"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination" ~ Oscar Wilde
In a way, I'm glad I blew my travel budget and cannot afford to keep the Ural. It granted me the opportunity to experience working in England, it forced me to cook for myself more, and awww who am I kidding, this is shit. I sold the bike back to my mechanic on the 15th November. My birthday. Happy birthday, Will. I had to catch the bus to work. Afternoon shift, meaning I finished at 10pm that night. Holly and Luke were kind enough to come give me a lift back to my tent. I had some cheese and a day-old jam donut to celebrate. I'd given notice to my supervisor, Nettie, on Monday that I was quitting my job after Thursdays shift. It was quite a relief to be free again, even if freedom now meant travel via public transport. It took a few days for me to get all the paperwork sorted for handing over the bike back to David Angel, as it was all sent up to my cousins address in Tidworth, South-West England. On Friday of my birthday week I recieved my wad of cash. Seven thousand pounds, which was the equivalent of around eleven thousand Australian dollars. I'd lost £3k on depreciation and selling to a dealer, but them's the breaks, I guess...
I was cashed up again, with nothing to hold me back from the world but my imagination! Sadly, my imagination led only as far as London, and the comfort and familiarity of my London hostel of choice, Clink78. I could actually get used to quitting jobs, it felt good walking away from that place, and it sure felt damn good walking away from my last job in Australia. All I miss is the money. And driving those super-awesome machines around, swinging giant metal boxes around, sitting upstairs on a quiet night and watching movies... For a job I fucking loathed, there sure are a lot of good memories. Left behind a few good friends too. Pat, Dennis, Tonchi. Still, if and when I return to Australia, ain't no way in heck I'll return to that company begging for a job. Never. Forever, ever, forever, ever? I'm sorry Ms. Jackson, but I am for real.
But I digress. Happy birthday, here's your cake, go eat it all up in London. I decided to give myself a few days of R&R in the city to do whatever I wanted to do, eat what I wanted to eat, and just wind down after the difficult couple of weeks of being broke and employed and finally bike-less. Without bike. Sans bike. Absentia motorcycle. Sniffle sniffle. A few days ineritabry turned into a few more. Time and pints, I can't seem to keep either. It was such a strange strange feeling returning to the Clink and seeing old friends Aleks and Ella still there, as if nothing had changed in all the time I'd been gone. Having said that, at the time of writing this (about four days to Christmas) everything is pretty much the same as it was when I last stepped off the overland train from Banbury into this grotty world of concrete and bad coffee. Granted, I have a bit less money, some friends have left my world while others have entered, and I've cut my hair off.
Stepping out into the street to go somewhere, I miss the feeling of throwing a motorcycle helmet on my head and a leg over my Ural. Now I'm relegated to catching the stinky Tube everywhere. As efficient as it is, it's hot and uncomfortable and everyone who catches it is a pervert. And whinge whinge whinge Will, but it's SO EXPENSIVE! I've fallen back into the trap of eating shitty, convenient, shit-venient food, and as a result I've put on quite a bit of weight. With nothing to do, I wake up after 11am, and usually get to bed around midnight, spending my time watching DVDs on the corridoor floor of the hostel with friends and Ben & Jerrys' ice-cream, walking the streets of London looking at all the ugly people, or just at the pub across the road having a few pints and listening to music on my iPhone. While looking at all the ugly people. Not much of a life for someone supposed to be travelling, but I'm pretty content with the pace of it, after being on the go for the last two months. My only responsibilities since arriving here bikeless, are to take at least one shower a day, eat breakfast, be sociable, and update my online travel journal regularly.
I've definitely failed with the journal. As much as I love London, I bloody well hate it!