I stare with my mouth open, aghast. The sheer magnificence of it all overtook me, and I forgot that it was freezing cold and that I was in want of a hot drink to warm my belly. Standing in front of this palatial building built in a neoclassical style, I imagined the Queen snoring beneth her lavish quilts, a little string of drool daintily connecting her face to her pillow.
Welcome to Buckingham Palace.
On transit to Malmö at Stansted airport, my connecting flight was the following morning. Faced with the prospect of staring blankly at an airport for ten hours, I decided to hop on a coach and explore London - by night.
The fact that it was 10pm and that the city was surrounded by folds of mist did not hinder me. So, I found one of those free maps and boldly (or maybe foolishly) found my way around London. It was relatively easy to navigate, and I walked all around the city with my backpack, taking in the nourishing sights of also Big Ben, Westminister Abbey, the London Eye beside the River Thames, Westminister Abbey, and walked past the Imperial War Rooms. I even made friends with a Russian street artist making caricatures, who wanted to sketch me for free as he said I had the most beautiful of eyes, and besought me to remove my spectacles for a moment.
After 3 hours of walking around, I waited for the coach back to the airport. Lolling against the bus stop, I was suddenly approached by a stick-thin, pale female figure, who began to babble on about being stranded and made homeless and missing a flight. I heard only half her words as I was taken aback by the stare in her eyes; they spoke to me of death. Doubting not her honesty, I offered to her what I could, asking only of her her name and and destination. Jidka, she replied thankfully, a Slovakian heading to her capital, Bratislava.
Still with two hours left to wait at the airport, I found myself a cosy corner of floor to sleep on, not far from some other floor-surfers, who I assumed to be French by their accent. As I dozed off, I thought of Jidka and her wide, staring eyes, and prayed that she would make her flight and safely return home.
Little did I know how soon my small kindness was to be repaid to me...
*story to be continued*
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once again do I apologize for the much delayed post. Thing is, Life doesn't follow our watch... she speaks in the language of signs, feelings, and coincidences....and the story will unfold to you, one blog post at a time, as though it was written from before... and the reason for my delay will be clear.
See you soon, dear Readers.