Sunday, May 31, 2009

I get laid in London (twice!)

I actually wrote this mostly in Spanish, because that is what I do when I am afraid someone will read my journal (and hey, none of my family can read Spanish). But here it is in English for you.

Last night I went to a Pub to drink some beer, all classic English whatever. I went in and the bartenders were busy because there was some kind of game and alot of drunk guys celebrating the game. I didn't even know what to order, I just was like "uh whatever seems good to you..." which is where bartenders give me the idiot look. The Bar maid was nice about it though and it was pretty good beer, and another bartender was pretty hot but I didn't say a word. I drank and I left. I decided to try another bar with less sports fans and a found one on the corner that seemed nice. It was kind of empty for such a big place. I found out later this is because the English drink early and the bars close early - unlike the US where no one goes out until 9 or 10. But anyways. I am almost alone and I sit at this giant table by myself and drink my beer because I feel super weird and I want to just go back to the hostel and crawl in the covers and never come out.
Then a guy sits at my table. Then a girl and another guy and so on until in ten minutes the table is filled with laughing smiling people who all seem to know each other. One of the guys leans in and asks me what my screen name is. I am looking at him like he is a lunatic. He is medium height, dark hair, pale skin and right away I get the nerd vibe. I can't remember much more than that about how he looks. Turns out this Internet photography group meets here once a year and I happened to sit where they were planning on meeting. The nerds all 'know' each other from on-line but don't really realize I am not one of them, except the guy named Joe who talked to me. Some blond guy grabbed by butt and took some pictures of me and Joe. Joe talked to me all night.
An hour later everyone is clearing out and Joe offers to take me to another bar he thinks stays open a little later. He pays for a tube ride for us and we walk to it. He isn't super cute but he is really nice and super polite. When we get to the bar they are doing last calls and he gets me some hard cider, which I have never had before and I think it is wonderful. He is a pharmacist or something, he also likes Modest Mouse (my favorite band). No idea what else we talked about. He invites me back to his place for some wine.
I know that agreeing to go back is like saying yes I will have sex with you but I tell myself I can still change my mind. Somewhere on the walk he says or I realize that the tube is closed now and I'll have a harder time getting home if I go home before morning. So we get to his house and his roommate has friends over and they are drinking Rum in the living room and we say we will join them but we have water in the kitchen instead. I think he kisses me at this point and asks if I want to come to his room. I pause and look down, biting my lip. He is so nice I practically have to sleep with him. I say alright. We go up to his room.
It was good in the moment. We kind of mess around. It's funny at first because every time he wants to do something he asks permission. Like "would you mind if I put it there?" and if I say yes he says "cheers mate" and if I say no he says "fair enough". So the conversation goes something like:
"Can I kiss you there?"
"Cheers mate"
"would you mind if we..."
"I don't really want to"
"Fair enough, fair enough"
He can't seem to stop touching me. That is the best part - how much he wants me. Even when we agree to go to sleep he keeps spooning me, running his fingers over me, holding my breasts. It seems mildly comforting but I can't sleep. I'm still not on London time. I stay up all night. My head starts thinking too much and by the time I see the sun coming up I can't wait to get as far from there as possible, and take a shower. I don't think he slept much either because he was awake and he tells me he was too drunk to "give me a proper seeing to" the night before so we do it again. As I am getting dressed he caresses each part I am about to cover until I am fully clothed. He was just so sweet to the very end, it was almost sad. I assured him I could find my way back, and I left.
But the nearest tube station wasn't even open yet. So I walked a bunch until I found an open one and I was kind of flustered and creeped out because no one was on the streets and I couldn't figure out the machine to get a ticket. Some Janitor or something came and helped me. I felt horrible about sleeping with him and it felt like everyone knew. I finally got to the hostel and took a long hot shower and then slept, my wet hair dripping on my chest and clothes.
I woke up much later with the sun shining in. I walked half awake to the super market and got some chocolate mouse cake. I was just feeling crappy, like I seem to do after one night stands. I was just beating myself up in my head. Why did I sleep with him? Did I do it just to be polite? I mean, really? Did I have to get wasted every time I wanted sex? Was I desperate or did I just look for my worth in men? Bah. So I ate cake.
While I was eating, that hot Spanish guy was watching me. I laid on the bench outside and he sat at another table, watching me. When I went inside to wash my plate he was sitting in there so I started talking to him. He was from Argentina, he could speak ok English and had a really hot accent. He was giving me the eyes all over the place. After about ten minutes he asks me if I wanted to explore the garden with him (there is like nothing to explore, it's rocks). I said ok. We went outside and tucked behind the corner of the building. He asked where I had been on my trip and I pointed to the map in my journal, showed him where I was going. He pointed where he and his friends were going, all the top places for parties he said, except he didn't know the word for it.
He said something like "my partner and I are going to places do you say it? good times?"
I laughed " your partner?"
"Does this not mean what I think it means?"
"Partner means, like, como novio" and I laughed again.
"oh, no" he smiled and leaned back. He was tall with dark wavy hair and a broad smile, "we are best of friends. I like girls." He smiled and look at me. I felt nervous.
He touched my hand. His hands were big, they swallowed up mine. It was like fire ran all through my body. He did that classic leaning in, "do you have a boyfriend?"
And then he kissed me. He had these soft full lips and one of his hands ran through my hair, pulling me closer. He had light brown skin and soft brown eyes. We made out on the side of the garden. His hand went up and down me. His other hand ran down my back and I let my hand trail from his neck, chest, torso, groin...
"do you want this?" he asked me in his accented English.
His cock was thick and hard.
"Do you want to come with me, in the showers?" He asks.
I smile and say yes. He holds my hand and we practically skip up towards the stairs. I am on the second floor but he is on the one of the top ones, we seem to go up forever. He meets his friend on the stair way but they speak too fast and I can't understand them. He goes in his room to get a condom and then we duck into the shower. The lights didn't work. The door closed and we were in this warm humid darkness.
He was intoxicating. He guided me without being forceful. He was such a good kisser. He kissed my breasts perfectly, touched all the right places. We couldn't really do it standing up because I am so short and he is so tall. I got on all fours and he was behind me.
"Harder." I said.
"Con más fuerza!"
He laughed and understood. Then I got on top and he grabbed my hips and said "suave, suuuaaaveeee, mas sueave" and made me go slower and deeper. It was more sensual than anything I have ever done before. He asked if I liked it better hard and I admitted yes and he laughed a little and said "ah, but I can do suave y hard" and he did. He grabbed my hips as we went faster and faster, harder and harder. The whole time he would reach up and touch my breasts and he kept kissing me.
He finished and apologized for it ending. I said something like "it's fine" and kissed him. I got up and we put on our clothes. I felt like every nerve ending was tingling. No O but that is the closet I have ever come with just sex. It was so hot in the shower my clothes stuck to me. He left first, then I left carrying my shoes.
He said something like "see you in the garden" but I'm not sure what he meant by it. I hope we meet up again. Heck, I'd do it in the garden if it's nighttime.
I was sober and it happened so easily. It is odd but for the first time I don't have the instant wave of shame and horrid feelings.Two guys in the same day but completely different feelings. I was praying to god about my sex life like five minutes before I noticed he was looking at me. Timing or what. I got to finish the job with my new little travel vibrator - the Jimmy Pocket Rocket.
Later Alligator.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oxford Street

