It's hard to believe I'm leaving Saturday. This departure is pretty last-minute, come to think of it: booking the flight just 4 days ahead. I'll miss it here, but not as much as I'm missing everything back home. I'm definitely ready to go. Aside from the obvious perks like seeing family and friends, it's the little stuff that'll be great: a bed with clean sheets, a house not full of dirt, a shower that doesn't tip over if I lean too far to one side, not having to do my own laundry...
Nothing huge at work: out to lunch for the last time and goodbyes to 2 of the 3 old ladies I work with (they have tomorrow off). I like everybody in my office, but there definitely aren't tear-jerking emotional bonds or anything. They're nice, polite goodbyes, nothing special, fitting for our passing level of acquaintance.
Take care of my last pending touristy thing to do: the Matisse-Picasso exhibit at the Tate Modern. It was neat and I learned a lot about their artworks from it, but definitely a little too hardcore for me: halfway through the 14 rooms devoted to this art bombardment, I dazed out through a sizable chunk of displays.
Wandering out of the Tate, I walk down some steps to the River Thames. The river's low, so I have a rocky beach area to explore if I can just manage to forget the fact that I'm probaby walking in dozens of carcinogens. I pretend I'm next to a natural river, not the liquid garbage heap the Thames has become, and pick up some scraps as souveniers. I've recovered chunks of brick and rusted nails used centuries ago to support some of London's early buildings. They probably fel off a barge headed for a dump last week, but I can pretend.
I call friends just as they're about to enter "Austin Powers 3" and get there, sweating, right after the previews start. The movie's hilarious: Foxy Cleopatra's kicks ass through every sha-zam and a certain reality TV patriarch has a cameo that captures the essence of his personality. Afterwards, it's goodbye to 2 of my best friends here. We mill around for a good 20 minutes, recounting favorite scenes from the movie and planning to keep in touch, before finally heading our separate ways.
Packing makes me almost wish more had been stolen in Pamplona. Don't know how I'm gonna get half my crap home. I remember being nervous but excited as I stayed up late into the night packing for the trip here. Excitement's back, but the nervousness is replaced with simple happiness that I'm going home.