I don’t boogie, but I am a night owl. Hoot, hoot says the owl of night. Going out to a bar and dancing on a table isn’t my cup of miso soup. Often times, I have a natural buzz from pondering life’s philosophical questions, “how can I say thesaurus without lisping?” or “why aren’t there any dinosaurs in the bible?” These thoughts happen while the city morphs itself into a sleepyhead. All I want to do is walk, even in the darkness.
However, I’ve had my share of splendid nights out on the town. In New York, everything runs 24 hours, since the workdays are long and people are always up doing something. The subway, diners and Dunkin Donuts welcome those who are sleep deprived. Even in the world’s most happening cities, not everything runs 24 hours. Sure, some places have all night debauchery, but their metro/subways close early, wringing in the urbanite’s dilemma.
It’s a lesson, I learned the hard way in Tokyo. I ended an evening out in frenetically paced Shinjuku and had the need to take the subway down to Shibuya to fulfill a sweet’s craving late at night. After devouring a crepe and sipping on the most magnificent coffee, I walked to the metro station. Surprise, it was closed, since it was after midnight. Even though, I was on holiday, I didn’t want to spend my whole night wondering around. Therefore, I did the unthinkable.
I took a cab back to my hotel in Asakusa, which was quite a schlep. My sweet tooth cost me too many yen. However, seeing Tokyo by night was well worth it. I didn’t learn my lesson about catching the subway on time in London.
On my last trip to London, I met up with my British posse Sophie, Ella and Matilda. It was the dead of winter. The English capital felt like an Eskimo’s dreamland. Cold winds penetrated through my layers of clothes.
London is one of my favorite cities in the world. My English buddies took me all over. We hit a traditional pub complete with a portrait of the Queen mum pouring beer to display authentic British-ness. We then hit a couple of bars around the West End, from a gay bar to Soho House to a cave like watering hole, which served delicious booze and played Green Day (it really looked like a cave inside).
After too many laughs and whiskies, we emerged into the chilly London evening. I felt jet lagged and was determined to take a cab back to my hotel. They were going to North London, while I was off to Bayswater next to Notting Hill. We hailed for a cab, but all of London seemed to be in the classic black cabs.
I strategized a plan to finally obtain a proper cab. We positioned ourselves on all three different corners of Oxford Street. Alas, no cab would stop. I saw the distinctive red hued double decker buses pick up the survivors of the night, but I just wanted a nap. Finally, an hour passed and no cab. The wind chill effect took place. I used the collar of my pea coat to protect me from London’s harsh chilly winds.
Finally, Sophie suggested we take a car service home. After a quick sandwich stop, I left the West End in a chauffeured car, rather than a black cab and the cost was the same. London was more magical as my car made it’s way past the parade of window displays on Oxford Circus.
I got back to my hotel and slept wonderfully. The next day, I absorbed all my booze with a full English breakfast (toast, sausage, bacon, eggs over easy and a grilled tomato). I met up with my child hood friend, Rochelle that following night. Instead of playing cab spotting, we had tapas, hit a pub and grabbed the tube before midnight.
Nothing beats a night out in London, Tokyo and New York. I do enjoy the quiet nights in my backyard under nature’s disco ball, the moon. I daydream, while remembering my adventures on late night subways and the taxicab scavenger hunt.