In our first ever instalment of the secret life of, we follow an Australian student in London, navigating the streets filled with laughing gas balloons, American frat boys and married men.
BOOK SLUT STATS
CURRENTLY IN: London
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Straight
IDENTIFIES AS: Female
CURRENTLY READING: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt & Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling
8:00am: My alarm goes off. Instant no. I set it again for 15 minutes later. It doesn’t make much difference physically but somehow emotionally, it does.
8:15am: Alarm again. My hand snakes to my phone and I turn the brightness all the way down. Mindless scrolling. It’s 5:15pm in Australia, a perfect time to get back in touch.
9:00am: I ponder, were my dorm neighbours having sex at 3am last night? It’s hard to know but I’m fairly certain something was going on. The jackhammer-esque banging of the bed is certainly better than yelling, loud music, and doors slamming. I never thought I would have to choose a lesser of two evils in such an ultimatum.
10:00am-2:00pm: Class. I’ll be honest, I’m hardly paying attention to my Royal History of London class today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly interested in the Monarchy, but pondering whether Queen Elizabeth II is a feminist for my assignment is certainly lot more interesting than learning about some “Quiet King.”
2:30pm-3:30pm: Van Gogh Exhibition at Tate Britain. For a very un-artsy person I tend to look at a lot of art when I’m away from home. It’s almost an attempt to be more cultured. I spend most of my time thinking “there are so many people here,” “oh cute,” “that’s pretty,” “ew kinda ugs.” However a lot of the Van Gogh work is considerably inspiring. Something I learnt was that he admired Victorian novels for their “reality more real than reality.” That resonates with me a lot.
7:00pm-10:30pm: Les Mis with a bottle of cheap wine we snuck into the theatre. Not much more can be said about that.
11:30pm-3:00am: Party time. On a school night. We were celebrating the birthdays of two Americans who are also on the study abroad program. I found myself awfully cozy with the American frat boy, who two weekends ago disregarded me for a different lady. However, I’d much rather get a root than hold a grudge.
4:00am: Oh goodness now I am the dorm neighbour who is having jackhammer-esque sex. Absolutely no regrets though. Whilst it wasn’t phenomenal it’s always a bit of fun to get your stats up.
8:15am: I woke up yelling at the frat boy to turn off his alarm, only to realise it was my alarm. Oops. As I snuggle this random American man (completely not my style), I strongly consider not going to my second to last class of the course. But the feelings of guilt about ditching were more prominent than that of being hungover so off to class I went.
10:00am-2:00pm: Endless suffering. On today’s episode of what did I do in class instead of listen: read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
3:00pm-4:00pm: Time to do laundry and grab a greasy feed. Nothing says hangover cure like clean pjs and hot chips.
8:30pm-11pm: Went to the movies to see Spider-Man: Far From Home. Tom Holland really is just a gift to this Earth and I would definitely have his children if he asked.
12:30am: Pass the hell out after somehow surviving that day.
8:15am: Wake up call for the last day of the uni program.
9:00am: Sitting eating a croissant in my dorm room and my dress zipper literally splits. This trip has had an affect on me in more ways than one. Despite reaching 10,000 steps everyday it does not negate all the alcohol and food I’ve been consuming. Totally worth it.
10:00am-1:00pm: Class presentations. My feminism presentation did not go down very well. Unsurprising when your teacher is a pompous, sexist asshat.
1:00pm-4:00pm: Writing this entry and reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets before I drink a whole bottle of wine and attend my farewell party.
4:00pm: Pre-gaming in a dorm room is another level of fun, and crowded.
6:00pm: Drinking a bottle of wine on Tower Hill Pier so I don't have to chuck it out.
6:30pm-9:30pm: Getting monumentally sloshed on the boat party. Consumed a lot of alcohol. Spilt most of it on my satin dress which is probably ruined. (Afterword: I hand washed it, it is not ruined thank goodness)
10:00pm: Return to my dorm. Change into a different dress. Walk to another bar down the street.
10:30pm - I’m not sure when: Keep drinking like an IDIOT who doesn’t need any drinks. Flirt with British men in business attire.
At this point time is a construct I am not abiding by. I have flirted with the bartender, gotten his phone number and flirted with someone else in front of said bartender. Get to talking to a man whose name I am unsure of. My memory is foggy but I do remember yelling about Harry Potter, which isn't unusual behaviour for me. Then said British man and I go outside, I have literally lost all my friends and not told them where I’m going. Walking down the street with this cute man and he drops the “I have to be honest with you” line, uhhh okay what the heck, following sentence, “I’m married.” Fucking wonderful. The one man I meet on this trip that I actually have a good vibe with is MARRIED. But my stupid ass didn’t think that was a big sign to go home. So we ended up walking to another bar, I made him buy me a drink. I deserve it. We were walking around then next thing I knew we are kissing in the street. Great job on my part. I should have felt a lot more guilty than I actually did but his relationship is not my responsibility. FUCK I’m a bad person. Anyway, so he kind of fingered me in the street. I quickly put a stop to that and then he said he has a hotel room. So off to his hotel room I go. I think it’s pretty simple to figure out how the rest of the night went.
