Dudley Do-Wrong and the Yankee in London

Piccadilly Circus, 2004 -- I made it in one piece!

Yaaaaay! I arrived safely into Heathrow Airport! My plane ride, smooth and most of my fears about flying quieted by my faithful companion, Jack Daniel’s®. 🙂 If only going through customs had been equally as pleasant; Instead of the “Where are you going?” inquiry that I received with suspicion from airport security in New York,  I was now getting from the “unwelcome wagon”, also known as a disgruntled, female immigration officer, “Why are you here, in the United Kingdom?” I responded, “To find a date” (I really was going to say that my search was for a “husband”, but thought, she might consider that some sort of illegal ploy to stay in her country.) She then gave me the “stink-eye of death” and let me pass (the WRETCH).

(So, anyway…)

Trafalgar Square

I happily hopped into a humongous cab that could’ve probably held my old studio apartment in Spanish Harlem and jetted off to my hotel, located of off “The Strand“, a historical street in the borough of Westminster.

In the lobby of the hotel, waiting to greet me, was an amorous, Italian concierge, with the temperament of “Pepe Le Pew“, who would keep offering his “personal assistance” by way of my hotel room… undoubtedly wanting more than a tip. More

London– Getting Ready to Fly to Meet “My Guy”

Thrilled to travel the world, but weary of flying being the prerequisite to get to most destinations– my conundrum.

Aviophobia was one of the reasons that I had chosen to move to London… so, I could make it my hub for traveling and hop on a Eurostar train to see other parts of Europe. I discovered that my expectations were too high, however, once I learned that those locomotives only went as far as Brussels and Paris (I’d be annoyed if I read what I just wrote from some other whiny traveler complaining that he or she could only get to certain parts of Europe… are you?)

{so unintentionally highfalutin}

A proclivity for control could (easily) have been the diagnosis for the anxiety that I felt (and feel) at the idea of someone else having my life in their hands– the events of September 11th were a factor, but my issues showed up long before that catastrophe; The deal breaker happened in 1999 when two planes crashed, back to back, within a short period of time while I was working for the news in South Florida. The particular incident that mentally scarred me, for life, was the EgyptAir disaster… found to have been intentional; This was the first time that I had heard of someone– a leader, in charge of the welfare of others– being suicidal and willing to harm innocent people as a means to an end.

I’d begin to freak out about elevators, as well, after two people at the Empire State Building survived a free-fall, the result of a faulty cable snapping that was supposed to secure the cab holding the passengers on the 44th floor which ended up at the fourth level in four seconds– this having taken place right before my move to the “city of skyscrapers” and lifts that hit the clouds.

As you can imagine, my mindset for being in an airplane for over six hours was off to a great start. There was a man to meet, in any case. So, I’d shake the nerves, one way or another.

My antidote for curing angst… Jack Daniel’s®.

I’ve always referred to Jack as my “boyfriend”, now that I’m married though, I tenderly call “him” my lover (LUVA” when I’m feeling fancy).

Security at the airport found my whiskey paramour in my carry-on bag. In 2004, strict rules against liquids in-flight weren’t in place. So, instead of being reprimanded and forced to surrender my “medicine of champions”, the male officer, chuckled at his discovery and began to pretend that he was splashing the spirits under his arm pits like cologne! Hahahaa…

My adventure through inspection also entailed the newly mandated procedure of everyone having to take off his or her footwear, following the sad attempt at terrorism by the “Shoe Bomber“, back in 2001. Seeing as I hadn’t flown in a while, I was surprised by the request and exclaimed my relief of having gone for a pedicure before the trip.

It would take a while for the fog of naïveté to lift from over my head before I’d realize that though I had gone through a generally innocuous search, the silly questioning that followed, from a fellow woman of color, wasn’t so innocent–

I was being profiled.

There are always those understandable occasions where it’s necessary to confirm that passengers are getting on the right plane, but she had a look of suspicion on her face as I entered the boarding bridge for the plane.

Female security officer: “Where are you going?” was what she yelled out behind me, as I had already passed her with ticket in-hand, that stated in bold that I was hopping on the Virgin Atlantic (love them) going to London.

Moi: “Uhhh… LON~DON!!!” with a perplexed look on my face that basically said, “DUH… don’t you know where this plane is heading!!!?”

