Tuesday, 24 August 2010

London Ninja Episode 2

Welcome back.
Surprised that Gym Ninja actually did post the second half without leaving you all in suspense? 
Oh ye of little faith! Gym Ninja knows none of you would sleep had you not been able to read the next thrilling installment.

So, where were we? Ah yes, Gym Ninja was sat in a very large office  having failed to remember any of the impressive things that may encourage Mr Important to offer Gym Ninja this fantastic opportunity. She had failed a 50/50 guessing game on which football team to choose and had slated the accent that Mr Important loves the most.


Casual chat followed, and Gym Ninja did end up getting on OK with Mr Important, but by the end of the meeting she also had the impression that the moment had passed... Well, when you say things like that and you realise that the notes that Mr Important were making  about you barely fill all of 4 lines in his book then you cannot be surprised when he then states what the next stage would be....and then immediately throws in the sentence,

"But that's not to say you ARE Invited back."

Yeh gee thanks. 

So with yet another damp double cheek kiss goodbye, Gym Ninja hauled her suitcase down the long flight of stairs and retraced her teetering footsteps back to the station, onto the overground, and headed back to Euston.  

Uh oh! Tube time! Now Gym Ninja had NO intention of getting on the tube in the attire she was wearing, so paid 30p to nip to the loo and do a quick 'superman' change of outfits. 

Ahh, hmm, right. Gym Ninja had forgotten that in the original packing  list there were no shoes appropriate for tube travel as tube travel was not supposed to happen. So with a wry smile, a now denim-clad Gym Ninja took off her purple 5" heels...and replaced them with some equally impractical  black 5" heels.... Now, off to battle the London Underground....

OMG what IS It with staircases in London? Gym Ninja had yet again another challenge ahead. To drag her trolley case down flights of stairs all covered in slippery London Underground tiles, MID rush hour, as Londoners were doing their mega fast hustle walk around her.  Gym Ninja  was now somewhat fearful that if she were to suddenly stop in a confused manner, then she may well end up pregnant  by the men walking far too closely behind her....

"The Black Line, The Black Line, The Black Line.....Platform 2" Chanted Gym Ninja to herself.  A train pulled up and Gym Ninja climbed on in. She managed to drag her case through the carriage and plonked herself down in an empty seat. Opposite her was a woman with eyes like saucers who was smirking at Gym Ninja. BACK OFF Crazy Saucer Eye Lady! Gym Ninja is a Northerner. No smirking necessary here. 

4 stops later and Gym Ninja had reached her stop. Again, stairs! AHHHR! Then was the 10 minute walk from the station to the hotel to tackle. Rush hour in London, trolley case doing back flips and playing dead, impossibly high heels and yet again, those bl**dy annoying car horn beeps from drivers. ENOUGH!

Finally Gym Ninja saw the hotel and stuffed herself into the TINY revolving doorway, wedging momentarily 3/4 of the way round before bursting into the reception area.  When the kindly Hotel Man offered an upgrade from Deluxe room to Suite for an additional £30, then how on earth was Gym Ninja supposed to refuse? Suite it is!

Squashing into an already full lift, Gym Ninja smugly pressed the button for 7th floor.  Pah, HOW annoying that another Lift Person was also travelling to the 7th Floor. Humph! Must have been a bulk offer on suites? But this annoyance was soon forgotten when Gym Ninja walked into her suite. A HUGE corridor, a large bathroom with 2 chrome sinks and a double power shower/steam shower, a walk in wardrobe (where Gym Ninja immediately unpacked her stuff) a king sized bed, a lounge area and.....er...a what appeared to be a TV from the 80s? REALLY?? No flat screen?

Now all Gym Ninja had to do was stir up a quick instant porridge in a pot using the kettle (classy huh?), make herself a cuppa using the 'brought from home' Tetley Decaf teabags (Northerner travelling essentials) and get ready to meet her friend that evening.   The friend was meeting Gym Ninja in the bar at the hotel. 

AT 8.45pm the phone rang. Reception was announcing the arrival of Gym Ninja's chum. How very grand. So Gym Ninja headed downstairs to meet him.

After greeting each other, Gym Ninja flung down her bag and took a seat. Her chum stared at Gym Ninja's bag which was a small furry handbag.

"Haha, are you liking my rabbit bag?" Joked Gym Ninja.

The guy stared back, a look of disgust on his face.

"I'm a TREE HUGGER remember. Is that SERIOUSLY a rabbit?" He scowled.

Dear GOD! Really?

Thus followed 5 minutes whereby Gym Ninja attempted (unconvincingly for the most part) to convince Tree Hugger that her handbag was in fact faux fur. Gym Ninja wasn't entirely sure he believed her even when she pointed out how terribly unlikely it was that rabbits now had plastic skin like the plastic back of the handbag... Tree Hugger looked grumpy & ever so slightly suspicious.

 After such a traumatic conversational opener, Gym Ninja decided to break her teetotal habit completely with just one alcoholic drink. After all, she'd had a busy day. So what did Gym Ninja choose? A single malt. Neat. In fact, make it a double. What else would a teetotal Ninja drink eh? Mmm, tasted good after nearly a year of no booze.

