I guess I almost deserved what happened to me today. (Yes, this post is about weather again.) Just thinking about all the ridiculous decisions I made gives me squishy boots. I woke up to sunlight (glorious sunlight!) and expected it to last. I really should know better by now. I was so confident that this sunlight would last that I shunned my Chicago snow boots that I had planned to wear and put on my what can only be described as “fashion boots” because they are attractive but offer absolutely no protection against water, which I learned the hard way when I wore them in Rome and wandered around the Vatican museums in soaked socks. Wearing those boots was almost begging the sky to open up and shower upon me, so I’m sure you can guess what happens in this story.
I set off to Notting Hill this morning to meet a friend for lunch and a movie. I took the bus, because I like to save the extra £1 over the Tube, despite the fact that the Tube station is right next to the restaurant I was going to and the bus would require me to walk a mile to get there. *Stupid mistake No. 2*
“It’s sunny! I’ll enjoy the leisurely stroll!” I told myself. I was already starting to regret my bus decision when the driver announced we would only be going to Baker Street, not all the way to Lancaster Gate where I intended to get out. The last time this happened to me I just walked, but this time it was too far. A woman who reminded me of Pam, Gavin’s mum from “Gavin and Stacey,” was having none of this, and began giving the driver an earful about how this “always happens to her on Friday” and that she is going to be late to work. She acknowledges that this is not the driver’s fault, but still continues to yell at her. She asks for a ticket from the driver who tells her the printout will allow all of us to get on a new bus at Baker Street without paying again. I was really kicking myself for not hopping on the Tube, especially when I saw people getting out umbrellas as I waited at the stop with Pam. “No… sunlight! Not rain!” I wanted to shout. I’m sure Pam did too. We waited a good 10 minutes for the next bus. The whole time I was debating whether I should just eat my bus fare and get on the Tube at Baker Street, right in front of where I was standing. But I couldn’t bear the thought of paying Tube fare too and was determined to stick to my bus plan. I convinced myself that it would probably stop raining once I got off the bus at Lancaster Gate. I followed Pam onto the bus as she presented the print out. I kept waiting for the rain to let up, but it didn’t. Eventually we arrived at the end of the route and I had to get off and begin my mile walk to Notting Hill.
“One step at a time,” I told myself. “Maybe your feet only got wet in Rome because you stepped in a puddle. Just don’t step in a puddle.” I walked slowly with my head bent down, attempting to avoid every puddle. It was no use. I slowly felt the squishy feeling in my boots. In the novel-turned-movie “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” Oskar Schell’s favorite expression for feeling depressed is “heavy boots.” I think mine is “squishy boots.”
“Just keep walking,” I told myself. “It can’t be much further.” And then it started to hail. Hail. For real. I believe I let out an audible, “Seriously?!” I don’t think I’ve ever been outside during a hail storm before. It’s not pleasant, especially when you have squishy boots. I decided it was time to get over my overly frugal public transportation issues and I hopped on the next bus I saw that was headed towards Notting Hill. And just because the weather gods were mocking me for wearing my fashion boots, it stopped hailing the minute I got on the bus. So I ended up spending two bus fares, which is equal to more than one Tube fare, in an effort to avoid taking the Tube, which would have let me off right in front of my destination and I would not have had to go the whole afternoon with squishy boots.