London Calling

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Real original post title right? So it’s been some time since I last posted. I could blame this on the fact that I had exams last week, but really it’s just because I’m lazy and nothing exciting (read: publishable) has happened in my life lately.

Last night I had a dream that I signed up to defend my thesis for the following morning, but the problem was I accidentally fell asleep instead of preparing my presentation (this real talk happened to once during my bachelor’s). Anyway, it was super awkward and I remember having a slide with a picture of pizza on my powerpoint? One of my classmates was so offended by my lack of preparedness that she actually got up and stormed out. Then my professor started making fun of my California accent so I started throwing gummy worms at him (I feel like this is how confrontation should always be handled). Anyway, then he morphed into this guy I knew in college and called me a whore. So yeah, you could say my day is off to a good start.

Moving on.

I’m going to London today. I told my dad this and his response was, appropriately, “are you being extradited for high crimes and misdemeanors?” The thing is, I always run into trouble at passport control in London, probably because I don’t really come across as a put together human being. I’m sure the same thing would happen to me in America if I didn’t happen to be a citizen of the U.S. of A. That said, I can’t really blame London, but I do, and I hate it. So why am I going? Because I met a Norwegian girl on a train 2.5 years ago and forced her to be my friend and it’s about time I paid her a visit.

So now, here’s my list of ways to travel to London like a pro. If I do, however, get detained and deported, feel free to neglect said list.

1. Don’t fly there straight from Oktoberfest covered in bruises and beer. This is the worst possible way to convince these people you have your life together and aren’t going to run around their country illegally.

2. Make sure your bag is packed with clean clothes. Nothing says, “I don’t have my shit together,” like a suitcase full of dirty underwear.

3. Buy and print out your return ticket. For someone whose life is a series of one-way tickets, this is a difficult concept to grasp. I have, however, accepted that sometimes people need tangible proof that you’re planning on leaving their country.

4. Have money in your bank account and a way to prove it. This means having a printed bank statement or immediate access to technology. Offering up, “oh, I totally have money, but I don’t have a phone or laptop or any way to prove it to you,” isn’t going to get you far.

5. Know where you’re staying. Apparently, “with a friend,” is neither a location on google maps nor an acceptable answer.

6. If you’re not coming from your home country, prove that you are in the country you’re coming from for a reason. That was a mouthful. Basically if you’re living/studying in wherever, prove it.

7. Don’t be an asshole. I probably shouldn’t have to specify this, but sometimes I even have to remind myself.

8. If you have a travel journal with you, make sure it doesn’t contain anything questionable because when they detain you and search you for hours, they will read it—cover to cover. 

Okay, that’s all I have for now. Bon voyage people. If all goes as planned (which is not at all), I should return with some excellent stories.

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