I have been grumpy these last few weeks. I know it and I know the reasons why. In general, city living is getting to me. Here are my scattershot reasons why I'm not loving London this week. I figure they must be acknowledged - just like in AA's twelve-step program - so that I hopefully can learn to embrace London again.
Annoying thing #1. Ginormous outdoor dander - I don't have allergies to normal pollen, but seriously, when one breathes in very large and omnipresent pieces of floating tree castoff as I did this last week, one's body is eventually bound to say "enough". I consumed more dander than food on Wednesday I swear. My eyes and my stomach are in revolt.
Annoying thing #2. Pavement hoggers - I wonder what it must be like to be so in love with someone such that the idea of actually dropping your vice-gripped handhold to let someone else pass by you on the sidewalk is unthinkable. Isn't Paris the place where couples stroll? Please go there or stop hogging all the pavement and give other people a chance to walk.
Annoying thing #3. The Latvians - I'm entirely sure that Latvia is a lovely country with lovely people, but the Latvian house across the road from our flat has become football-loving hoodlum central for London's Latvian residents. Our once quiet evenings on the balcony are now interrupted by drunken, smoking young teens shouting, "Nah, Nah, Nah, Nan. Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah. Hey, Hey, Hey, Latvia." How so very, very clever you all are. I think there's a country with your name on it waiting for you.
Annoying thing #4. Subway sandwich coupon books - I love Subway 6 inch turkey subs. I love bargains. So I should love the very thick Subway coupon book that I was handed yesterday, right? Wrong. Ten pages of coupons and not one of them for a sandwich that a normal, single person might eat. Coupons for 12 inch subs, coupons to buy one meal get one free, platter discounts, etc. Is one discount coupon on a sandwich I would like to consume asking for too much?
Annoying thing #5. Separate hot and cold water bathroom taps - Let's just say that as a public health person, I only verge on the edge of obsessiveness about washing my hands. They make it so hard in London to do it well though. At most sinks, you have to splash water back and forth between the two taps with your hands, ultimately deciding whether to scald your hands, freeze them, or - my current favorite - walk away with a soapy film. How hard can it really be, I wonder, to combine hot and cold water and then regulate the temperature?