Sunday, 20 June 2010

Part 4: Friends in London: Lady Michelle of Malta, and Drunk Parishioners at Christmas Eve Mass

When I first came to London, I met this cool young lady in her twenties who hailed from Malta, I called her Lady Michelle. She was very tall, brunette with big dark eyes and long black hair, she looked a bit like an Italian goddess. She was intelligent, well read, super independent and strong. She always had five different things going on at once, and always knew what was happening at the latest minute. I kind of felt like she was my Matesian soul mate. She spoke with a funny Maltese accent, and a bit of an Italian lilt, ( Malta was under rule of Italy for many years and most of the homes get Italian TV). She also used "you know" after every sentence, which I found rather annoying, but I tolerated it because she was so charming and fun in every other way. She would say to me, " Sabrina I have a one off ticket to a rock Concert, you know, do you want to come?" It's in Camden town and we'd have to take a bus and get back home very late you know.  I often called it to her attention and she took it well, but she kept on doing it, so I just gave up and acceepted that is how she is. Besides, it's not that bad of a habit, considering all the myriad bad habits people have that are really despicable. Also she was so sweet, fun and smart that she won me over. She was also very helpful too. She had been in London I believe 2 times before me, so she knew how to take the bus, where the nearest hospital was, how to save money. She was my first friend in London, and we ended up spending Christmas Eve together 2009. During my first winter in London, I caught the worst cold, which evolved into bad bronchitis. The fact that the youth hostel I was staying at with Michelle had the worst heating of any hostel I have ever been. ( On top of that I had to keep borrowing blankets, I ended up having about 4 blankets, when I was only supposed to have a measley one. I had one to insulate the wall because the room was facing outside, and very cold, another one for the matress and then two on top). Man, I was bloody cold. Anyway, I was coughing up big huge gobs of green London phlegm and sweating so badly that I had to go the hospital, luckily Michelle geared me to the right place.

It was my first time in a London hospital and I was happy that they didn't ask for my papers or anything. They took me in right away without any questions asked. Th ey gave me antibiotics and I recovered quite quickly after that. I am very grateful to their kindness. ( Boy, what an experience, you know, I think I'll use this dialogue for audition material,You never know !)

Once I recovered, I was back to my party self again. At the last minute, Michelle had invited me to join her for a service at Christmas Eve mass. Why not? It would be fun to go to a Christmas Eve mass in London, England. I remember it was Christmas eve and we walked and walked in the cold London winter night, from our Hostel in Hyde Park for about another 2 miles to reach the Catholic Church. I remembered some lady walking right in the middle of mass, stone drunk and sitting right next to me. She smelled of hard liquor and decided to start hugging me, and crying all over me. I don't know why I attract such weird and out people, do I have a sign on my head that says " I am counselor, pillow included?" Anyway, Only in London.  The  Priest in the mass used such powerful incense,that seemed to hail straight from the Vatican, big huge balls of Frankincesse and Myrrh, that he kept swinging around to bless everyone with, while he recited some Latin phrases, I though he was going to hit us with it. I felt like I was getting high off them, between the choir and the incense, it  was indeed a spiritually transcendent experience. After mass, I wished everyone in my way "Merry Christmas" and  stopped to chat with  the Priest who had surprisingly had a  flute of champagne in his hand, and complimented him on the nice service. Somehow, he must have liked my friend and I, because he  went out of his way to give us both  flutes of champagne( perhaps, he liked my American accent), which made us both very happy because we were both to broke to buy our own. It was nice to sip champagne with an English priest. I was also wondering if he drinks like this all the time. Anyway, after we elegantly sipped the champagne and said our adieus to the priests, we walked swiftly home in the London cold feel very warm, fuzzy and not the least bit lonely that we weren't in each other's respective homelands to celebrate the Holidays.

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