Monday, 14 May 2007

Dancing Queens

The gang get back tomorrow, and I am so excited to see Shoes, but my joy is tempered with little stabs of discomfort that I might feel too resentful to welcome them properly. So I'm trying to take my own advice - you can't control the hand you get dealt, and you can't control the way a shit hand makes you feel, but you can control how you react to it, and there's power in that. I have to swallow the bitter pill and choose to smile as it goes down. We'll see how well I do. However, for a change, I am not going to talk about Turkey.

Instead, I am going to have a very quick rant about another travel issue that has recently come to light, and then tell a story which makes me cry with laughter, so as to finally end a post on a good note.

The rant: ok, well, Shoes and I have not given much thought to the state of our driver's licenses since we came over here. We have been toying with the idea of going to Italy for a couple of months now, but we want to go to Lake Garda and then drive to Venice - something which obviously requires a vehicle. We checked our licenses the other day, and mine expires in October, while his is either September or November. We've not needed to drive in the UK so far, so didn't bother getting international licenses, which is the way most tourists go in London. But now of course, we can't actually make this trip the way we want to without them, and at this moment I am waiting on a verdict as to whether or not it is possible to get an international license that expires on 6 months, rather than the usual year-long one which we can't apply for. On asking my dad for the info on their Italy trip, which was what inspired us to do it this way, he mentioned that he's not sure about the current rules for renewing licenses in SA, but at one point they were threatening to make everyone whose license expired redo their K53, and my dad thinks that might still be the case. I realise it was premature to pour acid in the form of words on the country of my birth without waiting for the facts first, but just the idea makes me apopleptic with rage, especially as there is no way of renewing a license while still in the UK. If it is true, it would horriffyingly typical of reasons while we are still a third world country, but I'm not even going there right now - I feel like if I let the rage consume me anymore, I might become a permanently angry person, which is not very appealing. So I am biding my time with exaggerated calm until such time as I know it's ok to let rip with the full force of my displeasure. Even if this is not the case, though, we are still in what is basically a dead end position - if we can't renew our licenses while over here, and we can't get international driving permits based on the length of validity of our current licenses, we can't go to Italy to do the trip we planned.

Which, after the Turkey debacle, is almost more than I can comprehend. I think there must be a Travel God overseeing these things. I think that he is a particularly malicious and vindictive character, who takes pleasure in human beings' holiday misery - why else would there be issues like lost or stolen luggage, expired passports and general travel mayhem, which serves to detract from, if not cancel completely, one's holiday? I am sure he's sitting around having a right old laugh at all the people's lives he has thrown into dissaray. And as for me, well, I don't know - I think I have a big red X marked on my forehead, and I must look like a sitting duck from where he is, which is obviously too hard for him to resist.

So, moving on - wallowing in self-pity is a habit I am becoming far too familiar with these days - the funny story.... Well, Penguin, Mello and I went for a girls night out on Saturday, in defiance of the misery that has consumed me these last 2 weeks - this was war! We tried to get into G-A-Y, but were told it was members only, even though some other people were just walking in. We think we didn't look gay enough. So we went to another bar in Soho called Serocco, and ended up having a fabulous night. We all got very drunk, I met some Russian guy who I was talking to for ages - no, it wasn't dodgy, mostly we talked about his baby girl - and we danced like hoes and had a fab time. I was overwrought and melodramatic as per usual, but that's par for the course for me on excess booze, and we knocked back a good couple of shots as well, something I don't usually do. The thing that had me cackling to myself the whole day yesterday happened in the cab on the way home. I've been known to say some pretty random things when severely inebriated - not many of them make much sense. I once told Shoes to stop worshipping 50 Cent, as he didn't know what really goes on in ghettos, but I apparently did. This was no less random... We're in the cab, slumped back on the seats and there's a lull in conversation. I break the silence, and this is what comes out:

Me: So Mello, how long have you been in Riverdance for?
Mello: (utterly stupefied, but deciding to play along, as she thought I might actually have lost my mind and assumed I was in the car with some other person, and she didn't want to frighten me) Ummm, I don't know Lopz, how long do you think I've been in Riverdance for?
Me: Well, surely you know; you're in it?
Mello: erm..uh...I wasn't... I've never... oh well, yes, I suppose I am!

And that was the end of that. For the record, Mello is not and has never been in Riverdance. She does not do Irish dancing. I, on the other hand, had been watching a documentary on Riverdance that afternoon, and in my alchol fuddled brain, somehow thought Mello was on TV in said programme. It's completely loony, people have been committed for less, but I laughed about it the whole day afterwards, and will probably be amused for some time to come.

There - a happy ending! :-)

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