My first daylog. If I even post it. And if I do post it, it probably won't be too long until I'll have it nuked. I can't even post it immediately... I'm sitting on a train from Cambridge to London. Hands shaking. Sniffling. And I haven't even got any tissues.
It started last night. At 1:54am - if the alarm clock was to be believed. I was woken up by the sensation of little legs walking up and down my left arm. Not realising what was going on I dozed on for a moment, only to wake up with a start. I'd finally figured out the nature of the body the legs belonged to. A little spider. I sat up with a gasp; frantically trying to brush off the spider without killing it.
No, I'm not scared of spiders. But in the past few days they seem to be growing in numbers and presence. They are everywhere. In the kitchen, the bathtub, my clothes. I don't mind them sharing a living space with me. If they like running around the living room floor - fine. However, my clothes, my body, my personal space are taboo. Unfortunately, they don't know this.
I brushed it off, somewhere. In the meantime I also managed to wake up call, who probably thought I'd been having a nightmare. I quickly explained the problem, he brushed the quilt covers, hugged me and we tried getting back to sleep. Almost.
Little legs running up and down my leg.
"No! call! Switch on the light! It's still in the bed!"
I glance at the clock. 1:54am. Great. Together we chase this "cute" little example of the common house-spider off the bed.
Lights off. Back to sleep. Back to sleep. Back to sleep.
I can't. I can feel their little legs all over my body now. And I remember what I'd been dreaming shortly before I woke up.
I'd been at some place I called my home. I was talking to call on the phone. There was a serial killer on the loose. For some reasons I couldn't lock the doors. I was scared. Panicky even. Begging call to come home and help and protect me. He refused.
Eventually I did fall asleep.
Now. It's 3.29pm. I'm on this train. But how did I get here? With a bus.
I walked to Tesco to catch the bus from there. I was pressed for time. I really needed to catch this train to London where I'd meet my host-sister. I hadn't seen her for more than two years!
I came to Tesco and the bus was standing there. Waiting. Only about one minute before it was supposed to leave. Door closed. I stood there. Reading the signs.
Push button to open door.
Glancing inside. A driver, lost in thought. Not looking outside.
Ok. What should I do? I unpack my wallet. I'm scared he won't notice me and just drive away. Without me.
Perhaps I'm misreading the signs? What's the use of an emergency button on the outside of the bus anyway? What should I do?
At home we press the button on the outside of the bus to get inside...
But then, things are different here...
I need to catch this train!
Oh well, I'll push it.
The door opens smoothly. I lift my foot to enter. The driver turns just as smoothly. "Why did you open the door!?" he asks me harshly. Not waiting for an answer he continues: "For emergencies only! You can't just enter at your will!"
Pushed outside by his words. I'm hurt. I'm sorry. I didn't know. I was confused by the signs outside and by you not noticing me and scared I'd miss the train.
"I'm sorry", I say, "I didn't know."
He raves on. I don't remember. Hurt and feeling unjustly treated I ask him: "I'm sorry. I didn't know. I'm foreign. Is that how you treat tourists here?" I should have expected his reply: "We treat them that way if they don't play along the rules!"
What if they don't know the rules?
Eventually he asks me where I want to go to.
"I need a return."
I spot a C6 timetable.
"You need a C1 timetable."
"No, I don't."
"This is a C1, you need a C1!"
"I know, but I already have a C1 timetable."
"No, you have a C6."
"I know. I need a C6. I've already got a C1. Thank you."
Some more bickering. I notice he has a patch on his uniform saying "Mentor". Can't be the same kind of mentor as we have here on E2. I "end" it by walking away, shamefaced, not daring to look at any of the other passengers. I find a seat, almost crying.
Yes, I did overreact. So? I'd been feeling vulnerable before, and now this nasty scene.
In all the time I've spent in Cambridge so far, I've never before felt so foreign, so lonely, so "not-belonging" as now. I can feel the imaginary looks of the other passengers on me. Shaking I grasp my backpack hugging it closely.
At the train station. I have to pass him. On the 20 minutes journey there I'd made up my mind to apologise. I step forward. "Look. I'm sorry. I know it was my mistake." He nods, ungraciously accepting the apology, not even looking at me. But I haven't finished. "I only hope that if you are ever in a foreign country you won't make any stupid mistakes." "I'll never go to a foreign country anyway." I can't hold my tongue: "That shows." I leave. Shaking. I'd also meant to tell him that, even if he made a mistake there, I hoped at least he'd find someone more forgiving than he had been.
Upset I manage to get my ticket to London. A very nice and helpful man was behind the counter, by the way. On the train now. A bit less shaky. A bit less in need of tissues.
Thanks for listening.