Why doesn’t London believe in benches?

Is it because of homeless people? Am I looking in all the wrong places?
I know there are some in parks every now and again, but not near as many as I would assume. Maybe I just assume too much about benches. Because apparently that is possible. To be fair, I haven’t really seen a lot of London. I’ve just experienced several times where I have gotten food to go (there’s a tax here if you eat in, isn’t that weird?) thinking, “Yea, I’ll just sit on a bench and enjoy” but never came across one. So I wander until I find a clean looking piece of ground away from people who might judge me, or I go to a train station where there are usually some chairs or benches. Sometimes I get on a train just because I go there to eat.

Today, I had a game plan. I was going to get a latte and a sweet breakfast item of some sort from the local bakery (Blackbird Bakery. I like it because the name makes me think of Paul McCartney), and sit in the churchyard like I’ve seen people do on several occasions. Afterward, I’d get the cleaning supplies I need to make my room livable and clear up the kitchen. Plan set. After I ordered from the bakery, I asked the bakery girl if sitting in the churchyard was allowed (even though I’ve seen people in there before and my roommates have talked about it, I figure better safe than sorry), she said yes and then also commented homeless people are often in there. …well then. That’s, uh…tempting. Obviously my roommates have no fear. I left the bakery and walked past the churchyard staring inside, trying to determine if the people hanging around were homeless or not. Unfair judging and profiling on my part, I know. In the end, I went to the train station and ate. As punishment for my judgement, there WAS a homeless man in the station on the benches. Or at least a guy who was on drugs and/or mentally disturbed. I thought at first he was talking to the woman who was a seat over from him. He had sort of jerky motions and an awkward way of speaking, so I thought maybe he was a bit special. I quickly realized he was talking to no one. Or himself. Or someone or something I couldn’t see. I kept my headphones in and my eyes on my muffin. I needed to watch what I was doing anyway so I wouldn’t end up with crumbles all over my lap like usual.

I’ve been trying to listen again to these Great Courses I have on Audible. I’m an Audible junkie. It’s a terrible addiction and I have spent copious amounts of money on many audiobooks over the past year or so. Most of my library is comprised of shameless romance novels, as well as fantasy and young adult novels, and over the past few months I’ve tacked on nonfiction history courses and stories. Anyway, the current course I’m listening to is about Classical Mythology. I have come to realize very quickly that I am not prepared for a masters program in Classical anything. This year should be interesting, to say the least. The course is interesting in that it doesn’t just tell the popular myths and leave it at that. Instead, it tells the overall gist of the myth (with quotes on occasion) and then breaks it down into what it means about Grecian society at the time. How it could be interpreted, etc. It’s really very interesting as long as I don’t get too distracted and actually take in what is being taught in the lecture. The latest lecture has convinced me that Hesiod (writer of Theogony, which is the telling of the creation of gods) was a jerk and apparently so were all male Greeks. At least the ancient ones.
To try and explain: one story is about Prometheus. Prometheus tries to fool the gods into eating the less desirable portions of a sacrifice and give the better portion to man. Because of Prometheus’s actions, Zeus punishes MAN by taking away fire. Prometheus then goes and steals fire back for man, and is punished for eternity by having an eagle eat his liver daily. This time, Zeus punishes man by creating the first woman. Later named in a separate telling as Pandora. So it is out of pure spite that Zeus curses man with the burden of the evil new sex – woman. The lecture goes into much more detail but it just served to make me angrier and angrier that the ancient Greeks were such misogynistic assholes. I ordered a book called “Naked Truths” that is about the treatment of Grecian women in art and archaeology on a whim before coming over here. Now I am fairly excited to read it. Maybe I’ll use my angry Fem-Nazi mindset in my dissertation topic. Which I need to be thinking of.
More on that at another time. I still need to recount Induction day. I am sure it is something that the masses are waiting with baited breath to read about.

I also received an email today from Dr. Wooten (not me personally, it was a mass Classics department mailing). It was asking for volunteers for some kind of conference related to Libyan Heritage. Yet another thing I know absolutely nothing about. Part of me wants to volunteer to try and make a good impression. The other part of me wonders if I would blunder the whole thing and what on earth I would be doing in a volunteer role. What if they want me to count money? I can’t even count my own money. It’s a huge reason why I won’t be applying for any part time retail positions.

I’ve learned that some people are slightly attracted to me. They are largely (no surprise here) weirdos and (once again me being judge-y) losers. Sometimes when I am walking, I’ll pass someone who slows down or does a stare down and says, “Awright darling” to me. I confirmed with Eley that these are “chat ups” (being hit on) and that I should ignore them. Today, I had some guy walking beside me and go so far as to say he’d take me for a drink. He mentioned it multiple times despite me having headphones in, not looking at him, and saying, “No, I’m okay. Thanks.” repeatedly.

Yesterday, though, this Italian silver fox amped up my confidence. I was walking down an alley after Induction as he was heading into a restaurant. It was probably his, and he was likely trying to entice me into the restaurant – BUT I DO NOT CARE! I will pretend.
Anyway, he stopped walking in, did a double take and a full up-and-down look at me and said, “Ciao, bella!” Which means “Hello, beautiful.” I realize it is something so small and so stupid. That does not matter, though. It put a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day. I still blush a little thinking about it.

Ah, fun story completely unrelated to someone possibly finding me attractive; I almost face planted today. The sidewalks are not always even here, and every time I walk somewhere I catch myself thinking I will probably trip soon. It hadn’t been an issue until today. I was on a busy street (naturally, it would never be a deserted street that this would happen to me on) and straight up caught my foot on an uneven spot. I lurched forward, making one of my super attractive yelp noises, but caught myself before I went down. It was a large enough trip – and I was loud enough in my yelp – that there was no way it would not have drawn attention. I could hear people around me laughing to the point of guffaws. I turned to the guy next to me (who wasn’t actually laughing, or probably paying attention to me, now that I think on it) and said, “Oh man, that was almost a complete disaster.” Then I wandered off into the train station, laughing at myself while blushing terribly.

I swear one day I’ll get my life in order here. Probably.

I need to bite the bullet and sign the back of my stupid credit card. I have never had someone look at the back of my credit card to see if my signature is there before. Here, everyone does it. I mean EVERYONE. I hand them my ID and try to explain that in America they usually discourage people from signing the back. The cashier guy today asked me why, because that didn’t make sense to him. I thought on it and said, “I guess because we didn’t have the chip until recently. And it was thought that if someone took your card, they could imitate your signature.” I am not sure if this is totally true. Did I completely make this up? Do most people sign the back of their cards and I’ve been living a lie? I am sort of glad we don’t sign the back because my signature never looks the same and I would always be accused of fraudulent use.

I did laundry today (SO THRILLING – LOOK AT MY WILD LONDON ADVENTURES). I am pretty sure Midas thinks I’m an idiot and unaware of how to do anything. Ever since the microwave fiasco, I ask about EVERYTHING. “How do I use the washing machine? What sort of detergent can I use? Do I put it directly in the washer, or in the drawer thingamajig? Do you hang up clothes just wherever?” He is thankfully quite patient with me (so far).
I just hope my clothes actually dry. Otherwise the wet, smelly kid thing will never go away.

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About Lost in London

I often have no clue what I am doing. I get lost, A LOT. I have a terrible sweet tooth which I say I am fighting, but I usually follow that claim up with inhaling a cupcake. Currently I am attempting to live in London and get my Masters. Come and watch me blunder!
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One Response to Why doesn’t London believe in benches?

  1. Rebecca says:

    Hope your clothes dry! We miss you here in the U.S.! Love you.

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