I was in London for 2 months. I went there to sing in a chorus and it was my first time going by myself. I decided to spend my second day there in the center of the city because they were holding a big parade and fireworks for the election of the new Lord Mayor of London. It also just happened to be taking place the day before my birthday. I was all excited to go see it until that morning. I woke up at 7am and felt the jet lag HARD. I thought the parade would probably go on for a while so I decided to sleep in for an hour or two. When I finally got in the city there was no parade to be seen. I missed the whole thing! So I spent the day meandering and settled on sticking around the city so that I could at least see the fireworks.
About 2 hours before the fireworks started I began looking for a place to stand. It’s a big city, you know? There’s a lot of people coming to see them, so I wanted to get there early and have a good spot. I had literally no idea where the fireworks were happening, aside from it being on the Thames, so I naturally walked to my favorite bridge, the Golden Jubilee Bridges. I stood there for a while until I noticed some police and fire trucks parked along the side of the river wayyy further up…I was definitely on the wrong bridge. So I walked my way over to Waterloo Bridge and picked a spot among the gaining crowd.
By this point I was pretty tired and my feet hurt, so I wasn’t really in a talkative mood. More and more people started standing around me though and I thought about how I needed to start conversations with strangers if I wanted to make any friends while I was there. I overheard a conversation next to me between a blonde girl and a guy with black hair. I couldn’t tell where her accent was from but the guy sounded sort of Irish. I thought to myself, “Way to go Jill. That could be you talking to the cute Irish guy, but you’re too much of a pansy.”
Finally the fireworks started and they were awesome! About halfway through the fireworks it started to downpour. Everyone took out their umbrellas, except for me…another one for the win, I forgot to bring the umbrella. Luckily the guy next to me had a big enough one that I could secretly stand under part of it without it being weird. After the fireworks ended everyone started pouring down the bridge to my right, so I followed. Then suddenly the guy with the Irish sounding accent was next to me asking me if I knew the way to the station. To which my response was, “I am soo not the person to be asking that. I’m not from here!” Then as one might guess he responded with, “Oh! Neither am I!”
I later found out that he knew exactly where the station was. This was simply the best ice breaker he could think of.
We talked and walked to the station, following the crowd. Before we said goodbye he asked for my name so he could find me on Facebook. The next day he added me on Facebook, we found out we had the same birthday! So now, almost two years later we are engaged and I’m planning on moving over to London after we get married. Just think, all this happened simply because we stood on the same spot of the Waterloo Bridge.