I woke up late today, probably because I stayed up past midnight last night drawing (when I looked at the clock my draw dropped). Anyways, I got an all day pass for the underground and went to Oxford Circus. I have no idea why they call it Circus. A circus at home involves clowns and a three ring act, here it is just a train station. One of the guide books said there was a bomb thrift store, the Salvation Army, so I went looking for it. First I found H&M and tried on a bunch of stuff - it was exciting because I have never seen one before, but the Sims game I used to play had it. I got a black skirt with flowers on it and I got a some hair pins with flowers on them. Then I kinda found the Salvation Army, r at least that is what it said on the outside. On the inside was only books and a sign for prayer meetings. So I left. Very quickly.
I still can't believe I am here. I keep reminding myself. It's like when you are high and you can only think in the present. EVerything seems to happen to you, like you're not an active participant. Just there.
I go a free makeover at Clinique. They were having some kind of buy something and get this sale. I found a lovely lipstick and a nice foundation but they didn't have my color which bummed me out. Until I saw all the other makeup vendors and tried the Dior eyeshadow and put my flower pin in my hair and took a picture in the park. I felt very pretty.
I'm amazed at how flat Hyde Park is. Now I understand why they named what must be the only hill. All of London is flat now that I think of it. It is really strange. Imagine San Fran flat! I've been munching on beef jerky and granola bars all day. I should be eating real european food, but what is that anyways. So anyways I cut through the park and they have a little pond thing going on and I took some pictures and sat leaning against a tree in the shade. I was hot, hungry and I wanted to drop off the stuff I bought at the hostel.
I bought a purple summer scarf that had some silver tinsel in it and a hot pink purse, and 15 postcards for 95 pence (like cents). I also got some water and this nasty hot dog - it was crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside - and it was brown, not pink or red. I had like tow bites but couldn't do it and left on a bench. Hopefully some hobo will eat it. So tonight my mission is to go to a pub. I am nervous because I don't know what to do or say. I don't want to sit and get drunk by myself, and I don't want to get too drunk and end up lost or attacked.
I've been noticing that the people here are different, just generally. There are alot more people with red hair, curly hair, blue eyes and big boobs. My boobs don't even seem big here. Also they call kids and young people funny things like "poppet" and "mumsy" and "love". Everyone is shorter too, so I don't seem to small. And of course everyone is thinner than the US. There are also alot of Arab people here; and in H&M there was a girl with a hijib (sp? - the headress thing muslims wear) and it was covered in fake gems. I loved that she was blending the two cultures.
There is a cute guy that speaks Spanish or Italian here. He is hot hot. Maybe I'll go into the lounge and see if anyone is there. There is a lounge with a TV where most people sit and don't talk, and then another one where they read and don't talk. I hope someone wants to hangout.
Everyone I meet asks me where I am from. I say California and they say "Thanks for bringing your weather here!" or they start singing American Woman. In their funny accents. Which is silly. Mostly guys do these corny things. I have a hard time understanding some of the people, with the accents and all. I just go 'what?" and they look at me like I am stupid and repeat themselves and if I still don't get it I smile and walk away.

