Those who know me know I’m a do-er and am usually busy everyday of the week. Call it FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or call it an insatiable appetite for culture and being wide-eyed and curious. Whatever it is, it half-fulfills me and half drives me crazy. There’s just not enough time in the day to do/see/eat/listen to it all and instead of being fully satisfied with what I DID get to do/see/eat/listen to, I end up thinking about all that I still want to do. Not such a good way to live. Then I went to Italy. Something clicked and when I came back, I had a bit of a broader perspective on things. I wanted to slow down, take my time, have patience, etc. I wanted — I needed — to be OK with just being. No more should’s. (That one’s for you, Devi!) So I started to plan a bit less. Some weeks it worked. Some others, not so much. Since I’ve gotten to London, though, it’s been working pretty well. That said, when Ellie told me her agenda for the weekend, I felt a bit…lame. I really didn’t have much scheduled. I was invited out by my new boss and some co-workers for drinks on Friday night and had brunch/shopping plans with a friend of a friend for Sunday. But that didn’t seem like enough for my first weekend. At least not for me.
Well, I got home at 2a.m. last night — after sharing seven (seven!!!) bottles of wine with the Fab ladies who really are Fabulous — and allowed myself to go to bed without caring when I got up cause I didn’t really know what I’d want to do the next day anyway. Next thing I know, it’s 11:30a.m! Part of me was like, ‘Oh shit! It’s 11:30 already and it’s Saturday and I’m in London and I’m in bed????’ The other part of me was like, ‘Oh wait, you partook in drinking seven bottles of wine last night, there’s a lot of snow on the ground and you have nowhere to be. Chill the F-out.’ I went online, looked at a few “must do” lists from friends, clicked around on Time Out London’s Top 100 Things to Do and contemplated my options. I had food in the fridge to cook for breakie, but I sorta needed butter or Pam, which I did not have. Plus, eating out is one of my favorite activities. Not just for the food, but for the social aspect; the people-watching, etc. I take a magazine, ask for a table for one and I’m solid for at least two hours. Not to mention that I had yet to have a traditional English breakfast. The write up for this spot in Bethnal Green — to my vague knowledge not too far from me in Wapping — seemed decent, so off I went via the bus. I made it to E Pellicci (success!) at around 1:30 and I was starving. There was a bit of line to sit down, but I “wasn’t fussed,” as they say here, because to me, that’s a sign that the place is legit. It was very no-frills, which I loved. It also seemed like everyone knew each other — a real neighborhood joint — and the smell of grease and butter wafted from the kitchen. (Exactly what I needed after all that wine the night before.) In all, it reminded me of one of my favorite greasy spoons back home, La Bonbonniere. (Or as my friend Anna calls it, BonBonaree.) It was real mom-and-pop.
After about 5 minutes and an “Is it just you, love?” I was sat at a table for four with an older couple. I didn’t mind sharing, but sorta wished I was sharing with a cute boy…and then one appeared. Seriously. A cute boy was sat opposite me. I tried to remain totally normal as I gobbled up the fattiest breakfast I have ever had — fried toast (!!), fried egg, grilled tomAtoes, bacon, sausage, ‘shrooms, and beans on the side. The coffee was the best I’d had since getting here. I had two cups.
The Cute Table Guy — whose name I still did not know even though we’d been talking for half-hour — was really friendly. As was the couple at our table, and the owners of the joint who loved the fact that he sat a guy across from me. He was all like, “You two get married, you invite me to the wedding!” While I was thinking, ‘Oh yeah, this guy is cute,’ it was also just great to meet a local and have a chat — no pretense. The guys at the table next to us were also cool. They were older, and one had lived in Chelsea in New York. They asked about the Hurricane back home, and we shared stories about our cities. Honestly, I could’ve done nothing else today and been happy. In fact, I probably should’ve (eeek, sorry Devi!!), because my toes have yet to defrost and I’ve been home for an hour after venturing to the Broadway Market by London Fields and then Spitafields. They best warm up fast since I’m meeting the Cute Table Guy — yes, I now know his name — in Notting Hill at 7:30p.m. (Don’t get all, Oooooooo on me. Honestly, I’m just happy to have somewhere to go tonight. Well, really, more like someone to go with.) I have plans! But only because I started the day without any. Tootles!