8:00am: I completely forgot where I was and up in a fright as a man walked into my view. Jesus, good morning. I can’t actually see much because I took my contacts out to go to sleep and obviously don’t carry around my glasses on a night out.
8:30am: While he was fully dressed when I woke up after a little snuggle we ended up having sex again. Then I gave him a blow job. Cum for breakfast, fucking delicious. NOT.
11:00am: After struggling home in an Uber that was UBER expensive, I freshen up. As I’m tying my shoes I remember that I got the bartender’s number. So I text him for funsies, then skip (more like tumble) downstairs to meet my friends for brunch.
1:00pm-4pm: Pack and trying to recover some energy. Whilst reading the Chamber of Secrets obviously. But at some point I am interrupted with this jackhammer-esque banging again. It MUST be my neighbours having sex. However, it really didn’t last for long. What else could it be though? I wondered. Poor girl. Actually fuck that girl, she is the one who partied obnoxiously until 3am several nights of this communal dorm stay.
4:00pm: One of the guys I have fucked thrice is still awake in Australia. He is drunk and horny. We exchange a few nudes and he somehow (not much effort required) convinces me to masturbate. I deserve an orgasm, after last night, a lot of sex and not a lot of cumming, technically I am owed one.
4:30pm-8:30pm: Shower, finish reading CoS then proceed to immediately watch the movie afterwards.
9:00pm: Farewell dinner with some of my study abroad friends. Unfortunately at this point the feelings of wanting home and normality are overtaking the feelings of sadness but deep down I am sad. It’s hard to describe the bond a lot of us have shared. We have all had this insanely life-changing experience and life has still gone on at home, exactly as it was before we left. It’s a really weird feeling, in some ways indescribable. I guess all I can say is, you had to be there.
11pm-ish: Finish watching CoS. Go downstairs in my PJs to say goodbye to one of our mates who couldn’t make it to the dinner, watch him and another friend take random vodka shots. Adamantly decline them trying to peer pressure me to have one. Duck back home and pass the hell out.
9:00am: Wake up knowing that there is crap everywhere I still need to pack and know that I have to do an insane amount of heavy lifting today. Luggage, myself, and stairs do not mix.
10:00am: Check out of my student accomodation and say my final goodbyes. Again, the feelings of sadness are mixed with those of homesickness. However, I am optimistic that I will see these people again. Well only some, I don’t really care for majority of them.
11:00am: Drop my bags off at my Airbnb, looks clean. It will do. Now in order for me to not feel completely guilty about being a lazy sloth, I spend the morning out and about.
12:00pm: Pride parade. It’s an overwhelming situation to be in, one I have never experienced before, actually. Being in a situation where people are proud of who they are, sharing love, and LOTS OF RAINBOWS. What better way to spend a Saturday morning then embracing the rainbow.
12:30pm-1:30pm: Browsing bookshops, being really strong and not buying any first editions.
1:30pm: Chipotle for lunch. They were so messy and rushy and rude, but goddamn it was a good burrito bowl. Some things are just worth the stomach ache.
2:30pm: Make it back to my airbnb. I then proceed to lay in bed for three hours watching random videos and catching up on on Big Little Lies (fucking hell that’s quality TV. Queen Meryl that is all)
8:30pm: Order über eats, only to have that order REJECTED by the restaurant. But it’s kind of okay because I discovered a new series on Netflix called The Last Czars and the historian in me is nerding out.
10:30pm: Stuff my face, finish my episode and finally get to snuggle into bed to sleep on a REAL MATTRESS, not the weird bullshit excuse of a bed I’ve been sleeping on for the last 3 weeks.
10:00am: So my back actually hurts because it’s not used to sleeping on a real bed. Fucking great.
11:00am: Solo brunch. Avo on toast fuck yes.
11:30pm-2:00pm: Reading in a random park in Waterloo. In a series of unfortunate events (lol) my friend, P, got caught up meeting me. All the train drivers were on strike, but apparently they get paid more than doctors? How bizarre. However, in the meantime someone called me a slut and spat in my general direction. Is this karma?, I wondered, probably not, just some crackhead in the street.
2:00pm: Meet up with P and we go on a little bit of an adventure. Strolling around looking at bookshops, vintage shops, the South Bank book markets. At one point, taking a short intermission for a Portuguese tart.
6:45pm: We make our way to a Peruvian restaurant P wants to try. I am down for pretty much anything these days (if my week hasn’t indicated that to you enough already), and we order from a set course menu. It’s safe to say the food is un-fucking-believable and every single bite is out of this world delicious.
8:30pm: We receive the bill and the total comes to only about 20 quid, which is suspicious as hell. However, we pay our seemingly incorrect bill and quietly leave thinking we dined and dashed. But on the way out P realised she paid for the set course when she made the booking.
8:45pm: Quick foosball intermission before the adventure continues.
9:00pm: Despite the amazing dinner we just had, walking past a pizza place sparks an undeniable need to eat some pizza. We went into the restaurant but the wait time was 25 minutes and they were closing in 40 mins. So instead we take the most rational route possible; we buy cheap wine, get a takeaway slice and go sit in a park to have a picnic.