Friday, May 29, 2009

First Full day by Myself

Last night I took a nap and woke up just as it was getting dark. I sat in the garden to let the cool air wipe away my exhaustion and my sore head. An Australian Lady told me I looked shell shocked. The garden is actually just four picnic tables and a yard of rocks. My cell wouldn't work - so much for a world phone, no reception. Everyone in my room spoke french. I was I had learned it before I came. I'm scared about the whole thing. I just wish I had a person to talk to here.
I had a hard time sleeping. There is a little kitchen to cook in, and then the doors lead to the garden where you can eat. I brought some instant oatmeal with me and I cooked it and talked to the only other people in there. Some Canadian girls were here for school and they are leaving, but they told me it will be 18 degrees C today. So I guess what's warm? I wanted to laugh because 18 degrees in F is like nightmare cold. I started an e-mail list so I can mass e-mail everyone at home. My grandma is so worried about this whole trip, but I think my dad is proud I decided to go even though all my friends bailed out.
I went to the super market but nothing's the same here. They didn't even have Cheerios or instant oatmeal. The milk even comes in pints and smaller (like a quart). Water also comes in giant or tiny. I bought grapes, a giant water and raviolis. I found the super market on accident - I was actually trying to get to the natural history museum. It is pretty hot - I thought London was supposed to be cold all the time? All the buildings I have been in are incredibly stuffy so I try and stay outside.
I got lost coming back from the museum too. All the streets in this area seem to end with garden or gate. When I got back and drew a map in my journal it was easy to see where I went wrong but it is much harder when you're walking around out there. The buildings are tall and a lot of red brick with white brick trims and the streets are narrow. The lights to cross the street are different too.
The museum was big with all these impressive displays but it was way too hot in there. It was the first time I just walked through a museum without reading every bit of writing. At first I went into the physical science section which had only the basics which I knew from all of my college classes. I was driven out of the insect section by the sheer masses of children. The bird section was cool but there wasn't much to read. It kept getting more crowded and I was hot so I slipped into a side room - turns out I had just walked into a lecture about capturing and killing flies in Scotland. Did you know they have over a million bugs in their collection? I started to nod off since my sleeping schedule is all screwed up so I left. I took one look at the long line to get into the dino building and walked out of the museum. THe building is really impressive and long and old looking, like a castle. I wanted to sit in the grass outside but I would probably just fall asleep and wake up at dark.
I packed beef jerky which I snacked on all day instead of eating a proper lunch. The grapes here have no flavor. I guess it was stupid of me to get grapes, seeing as I come from the wine country in California. Londoners must have orgasms when they taste our grapes.
I think I am going to stay in tonight, unless I magically make friends in the next hour who invite me out. I want to go to a pub, maybe I will tomorrow. I am nervous just thinking about it though. I've only been at one bar and it was for like 5 minutes with my best friend who ordered some beer and we shared it and left. Tomorrow is Sunday and I leave, this is going to go by fast.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hello London

