I'm sitting in Heathrow Airport for what feels like the millionth time in the past few days, which is actually because I had to spend, oh, 8 hours here on Sunday between getting in from Antananarivo/ Jon rearranging his plane ticket to India/ waiting with bags for the guy at whose apartment we were staying to get in from playing cricket. I was afflicted with a lingering case of generic Tropical Stomach Nast (where you just generally feel queasy and like you're going to die for, oh, three-four days.) It was minorly debilitating since I rarely get sick, so when I do it knocks me out, and the combination of shooting pain in my abdomen and my immensely huge suitcase was not a fun one. Luckily, Jon stopped being grumpy about the fact that his travel plans had been thrown into disarray, and realised the reason that I was being bitchy was that I was in pain, and carried some of my stuff for me, like the wonderful gentleman he is. I have to admit, he looked rather fetching carrying my pink handbag. It provided a pleasant contrast to his terrible grey zip-off travel pants (ugh!) After much arguing and making up and holding of stomach and hauling of bags, we stumbled on to the tube and took the loooong ride to his mother's boyfriend's brother's house, where we were to stay. Said mother's boyfriend's brother turned out to be a lovely Brit, with a penchant for ranting about anything in particular. He fed us wine and curry (my stomach having been miraculously cured by a loooong nap on the Tube) and we stayed up until 6 am, at which point I began to fall asleep during sentences.
All this to say that it's rather tedious to be back at Heathrow, but since it means that I'm actually finally doing something with myself and leaving this country, I suppose it has to be a necessary evil. Jon has gone on to India, which is rather sad, since it's the first time I've been without him for more than the couple hours he spent in Tana negotiating for his new Indian visa at the consulate ( spent alternately clutching my stomach and reading A Cafe on the Nile
by the unfortunately named Bartle Bull, an amazing swashbuckling story set in 1930s Africa, featuring a Goan dwarf and an English hunter raised by gypsies... what else can you read when you're sick?) or half-hour exile imposed on him for Excessive Silliness When I Am Trying To Get Something Practical Done. I miss the boy, and have a.) realised that he's the only person I could have spent this much time with, basically one-on-one, and not have killed and b.) this is that last time we'll be able to spent this much time together until this summer. I'll see him in ten days, though, when he comes to visit me for twelve days in St. Pete's, and we have our cross-country road trip at the end of the summer, so it's not like we're war-time sweethearts penning letters to one another across continents, but it'll be hard during the school year. We'll see. I remain hopeful, though. And blissfully happy.
Anyway, immense digression aside, Jon being gone meant that I got to wander solo, at least in the time I was not standing in line for my visa at the Russian Embassy. That was a mob scene in itself-- I got there promptly at 8:30, opening time, and foudn myself at the tail end of an immense line. Much kerb-sitting later, (thank heavens I had brought a fat trashy book
) I was let in the door at 11:45, shortly before it closed at 12. How tragic for the people who decided to arrive at 8:45!
I was meant to pick up my passport at 4, so I decided to stroll around Notting Hill and the general Portobello Market area, to look at funky shops and find a lovely place to have lunch. I was all dolled up, having donned my cutest blue polkadot dress to try and flirt the Russian consulate workers into giving me a fast visa, and this apparently was a somewhat noteworthy ensemble, as I was stopped and photographed by a team doing a piece on summer fashion for the Evening Standard! The piece comes out on Thursday, so I won't be able to see it, but Jon's pseudo-stepuncle reads it, so has promised to cut out the photo and send it to me. Hurrah for fifteen... seconds of notice!
So, between that, and being actually possessed of a visa to Russia and having had a generally nice day of wandering around and randomly meeting people, it was a rather perfect day. I was befriended by the cutest campiest gay couple in a vintage store, who made me help them pick out outfits for one of their's 40th (shhh!) birthday party, and then insisted I try on pretty dresses from the 20s and 60s (if I only had 900 pounds to throw away, I would now be the proud possessor of a BEAUTIFUL pink flapper dress) and then turned my head with compliments. Later, a lovely Dutch boy helped me out with my immense suitcase coming into the Tube, and I met a couple other of nice people, including a lovely girl who was my line buddy twice over for the embassy, and a sky-diving Indian dentist. So nice to meet people randomly. Don't get me wrong-- this does happen when I'm with Jon (although we only meet other couples or boys, because I tend to shoot daggers at any hussies who dare approach my man) but it was just flattering to have everyone be so friendly and lovely on such a beautiful summer day.
Anyway, I need to go check in at long last, but there may be another update later, if I get bored enough. Regardless, I have returned to the land of the regular internet access, so all rejoice!
And regarding photos-- Jon may have lost his camera, so there may be no photos, beyond those my stepfather took. So sad! Here's hoping we find them.