pretty. Keira Knightly was there. I saw her. My first A list celebrity sighting. I mean, she was in that Vanity Fair spread and everything.

When I finally tore myself away from Liberty, I went for a wander through soho... I found Flat White - that coffee shop run by new zealanders that make the coffee that we are used to in Australia... it was delicious and everyone in there was Australian. It's funny I came to the other side of the world to go into an Australian cafe. There are lots of good vintage stores in soho. I've had to tell myself 'no!' many times today. There have been many liberty and cacharel items for only £16 and £30... budget budget budget... I have to keep reminding myself.
So I kept wandering through soho and found myself it seems, in the sex shop/strip joint district. Then I saw a £1 an hour internet cafe - and here I am, waiting around for Nicole to finish work and come keep me awake. I can't wait to see her.

On Monday and Tuesday I am helping out on a British Airways commercial, dressing the models and running around for the stylist. I'm looking forward to it! Hopefully I'll be over the jet lag by then. It's shooting at Heathrow. Hopefully I'll see my friend from immigration, while I'm working. Wouldn't that be an interesting situation.

I am going to remove myself from this computer, because I don't have much time left and I don't want to pay for another hour, because I'm pretty sure there is a man a few computers down who is watching porn.

Peace out. I'll be more coherant next time. I promise.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Only one more sleep to go!

Welcome all, to my self indulgent travel blog!

Tommorrow morning I'll be jumping on a plane and heading to the UK to stay with my sister in London for 2 and a half months. I have not yet completed my packing, and being the overpacker that I am, I'm very nervous that I will forget something. I've actually started searching travel checklists on the internet - but this just makes me even more nervous because I really should have done this 2 months ago in order to do alot of the things they include... thankfully I've packed my 'sense of adventure' which many of the lists strongly suggest.

So far I have planned very little for the trip. On Tuesday morning, my sister Jessica and I will arrive, catch a cab to her flat and she will shower and head off to work, leaving me to my own devices in a very large and unfamiliar city. I've employed one of my oldest friends, Nicole, to meet me and keep me awake until a reasonable sleeping hour. I wonder what I will do? On Thursday I'll be meeting Adam and going to see Phosporescent at The Jazz Club in Camden. 
I'll also probably be doing a little bit of work experience with a fashion stylist who has a couple of gigs on while I'm there. I just fell into that - A friend of mine in Brisbane knows the stylist and suggested I get in contact, and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. Who knows, it is similar to the work I do in art department back home, so I might fall in love with the work and want to get into it as a career. I'll get to meet people that way and probably see parts of the city that I usually wouldn't. Plus, I am there for 10 weeks with not much planned, so I'm sure I won't be strapped for time. 

I am planning to go on a few trips to Europe while I'm there... despite my very small amount of savings. My friend Oliver has been living in Berlin for 2 months and so I will go and stay with him for a week! I'm so glad I've got him there to show me around and party with me! He lives with a whole band, so I'm guessing his place is probably pretty chaotic, not that I would expect less of Olly. From there I'll go and see Rome with Jessica and her housemate Hailey.... Then later on I'll go and spend some time in France - and I'm hoping that my brother Joseph will come with me on that one. He recently moved to London and then he got a 6 week contract in Costa Rica, starting 3 days before I arrive!!! 

I am hoping that I can get a little bit of cash in hand when I arrive - just a couple hours a week to hold me over. Jessica suggested that I become a 'slammer.' Slammers dress in tiny little outfits and go around bar pouring shots for dirty men. Then they take all the money from the shots. I will not be a slammer, no sir. (Although, I am kind of tempted.)

I better get to packing. A tough activity when severely hung over.