I'm in a Thai restaurant - I'm so full I am almost sick. It was fairly cheap too. I have a hour to kill before I check in to my hostel. The plane ride was long, I only got 3 hours of sleep. I hear Jet lag is brutal but I feel fine; I'm not even tired. I got off the pane and spent about thirty minutes wandering around the airport. I felt lost. The border guy was upset that I didn't tell him where I was staying - he said most countries would just refuse me. I thought he was ridiculous. I could give him any address and get by the check point. but he kind of yelled at me; it was frightening. I jut nodded quietly and went off to find the underground.
You know, the underground isn't entirely underground. Alot of the time it is a little above the first story of the houses and you can see the roofs, buildings, trees and other ...trains I think they are called (or trams?). I got off after 20 minutes and realized this was as far as my directions led me. I picked right randomly and four streets down was the one I was looking for - what luck.
I have to go to the bathroom but I'm not sure if it is safe to leave my bags at the table. I have my purse which is just a bike to work bag and then I have my backpack. it is super heavy and stiff because I packed it so full, and it's awkward to carry - I feel like a turtle trying to walk on two legs.
Whoa, I actually feel very tired all of a sudden. It must be the food. I know I shouldn't nap but I am going to bed as soon as I check in. I texted Mom and Aunt Billie and my sister Air to let them know I'm alive. It's 5:30 am at home, geez.

Every begining is an end

We are somewhere over the world, it is very dark. I can't seem to sleep, which is annoying. The plane is dark and so is the sky outside of the window. There is a little boy and his parents in the seats in front of me - reminds me of my brother Dean. I shouldn't be homesick already! Just finding my way through the airport was intimidating. I wonder what London will be like when we land. I hope it is not rainy or cold. It was hot at home. My mom drove me and one of her sponsees was in the back seat blathering about the bible and how she had found Jesus.
The chick sitting next to me has her headphones loud enough where I can hear the music clearly, and it's not very good music. The funny thing is that everyone on the plane seems to be British. British airways is super nice by the way, they don't charge extra for anything and give you blankets and pillows and food - even free booze! And there is a screen for each person where you can pick what you want to watch; like movies, shows, music stations. It is like having a T.V. on the plane, but for each person. I didn't have to eat what i packed and the Steward suggested some wine to help me sleep. I dozed a little but my head hurt so I've just been writing in here.
I've been taking pictures of everything. It is so exciting; I'm a little nervous and very calm. I am debating jumping over the two people next to me to get to the overhead compartment so i can have some advil pm, but I am not sure if that's allowed...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Brief History of Northern Africa

Northern Africa
In ancient times there were many empires in the area, such as the Egyptians, but they all collapsed or were conquered. Most of the region was occupied by the Berber people which were then conquered by the Arabs. After the Middle ages the area was loosely under the control of the Ottoman Empire (except Morocco).
Population: 200,489,280
Climate: mostly deserts, savannah, some Mediterranean areas.
Languages: Arabic, Berber, French, English, Italian, Tribal Languages
Religions: Sunni Muslim, “indigenous beliefs”, Small numbers of Jews and Coptic/other Christians.
Governments: Republics, Dictatorship, Monarchy, Authoritarian state

- Algeria : It was a French colony from 1830 to 1963; the war of independence lasted 8 years. There was much political turmoil until the late 70’s when a new president was elected. Still, the militant Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) has been rebelling. The constitution has undergone many revisions, as recent as 1996. Currently the unemployment is at 27% (by U.S. estimates). The U.S. Gives $4.40 Million in economic assistance.

