As much as I love London I will not be an apologist for wanting to leave. People have tried to pull the whole ‘tired of London tired of life’ speech on me but I really doubt that when Samuel Johnson uttered these words he had any trouble getting a decent drink in this town in the early hours of the morn. Things have a changed a bit since the 18th century and so I find myself shamelessly fleeing to the city that never sleeps, where I do not expect to go thirsty at 2am.
Big moves are always daunting but thankfully there have been a number of recent signs that the world is aligning in support of my adventure. A few Saturdays ago, for example, I was at a funk party at Paradise by way of Kensal Green when the DJ affirmed my path with two back-to-back renditions of New York, New York. Wow, I previously hadn’t fully appreciated the prophetic nature of this track. Ol Blue Eyes clearly wrote ‘If I can make it there I’ll make it anywhere’ just for me. Ok, judging by the way the rest of Paradise was getting down I was not the only one who felt like he was speaking to them, but then how many of them can flash a fresh 5 year U.S. visa in their passports?
The next firm sign that my move has full planetary support is that I managed to strike up a romance days before skipping town. People had issued advance warnings about ‘falling head over heels’ or ‘meeting the man of your dreams’ at the very last minute and admittedly I do have a bit of a habit when it comes to pre country-change flings. But these usually occur two weeks before scheduled departure so with four days to go I really thought I was in the safe zone but apparently this is not so until you’ve passed customs. The last chance fling will emerge when least expected. It will present itself in the innocent guise of friendship, food and wine but can quickly transform into a frenzy of teenage-like romance, giddy declarations of the fleeting nature of time and seriously late nights. If you do find yourself in this situation (and believe me if you are moving you will) I offer you the following guidelines:
- Jump at the opportunity – nothing says farewell better than a smokin’ hot man
- Bask, revel, immerse yourself – it will not happen again any time soon
- Neglect your friends a bit – they’ll understand
- Neglect your friends completely
- Forget to pack
- Miss your flight
- Fall in love
And critically, do not, under any circumstances, suggest that they can visit you. That has a high probability of resulting in a long distance relationship and we all know how much fun those are.
If you can follow these simple guidelines I very much recommend the love at last chance experience. It’s an intoxicating time bubble in which none of the usual mundane dating considerations apply. As long as you recognise that the nature of it is totally circumstantial you can’t go wrong.
So in keeping with my own rules, I’m off to South Africa for the month where developing-world telecoms will make it easy for me to go underground and ensure that I emerge very single in New York in the New Year.