Next Time, Bring Ear Plugs

Picture this: a beautifully sunny day, spent indoors, with no physical human contact, surrounded by masses of books as you attempt to cram for your university exams. It goes without saying that your laptop is on, with your Twitter news feed alive with people you know, and now loathe, tweeting – with pictures – their experience of Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne tour. Of course you torture yourself further by searching the #WTTLondon hashtag whilst weeping.

It’s May 31st 2012, I’m sat in front of my laptop searching “WTT Paris” and tormenting myself with what appears before my eyes. To my right are two tickets to Watch the Throne for the day after next, to my left is a pile of tissues that I’d been crying into. In a, what my mum has called, “moment of madness” I took myself online and just days before bought myself two tickets to the biggest concert of the year; Jay Z and Kanye West’s Paris show.

You’d think this was a hurdle in itself, but with it being Jubilee weekend, I had no way of getting there. Flights? Full. Train? Full. Coach? Full. Ferry’s? Full. Upon delivering this news to my friend that I had planned to go with, she dropped out. Now I’m left with two tickets, no way of getting there, and no one to go with and 200 quid out of pocket, great. Not knowing what to do with myself, I cried to a friend who reassuringly said “don’t worry, I’ll sort something, but we’re going to that concert.”

Under the impression that we were going by coach, I met my friend that morning. It turns out that we were not. Instead, we were sharing a car with three strangers; a couple and a French student returning home to visit family for the long weekend. Slightly scary but hardly the worst journey of my life. Or so I thought. Hater of long journey’s the long car drive would have been enough for me to write in but this was not all.

We were against the clock; we needed to get to Paris before the concert started and well, I couldn’t exactly tweet Kanye West asking him to be accommodating. The journey started off fairly well actually. The expected small talk and what have you. The French student seemed nice enough until he was comfortable enough to spout his sexist, controversial drivel at me, whilst also, managing to be incredibly socially awkward.

The driving couple (who took turns) were hilarious. They were both were incredibly lovely but would occasionally switch to French when bickering or Arabic if it got any more intense. Both being ‘back seat drivers’, their arguments were always very typical “you're driving too slow”, “you're such a reckless driver, let me take over”, “I’m tired, can we switch?”, “what do you mean? You just asked to drive!” It was just wholly awkward.

Worst still, was when we returned to the car after the ferry ride and the driver, and only key holder of the car keys, went AWOL. We held up lines and lines of people on the ferry as we were at the front, and locked out. Cars, vans and coaches beeped at us whilst I tried my best to hide my face. Ten minutes later, he arrives, claiming he was on the toilet. Of course, the next half hour of the journey the car was filled with an argument in Arabic, with exaggerated hand gestures, whilst I tried so hard to stifle my laughter.
In the end, we finally reached our destination with less than ten minutes to spare until the start of the concert, as soon as we paid them, my friend and I disappeared.

Note to self: next time, bring ear plugs.

L Mekonen

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