The train from Paris to London was great. In fact if I ever have to do that again I will totally take the train. I Highly recommend it. When I got off I was met by Carol-Ann, a friend of a friend who had been helping me secure lodging for the week. I was so grateful for her because she also bought me a SIM card for my phone and an Oyster for the Tube. [Angle #4]
I got off the train at St. Pancreas Station and then we boarded a city bus to the North of London where Jeff and I would be staying. Jeff was arriving on Tuesday morning so he was not with me at this point. The flat was along Holloway Road and the area seemed cool. Lots of shops on the street so we could get almost anything we needed. Great! :-)
When we got to the flat it looked cool on the outside, but then we opened the door to the building. The hallway smelled a bit like pee and I was immediately concerned. But I let it go because sometimes how things are on the hallway of a building does not reflect how all individuals are living there. I know that very well from living in New York. So I kept an open mind.
We knocked on the door of Carol-Ann's friend's place, where I would be staying, and no one answered. We knocked a couple more times and then we just tried the door. Well, low and behold it was open. I was also a bit concerned about that, but then I said to myself that maybe he left the door open for us because he knew he had to run to the store or something, but then wouldn't he have just called Carol-Ann to tell her that? Hmm... Okay. I'm still keeping an open mind.
When we got in he was asleep on the couch. Ok. She went to wake him and then took me back to my room. I hadn't met Carol-Ann's friend at that point, but when I went back to the room I knew I couldn't say there. But I was trying to make the most of it because I didn't want to seem ungrateful for the work she had put in to help me out. So I put my things down, and then she said her friend wanted to talk to me about keys. No problem
When I went out to talk to him about the keys I knew something was wrong. He seemed like he was on or coming down or something. I know he just woke up, but my intuition was telling me something else. It was more than just being woken up. He then started telling me about the keys and some rules or something and then he asked for more money than we agreed on. Some mess about it being more than just me in the house, usually only one person stays in the room I'm in, blah, blah, blah. All this and he couldn't even look me in the eye. It became very clear to me that he just needed some extra loot so he could score again! Well at least that's what I felt. At that point I pulled Carol-Ann aside and told her that I could not stay there. She totally understood and she was heated at her friend. I mean she was really pissed. At that point I just didn't feel safe and I felt really bad for her because she was totally embarrassed. I know that must have sucked.
On a whim I called another friend, Michelle. She is also a friend of a friend, but came highly recommended by my friend Ahmed who had stayed at her place for a while during the couple of years he lived in London. I had spoken with her about staying at her place before I got to London, but chose not to because she wasn't as central as Carol-Ann's friend. Well, thank Goddess Michelle was still open to having us at her place. [Angel #5].
So Carol-Ann and I gathered my things, she helped me get myself situated on how to get to Michelle's house, told her boy we were leaving and bounced! She later confessed to me that she was getting concerned about her friend a couple of days before I arrived and was trying to find us another place to stay. She also told me that she had already given him an extra £30 and cleaned his flat before we got there! What??!! I am really thankful for her, but I am so glad I stuck to my gut. We topped up my Oyster card so I could ride the bus and Tube that night. We both needed to calm down and see if we could get my SIM card working in my cell phone. So we decided to hit a pub near her place and the Tube station that I needed to take to get to Michelle's place.
We ended up at this spot called The Library, which turned out to be where I was scheduled to play the next night. So now I knew exactly where the place was. We had a couple of drinks and tried to get my cell working, which turned out to be a bit of a disaster. For some reason T-mobile just couldn't get it going. So I emailed Jeff to let him know what was going on so he wouldn't be caught off guard when he got here. I met Carol-Ann's beautiful children who came by to drop off my CDs that I sent ahead to London. We drank and talked a bit more and then I went on my merry way. Although Michelle lives in South London, that night it felt like a short ride to her station. Thank Goddess she came pick me up at the train. I know I told you she's an angel, but really. Really!
When I walked into Michelle's house it was like the light came on. Compared to the other spot, this was like the W Hotel. Her and her family have affirmations all over the house, vision boards and crystals. Ah, I was right at home. It had been such a long day, but I was wired. I stayed up much later than I should have because I had to meet Jeff at the airport at 8:25am. That meant I had to be out of the house by about 6:30 or 7am. Remember I told you all I am now in south London and sometimes it felt like the deep south. So much so that when Michelle came to pick me up from the train I saw a fox in the street. Yes a real live fox! Little did I know that would not be the last fox I saw that week. Those jokers are taking over the city and it's a little bananas if I do say so myself. Can you imagine foxes running around in Brooklyn or Harlem? This is what I'm talking about.
When I finally got settled in, it was about 2 or 3am so I only had a few hours to sleep. But at least I could sleep. Thank Goddess for that. I am so glad I listened to my gut in this situation.
Weary from the day and after a while of winding down, I finally fell asleep. I had a big day ahead. I was France tired and London weary, but okay. I wouldn't have my life any another way.
|Near my new home in London.|