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Liverpool, not Nice

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 12 August 2009 | Views [695]

My plane to Nice leaves in about 30 minutes. I'm currently in the centre of Liverpool sitting in a courtyard watching a troupe of tinfoil-sworded middle-aged women perform something vaguely medieval. Probably medieval in the way that Monty Python does medieval. Whatever. That's not the point.

The point is that I am nowhere near the airport. That's because I have decided not to go to France today. I actually decided last night not to go to France today. Unhelpfully I came to this decision after spending 8 hours on buses from Stirling to Liverpool, a journey which I will do in reverse tomorrow to get back to Edinburgh.

So here's where I try to justify it to myself.

JUSTIFICATION #1: I only got to see one day of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and associated frivolities. It's only happening this month. My timing couldn't be any better. Alex is there -- I can probably stay with him a little more. Alternatively I can crash at this bike shop of Peter's. It's stupid to go to France when these things are on offer.

JUSTIFICATION #2: It's going to be mad busy in the south of France right now. I haven't had a good response from any HelpX hosts. I get the feeling that Couchsurfing will also be hard. It reminds me of Barcelona at Easter last year, and Spain in general. I hated Spain.

JUSTIFICATION #3: Doug (one of the other dudes from Mull) may well be showing up. He's fun. I know I should make new friends, but old friends in new places is fun too.

JUSTIFICATION #4: They're getting worse now. I asked the four heads and they said that France would be a bad idea. Hah! I asked if I should go to Edinburgh and they offered up a resounding "yes". The four heads are four one-pound coins held and shaken in your hand like dice and then revealed. It's like tossing four coins at once. When they come up all heads, it means yes. All tails means no. Anything in the middle is some variety of maybe. Doug invented the game on Mull when we were trying to hitch from Tobermory back to Salen. Then he spent them on Guinness so that it wouldn't become a habit.

I only had three coins to play with, so perhaps it was less scientific, but more important was my response to these answers: relief. The heads confirmed what I actually wanted. I had a similar response when my Couchsurfing host in Nice failed to send me directions in a prompt fashion. I was thinking "no directions means I don't go to France..." and then when he did finally send me directions last night I was disappointed. So...

JUSTIFICATION #5: My gut said no. My "intuition" told me to go back. What a fucking fruit loop. But I'm not sure if I'm confusing "intuition" with "being chicken shit". And since I can't live both paths, I'll never know. Unless the plane crashes or something. This one is stupid because I'm always spouting shit at people about how travel is an exercise in faith: You hurl yourself into the world and trust that your own competency and the goodness of the peoples of the world will keep you afloat. My "nervousness about accommodation" justification flies in the face of faith.

My plane is well and truly gone now. The last time I felt like this was when I deliberately failed to attend my Epistemology and Metaphysics exam in second year. I got an E for that.

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