Then of course there was another round, and another, and as Gym Ninja and her chum had lots to talk about (well Gym Ninja rarely goes to London), before she knew it it was 12.30am and the room had gone wobbly!  By now, Gym Ninja needed a cuppa yet the bar had closed. So herself and Tree Hugger headed to her suite to put the kettle on. Well, Gym Ninja SAYS she headed up. What in fact happened was that they both got in the lift, pressed button 7, inserted the keycard and waited.....hmm, it was taking AGES...  After a few minutes Gym Ninja noticed they were stuck at level 1. So back down they went and tried again. Nope. The lift refused to play. In the end Gym Ninja had to stagger (!) to the reception desk and ask the man at the desk to press the button in the lift for her. HOW embarrassing was that?  Let us also not forget that Gym Ninja was with a friend (Tree Hugger) who was MALE. Now the hotel staff didn't know that this was a mere friend. Nope. All they must have seen was a drunken Ninja stuffing a large drunken male into the lift to take him upstairs! :-0

The Gods of Humiliation had also yet to go to bed. How does Gym Ninja know this? Well, upon entry to the hotel suite Gym Ninja was greeted by every single light in the area switched on. The hallway lights, the bathroom lights, the lights by the bed, the lights in the lounge area, the lights over ornaments, the lights in the lounge area oh and not forgetting the lights inside the walk-in wardrobe. Not only that, the TV was still on. 


Imagine if you will Gym Ninja's chum, Tree Hugger, lover of the environment  standing in the room, opened mouthed at the sight of Gym Ninja burning up half a rainforest by accident.  Cue death Stare off the Tree Hugging Friend..........plus another surreptitious look at the rabbit bag. Needless to say it was the fastest cup of tea Gym Ninja had ever supped before she bode farewell to Mr Grumpy Pants aka Tree Hugger.

The next morning, Gym Ninja was surprisingly hangover-free, and having packed her stuff, went to check out of the suite.  Gym Ninja was on route to meet yet another friend before heading back home. At Reception she was greeted with a smile.

"Ah Miss Ninja, did you eat at the bar last night as there is an outstanding bill that just needs to be settled?". At this, the receptionist pushed over a bill with a herrrruge number on it! 


Gym Ninja had totally forgotten that her and her chum had not paid last night and now here was the entire bar bill, and with only Gym Ninja present, guess who had to pay? Damned Tree Huggers and their non payment of bills!!!!!!

Leaving the hotel many many pounds and pennies lighter, Gym Ninja dragged the ill-behaved trolley case back across London, meeting up with her other friend for a brew.  Her friend was also a Northerner yet had sold her soul and gone to live in Laaaandan.  Despite this, she has managed to retain her humour and general grumpiness which Gym Ninja finds terribly essential in a person. Let us call this friend 'Miss Tolerant'. Should you know this friend, you'd know how terribly ironic that name is.... ;-)

Miss Tolerant and Gym Ninja sat in Starbucks, whilst Gym Ninja managed to spill and drop all tea-associated stuff before finally getting comfy on the seat.  Once the tea and gossip had occurred Miss Tolerant then suggested Gym Ninja nip to Selfridges with her before catching her train? Fab! So off they went...happily walking and gossiping until Gym Ninja's 5" heels, fed up with the challenge that is London paving stones, decided to nearly send her flying, recreating the very picture of a baby giraffe falling, much to the audible gasps from the passers by. Miss Tolerant swiftly moved out of the 'falling zone' just to be safe, before suggesting they instead jump the bus.

Holy schmoly!
The BUS?
Gym Ninja was now all panicky.
After much faffing for bus fare & general confusion and panic about being on a London Bus, the bus driver decided Gym Ninja was far too complicated and unsteady a person to be on his bus and instead waved her on for free. Result! Next stop Selfridges!

YAY! It was CHRISTMAS at Selfridges! How terribly exciting. Miss Tolerant, now skilled at the jaded Londoner face, went off to mooch whilst Gym Ninja dragged her trolley case around the Christmas Department. Ooh look, red glittery reindeer. How cute!

Gym Ninja picked up a reindeer just as Miss Tolerant returned.

"Isn't this great?" Said Gym Ninja, holding a reindeer aloft at her friend before replacing it again.


The reindeer fell on the floor, taking 3 of his sparkly friends with him.
Miss Tolerant fired off a 'For God's sake' look silently.
Gym Ninja quickly picked up the reindeer and placed them back on the display, only to trigger a reindeer domino effect as they all knocked into one another, the far reindeers disappearing off the edge of the shelf like lemmings.

"LEAVE THEM!" Hissed Miss Tolerant, dragging Gym Ninja away from the reindeer massacre.
By now, Gym Ninja had spotted a Christmas tree and was most insistent that Miss Tolerant snap a photo of her grasping a bauble. Next in Gym Ninja's line of vision was a life-sized Santa.


A photo with Santa! Gym Ninja's eyes lit up.

Seeing the look on Gym Ninja's face and predicting a Santa wrestling/knocking over and general scene-making catastrophe in the making, Miss Tolerant helpfully suggested that seeing as GN was having an attack of the Clumsies that day, perhaps it would be safer if they were to leave the photo opportunity for another time, and instead head for the Tube? So that is what they did, with Gym Ninja banging into countless fast-paced Londoners with her wayward trolley case as they aimed for the Tube Station.

 Once successfully 'tubed' back to London Euston Gym Ninja had just enough time to mooch around the Virgin First Class Lounge before catching her train. In the Lounge was a fat ginger kid, scoffing all of the freebie food. ENOUGH fat ginger kid. Is it not enough that you are ginger AND wearing a green T Shirt? Do not make it easy on the school bullies by adding to the pudginess. One biscuit is most likely enough. 25 perhaps a tad excessive...?

Eventually, Gym Ninja made it home. A 25 hour whirlwind trip to the Big Smoke, all for no successful outcome, 34 near ankle-snapping moments and a bar bill the size of an elephant. This, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why Gym Ninja rarely visits London. Sleep soundly in your beds that it may be another 2 years before she attempts a return visit....

Gym Ninja x