Only after I walked away to enter the plane that I’d realize, it was -apparently- unusual to be a young, black chick, with ghetto~fabulous Macy Grey hair and a blonde streak (that made me look more like “Lady Frankenstein) to be traveling alone to Europe. I knew what her look was because I had received it before on a solo trip to Niagara Falls and regularly while in clubs and pubs; I have always enjoyed being an independent lone-wolf who didn’t need an escort to socialize about town and some people (usually tourists) would be openly amazed by my gumption to do what I wanted (other idiots would take it as my being a hooker, but hey, such stupid mistakes occurred near the infamous Eighth (8th) Avenue of Times Square in NYC… remembered for its era of pimps, hookers, runaways and peep shows… primarily gone now).

This guard was no better– How could someone, like me, afford to go to Europe, alone… and why would I? Only a cultured person might do such a thing. Without question, I was smuggling drugs or something (rolling my eyes)!

Have I mentioned that in all my years of living, I’ve never smoked pot or done any sort of illegal drug… let alone smuggle or sell it!!!?

Whatever… SCREW HER.

And with that, the plane took off.

LONDON, HERE I COME!!!

©2011 Heidi Rodney-Nakanishi and ChocolateGeisha Spills the Sake!™ All images are copyrighted by their respective authors.

London– Project: “Get a Date, Mate!”

Rogue on the prowl, 2003! One of my attempted “sexy cool” poses that would later get posted on dating websites.

“Okay, that’s it, I’m moving to London!” is what went through my head after Seal and Paulo Coehlo had spoken to me.

I’d go to this foreign land– with solely dog and cat in hand– but would not see the sights alone– Surely, there’d be a nice man to call my own!

(Gosh, I love myself! 😉 )

UK.Match.com, the Brits’ solution to online dating, would be my new hunting ground for romance… I’ve always said that I prefer my men imported, not domestic— Now, I’d be the exotic dish to be served .

It was my right to cross the “International Date Line” (pun intended) as when I was 16, a high school chum – Sujatha Rajiram – of Indian decent (bindi, and all), read my palm with a perplexed look on her face that made her eyebrows furrow and told me that my husband would NOT be American (Back then, I equivocated that to mean, my spouse would be Puerto Rican {Hey, that’s all I knew before I left Toms River, New Jersey at the age of 12.}) “Boricuas” were the most unusual ethnic group, besides my own Trinidadian heritage, to exist in a small town like Port Charlotte, Florida– the place where my mother had later move our family for another career advancement.

The fates seemed to agree with my clairvoyant classmate’s prediction because even though my dating experiences were limited, I’d come to encounter a plethora of opportunities from gentlemen (and not-so-gentlemanly) callers whose homelands were speckled around the globe (They dig me.) It was still a surprise, however, that I’d marry my “Hot Sake” man from Japan as the majority of offers made to me were from fellas who originated in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Israel…

(but anyway…)

During this round of searching for love, I’d work on getting an Englishman (or anyone in the vicinity of London).

My efforts were working!

I had attracted the attention of other members on the dating site and found a good prospect (or so I thought), a Londoner who had “bitten on my fishing line of communication”. I became, even more, determined to cross continents!

Most everyone was hung-up on my sudden (in their heads) decision to move abroad and thought it crazy of me to just show up in a foreign country, where I had never been,  and “hit the ground running”.

I couldn’t think of a better idea.

The more people nagged, the more determined I was to show them how “bravery” was done… EXCEPT it was no longer about rebellion, but intrigue; I needed to meet my cyber-sweetheart, with whom I had shared expensive More

London– I Have Been Waiting for You: The Epiphany

Before I grew to be a “recovering Anglophile”, the inner-gypsy in me had whispered that it was time to quench the thirst of my wanderlust by fulfilling a life-long goal of “becoming one” with James Bond and the Beatles– the result would be my moving to the United Kingdom in an effort to have that mission accomplished (Imagine my thrill the day I heard Paul McCartney and Wings sing the theme  song, “Live and Let Die“, eponymously-titled after the movie that featured my suave agent.) I had never been to Great Britain, but knew that England, in particular, was calling and I had to answer.

This wasn’t a new conversation occurring amongst “me, myself and I”, but an ongoing discussion that slowly developed to unveil how strong my desire had grown since previous inner-dialogues… something far beyond musings of needing to be in the UK out of the belief that I may have existed during Medieval times in a world, immersed in Arthurian legend with Merlin, Guinevere and Excalibur or maybe, the Elizabethan era, where I could be found hanging with the Queen’s gang.

It was 2003, and at that point in my life, I had consumed my fill of broadcast media; I was ready to More

© 2010-2015 Heidi Rodney-Nakanishi and ChocolateGeisha Spills the Sake!™ All images are copyrighted by their respective authors.
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