The West is the Best

Its so nice to be censorship free again!

He's got a four-quack power bike!
No duck bicycles in the UK
I’ve been in London about 15 hours
so far, and it might be my lack of sleep, intense jet lag, or one too many
pints last night, but for some odd reason, this city is filled with kind
English-speaking people.

When a guy standing next to me on
the tube (London’s subway) pointed at my Australian flag patch and asked
where I’d been, it took me a full minute to realize that he wasn’t just
practicing his English or trying to steer me to a hotel. He was only
making small talk in our crowded conditions, trying to pass the time with
a smile.

This morning, after a 5 am run
(yes, serious jet lag), I was happily served by a Peruvian cafe owner who
let me run upstairs to my friend’s apartment for a pen, without paying
first. Not charging me triple because I was new to the city and not
staring at me while I ate, she actually let me walk out of the cafe,
maybe to disappear forever, on credit.

Yes, I am back in the West, and
its gonna take me a while to adjust to the change, especially since this
is England. When I tried to board a bus yesterday, I elbowed my way on,
like I’ve been doing for the past three years, only to be confronted by
angry passengers who kept telling me that they ‘que in this
country’.

Oblivious to what they meant
since I’m not even used to anyone speaking to me directly, I totally
forgot the incident till someone leaned over and explained that all
English stand in ridiculously long lines, called a que, to maintain the
sense of order and discipline that this island is know for. Woops!

I had to run upstairs at
breakfast this morning because my meal was more expensive than I expected.
A donut and a Snapple isn’t as cheap in London as Beijing, and my pocket
change wasn’t gonna buy me much past a Chupa Chup lollie.

The loss of superstar status is
gonna be the worst. No longer will $20 make for a great Saturday night at
all the best clubs that Moscow or Beijing has to offer. In London, 20₤,
which is $30, will only get you drunk in a bar, but not full of food or
into a club. Oh woe is me who was of the elite and now just of the
normal!

And don’t even get me started
on housing prices here. My next task is to find a place for Jingmei and I
to live.