For the record, the title comes from my theater teacher. He was joking. He was instructing my two classmates who were reading some lines for the class to speak loudly and clearly because “the Texans may not understand.” But, it’s a fitting title, I think. And it’s my blog, so I can.
I saw a Buzzfeed post yesterday about 45 Reasons to Live Abroad. It has things like “learn a new language” and “learn to direct tourists.” And it has “to get lost and be okay with it.”
And let me tell you, you never really get to be okay with being lost, but you do find pretty cool stuff. And you do a lot of learning. For example, during that awful Tube Rally (just in case anyone cares, I’m 94.376% sure I’m still harboring some animosity toward that whole day), on our way home we walked home. And a few weeks later we were in the same place, and I can’t tell you where that is on a map, or even probably get back there, but I did know how to get home. And we walked home.
But, as this week will attest, getting lost is not always fun. Or productive. (I think it’s called latent learning in psychology, but don’t quote me on that.)
The other night, we attended a show in what I will refer to as Sketch London. It was about forty minutes away from here by bus. So, seven of us leave in a group and get on the bus like our teacher told us and get off where we were supposed to, at about 6:50, in plenty of time to make the 7:30 show. And we proceeded to wander around for 45 minutes. We walked up and down the same street forever.
On the upside, we did meet some nice bartenders in Sketch London. They gave us directions that would have helped if we had walked a little further up this road.
When we finally showed up, late, I was not impressed by the play. It was not worth the 40 minutes of walking around in the cold and being grumpy.
It was called Don Gil of the Green Breeches. It was a Spanish Golden Age play. And it was almost the same as The Importance of Being Earnest. And that meant the walk through Sketch London was not worth it. I mean, it was nice, but I was in such a terrible mood, I couldn’t enjoy it.
Anyway. The other thing living in London teaches you is to be assertive. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t learn you just need to go.
For example, in the Tube, if you let everyone and his dog get on the escalator, especially during rush hour, you are going nowhere. Period. Everyone has somewhere to be and you have to go or you’ll never get anywhere. In the same way, there are these crosswalks (they are the only places pedestrians have the right of way) and cars stop if you’re there or walking or whatever. But if you don’t step out, and try to cross the street, you are going to be hanging out on that block for a while. There is no room for being shy in London (I also don’t think there’s room for all the people here, but that’s a different story).
Being lost and assertive. Two lessons in London.