I had to force myself to sleep. I knew I needed it. Eventually though, I had to get up and start my day.
First thing Fi and I did was head to Stan’s. Stan’s is the corner shop that sits two buildings over. This is going to be dangerous. We picked up Dr. Peppers, bacon and bread. Fi was going to make me a bacon sandwich. Yes, a bacon sandwich. This concoction made of bread, butter and bacon. It was quite good – interesting – but good. Never had I ever had a bacon sandwich before.
After breakfast, Fi and I headed to downtown Brighton, which is only a 20-minute walk from her house. We headed down Lewis Road, through the Level and arrived at the corner of North Street.
The city was buzzing with people. Some were working, some were shopping, and others were enjoying cups of tea outside the multiple coffee shops that line the street. The colors, sounds and smells excited me. I am back!
We headed to Orange were I got a new SIM card and then went into a few shops. It was so difficult not to go into Topshop. For those of you that don’t know what Topshop is, Topshop is a line of shops partially owned by Kate Moss. The clothes are amazing. I own a pair of jeans from there and soon a new beanie will join my suitcase. Primark was our destination and was just as I remembered it to be. Women of every age were shopping there, and all clothes and accessories are less than $20.
Fi suggested we head to the beach and of course I wanted to go. Brighton Beach is gorgeous. It is on the English Channel and holds a new pier, a burnt down pier and various seaside shops, restaurants and pieces of art. To my surprise, the beach was packed. Two years ago when I was here, maybe 10 people would be sitting on the beach, but there must have been more than 200 people lying out enjoying the sun and sea. I can’t believe people were actually swimming in the ocean. It was only about 70 degrees outside. This is beach weather, Fi explained.
We enjoyed a Kopparberg on the beach, talked and people watched. It was nice to catch up and just hangout.
About an hour later, we headed back up to North Street where we caught a bus to Sainsbury’s. I needed groceries, and once we got there, Fi decided she needed some as well. It felt odd to be there again. I shopped just as I did last time – frugal and slowly. With only 18 pounds, I couldn’t get that much but I made it last. Too bad I bought paper towels instead of toilet paper. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
I bought all the ingredients to make Fi my shrimp pasta; however, we realized that we would be eating very late at this point, and we had an engagement. We were going out with Kane.
Kane is a friend of Fi’s that I hung out with last time I was here. I was super excited to see him. When we arrived at his house, he greeted me with a hug. He looked the same and still is the hyper kid I knew and loved.
We played Jenga, and they had turned it into a drinking game – clever Brits – and then ring of fire a.k.a King’s Cup. And only at a guy’s house would find cards made of cut up cereal boxes with numbers and symbols written on them. I think the funniest part about this game was that every time a card was picked up, the rule for that card seemed to change. And to my friends – I can’t wait to tell you about the new rules I learned such as frog, Viking, fuzzy duck and the name game.
After a few hours we headed to Pavilion Tavern for a drink and then went dancing at Audio. I had forgotten how different the clubs are over here.
No rap or R&B is played. Techno-pop is the music of choice. It was so much fun dancing with people to music I had never heard but feeling completely comfortable. I definitely looked like the American in the room. I dressed so differently than all the other girls. I didn’t mind though. I was going to stand out somehow whether it is my accent or outfit.
The smoke in the air, the accents I heard and the lights flashing around me provided the perfect atmosphere to welcome me back to Brighton.
I can’t wait for the next time we do this.