I’ve been here just over a week now, and I’m really starting to feel the London love. It could be the sunny weather and the centuries-old architecture. It could be the adorable little girls with English accents I hear singing on the tube. Well, all of those things are playing a part. But the main reason I’m starting to feel happy here, is my feet.
Before I arrived, I fantasised about the stylish outfits I’d wear while swanning around London. I’d stop double-decker buses in their tracks! My more sensible friends warned me that style wouldn’t cut it. Shoes, they told me, had to be flat and practical. So, I took their advice on board. I bought the most gorgeous, sequined flats you’ve ever seen, and a cute pair of sandals for all the picnics and garden parties I’d be immediately invited to. I was London ready!
Well, they lasted two days. Two days before my feet were in absolute agony. Gorgeous sequined flats do look wonderful, but it turns out they’re not cut out for long walks to the tube, seven flights of stairs down to the platform, seven flights of stairs back up, and then the walk to wherever you’re going. And cute little sandals offer little support as you wander aimlessly around London, wondering where the hell Buckingham Palace is, but refusing to consult the map, in case anyone realises you’re lost.
So this week, practicality won. I sucked up the little dignity I had left, waved farewell to my fashionable ideals, and bought myself some sneakers. Pink, of course. They break every style-rule I’ve ever adhered to and make me look like an awkward 14 year old girl, but my god, they are comfortable. Like pillows for my feet!
So I was taking the tube home tonight, enjoying my well-supported feet and generally feeling pretty good about things. Standing in front of me were a couple, holding hands and smiling at each other. Lovely, I thought. The man – let’s call him Beardie – leaned in for a kiss. The woman – let’s called her Blondie – gave him a quick peck and laughed. I swooned. Romance! On the Underground!
But then, it started to get weird. Beardie kissed Blondie on the cheek. Then, he kissed her on the eyelids. Weirdo! Then, and I am not kidding you here, he started to lick her face. That’s right. HE LICKED HER FACE. ON THE TUBE.
I was appalled. But like a car crash, I could not look away. When Beardie began sucking on Blondie’s nose, I started to wonder if he was going to eat her face right off. I mean, there’s public displays of affection, but a public display of cannibalism? That’s surely not OK!
When he started chewing on her jumper, I began laughing out loud. And here’s what I learned on the tube tonight – licking your girlfriend’s face? Acceptable Underground behaviour. Laughing out loud while standing by yourself? Crazy, apparently.
And if public face-licking is some weird British dating custom, book me a flight home, stat! At least I’ve got comfy shoes for the trip.