- Egypt : It was a British colony from 1882 to 1922 when Britian gave it its independence; but it was still under their strong influence until the revolutionary 50’s. A disaffected army officer named Nasser took control of the government and nationalized Egypt’s economy in 1953. In 1970 he died and another army officer, Sadat, took his place, leading an unsuccessful war with Israel. He was assassinated. In 1981 Vice President Mubarak was elected and has been in office since. The U.S. Currently has a “large assistance program in Egypt”.

- Libya : It was an Italian colony from 1911 to 1947, when the British and French took over. Independence was granted through the United Nations in 1951. In 1959 this was one of the world’s poorest countries, and then it discovered oil and became rich - but only the elite saw this wealth. In 1969 there was a coup and the Revolutionary Command Council took control, with Qadhafi at the head. In the 80’s the U.S. accused Libya of terrorism and fought militarily and with economic sanctions. In 1999 Libya agreed to hand over suspected bombers, and in 2003 they announced they were getting rid of their WMDs - in 2004 the U.S. lifted all sanctions.

- Morocco : The coast was controlled by Portugal as early as the 1500s, but France took the northern part and Spain took the southern part in the 1800s. Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956. Spain gave over parts of Morocco in 1956, ‘58, ‘69 and the remainder of the dispusted land is now called "Western Sahara" (look below). Since the 1990s Morocco has been improving its economic and political conditions by liberalizing them. Their current inflation is low and unemployment is 9.9%.

- Sudan : The largest country in Africa and one of the most diverse, Sudan was made of tiny kingdoms under British and Egyptian control. They were granted independence in 1956 but the ruling Northern politicians reneged on promises to the South, which started the 17 year civil war. Sudan’ neighbors have harbored refugees and rebels. In 1969 socialist Nimeiri was in power. A communist tried to overthrown him so he purged the country of communists, which made the Soviets withdraw support. With each law Nimeiri lost the support of different political fractions. In 1985 he was overthrown by a popular uprising. In 1989 Bashir, head of the National Islamic Front, took over. This caused the Islamic North and Tribal South to start fighting once again. The South’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) was even supported by some of the neighboring countries. Peace talks started in 2002, focusing on religion and wealth sharing, and a peace agreement was finally signed in 2005. The first national elections will be held this year (2009).

- Tunisia : It was a French protectorate from 1881 until independence in 1956, and still has close political, economic, and cultural ties with France. The ruling party, the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), was the sole legal party for 25 years, probably because opposition parties were banned until 1981. President Bourguiba placed strong emphasis on economic and social development - which continues with the Ben Ali administration. They have high literacy rates, low population growth rates, relatively low poverty rates, and generally steady economic growth. This is a very stable state.

- Western Sahara : This was part of Morocco until Spain took it over, and refused to give it back when Morocco became independent. There were many violent uprisings and militant retaliations. In 1973 Spain lost control, and its own government at home was weakening. Spain didn’t know who to hand control over to - and the decision went to the international court of Justice, which said that the Sahrawi population had the right to decide who they wanted to rule. Morocco did not accept this and sent an army in. In 1976 a treaty was signed that gave 2/3 of the country to Morocco and the lower 1/3 to Mauritania - but the Sahrawi population opposed this and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) was created by a Sahrawi leader named Polisario. SADR lead a guerilla war and won the land back from Mauritania in 1979. Morocco tried to move in on this land and the war started anew. In 1991 peace talks started and they agreed to have an election to see if the population wanted to join Morocco or become independent. The election never took place because they couldn’t agree on who could vote. The dispute continues even now, with new informal talks starting sometime in 2009 (Worsnip).
1. Worsnip, Patrick. “U.N. Council favors informal talks on Western Sahara”. Washing Post. April 30, 2009. <>
Unless Otherwise Written, Source: U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Background Notes (