10:30pm: The park closes up and we are kicked out. Some random friends we have made are keen on continuing the night so we go to a bar. When we get in we realise the bar is monumentally empty and not the kind of place a party will continue. So we leave our short-lived friends and walk in the general direction of my Airbnb.
The point in the night where time gets a bit foggy: We were walking through the streets and people were doing NOS, like the thing with the balloons. Still to this moment I am unsure and confused but I knew it wasn't going to kill me so why not? We bought a few balloons from people which, in hindsight, was definitely a ridiculously overpriced venture. Despite this, we persevered. In the end we met these two guys who promised us free NOS so naturally we followed them down many dark alleyways to find this free stuff.
Still unsure what time it is: We reach this random man’s car. I mean he was nice enough but I’m an introverted weirdo. I don’t generally make friends with strangers in dark lanes in a foreign country, but I trust P, if she was going to actually murder me she no doubt would have already done it. So we get into this car and are “doing” the NOS. (I’m still confused).
So then we decide it’s time to kind of go home, so I go to get out of the car but in my confused and nervous state I totally missed the part where we were going to be driven to my Airbnb. All I could think was “it’s only 600m, and we are driving in little laneways. There is no way in hell we could have a life threatening car accident,” paranoid much?
Time once again does not exist at this point: So we arrive safely at my Airbnb. Then we all come in and sit in the common area, doing a few more of these balloons. Another guest very kindly asked us to be quiet. So of course I feel extremely guilty. At this point the night draws to a close as I’m extremely tired and everyone has places to be in the morning.
9:00am: It’s officially my last day in London. Fuck.
10:15am: Arrive in Notting Hill, late to brunch with some of my study abroad friends. But as I get off the train I get a wave of texts that K has just woken up and is running late. Hilarious but no bother. I make my way to the cafe and sit down with my book (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt FYI). Which, as I approached my last stop, revealed a massive plot twist so I was eager to find out more.
11:00am: Brunch was absolutely delicious. Eggbreak, highly recommend.
12:00pm: I head off to the British Museum to see the Edward Munch exhibition. Once again, insanely beautiful but it’s just me walking around looking at the art giggling and thinking “mood.”
1:00pm: From the museum I walk around the area to a few book shops. The London Review Bookshop was lovely. The next stop was Persephone Books, the only place I am allowing myself to buy brand new books from. It is a bookshop and publishing company for women of the 20th century. Their books are insanely beautiful.
2:00pm: Met my high school friend at Kensington Palace. She messaged me, “I found the pond,” I reply “I’m sitting right by it looking at the palace,” then finally she says “oh wait I can see your hair.” Sometimes I truly forget it is fluorescent pink.
2:30pm: We spend the afternoon strolling through the gardens of the palace. The Sunken Garden is so breathtaking. We considered having Afternoon Tea but we are two uni students, one of us with pink hair, so we are on a budget and I doubt they would have let me into that beautiful and pristine cafe.
3:30pm: So as our hunger grew we ended up at Chipotle. What a way to celebrate my last day in ENGLAND. Look I know, it’s kind of atrocious but I couldn’t resist. It’s delicious. I’m a simple little lady, I don’t need fancy stuff all the time.
4:30pm: We finally part ways. It was so lovely to spend a nice afternoon with her. Despite not knowing when we will see each other again, I am not sad. I am grateful for the time I spent with her. We have survived years of not seeing one another and we will continue to survive.
5:15pm: I get back to my Airbnb a lot earlier than anticipated but I’m grateful. I can fully repack my suitcase. ROLL ROLL ROLL your clothes.
6:00pm: Packed and time to relax. I accidentally have a pre-dinner nap. By accidentally I mean I doze in and out of consciousness while watching youtube so I just set an alarm and have an official nap.
8:30pm: I spend the night reading and relaxing. Mentally preparing for the 30 hours of travel ahead of me.
10:30pm: I guess it’s time to sleep at this point. Whilst being exhausted from the month, let alone the WEEK that was, it’s always a bit hard to sleep the night before something you are dreading.
6:30am: Fuck. Here we go.
7:20am: I get picked up in a Mercedes, how flashy. The driver is a bit of a chatty cathy, I limit my replies to give him the idea that I don’t really want to chat.
8:30am: Arrive and head straight to check in. I flash my platinum card that my dad gave me, which has my mum’s name on it and DEFINITELY isn't mine, so I can skip the queue. Easy peasy. Goodbye bags see you in Sydney.
9:00am: I find a cafe to have what I think we could call “The Last Supper” because fuck eating plane food. I consume amazing avocado toast with two poached eggs. Then with the excess avo (they always put so much on, which is amazing value for money I’ll add), I order extra toast and then eat another two pieces of avo toast, then a piece of toast with jam to top it all off. I am READY for battle after that breakfast.
10am: Quick stop for snacks before I board. Doritos, M&M’s (crispy, obviously), and a green juice (life is about balance) before I wait for boarding.
11:00am: On to the plane I go. Ready to get the fuck home.