Upon arrival in London, my roommate Sara met me at the door of our hotel room. After my long flight from Vancouver, our room was a welcome oasis – filled with aromatherapy body washes and a comfortable bed with crisp white sheets. But, sleep was illusive and in retrospect I should have taken Sara’s offer of a sleeping pill. It did however give me the opportunity to watch her sleep all night, something I haven’t done since she was a little girl. There was a moment (which I resisted) when I thought I should check to see if she was still breathing – something I would have done when she was a baby.
The next morning, after a very restless night, I set off to do the hop on hop off bus tour of London. That was definitely the best way to see the city by the way. It was a nice sunny day, which everyone kept telling me was very rare and I enjoyed myself completely.
I arrived back at the hotel just after dinner to our waiting tour bus. The honeymoon was over. I always thought there were special buses for famous people who travel on tour. When I try to imagine Lady Gaga and her mom leaving London on a tour bus, I can’t quite imagine them rolling into their bunks for the night across the aisle from each other. But this was NOT what I was thinking about in the early moments that night when I joined the band and crew of the Tegan and Sara tour on their double decker bus. It also wasn’t on my mind when a rush of anxiety swept my nervous system as I realized my sleeping bunk had no window, was super low to the ground and was very, very small. Of note: I sleep in a king sized bed at home. After a very supportive coaching session by my girls on how to get into my bunk, I climbed in to their amusement. I was STILL not yet imagining what Gaga might have said to her mom to reassure her that she would eventually adjust to the bunk (and the offending smells of the bus toilet). As I laid in my bunk for the first time I was decidedly much more self-absorbed than that. My concerns of the moment were that my carry on bag – which I insisted on having on the bus – was taking up a full seat in the back lounge and that sadly my PJ’s were still in my suitcase in the bay of the bus, far beyond my reach. As we drove out of London (with a good amount of lunging and lurching) I was thinking about how to get through the first evening without saying something too “mom like” or tripping and falling in front of all the crew. So when I did eventually roll into my bunk without too much whinging and whining and no sudden falls, I was relieved to pull my curtain and read.
Of course, this leads to the important part of the story – why Gaga and her mom? Well, moments after getting settled into my bed, I heard something fall behind the wall of my bunk. With no time to imagine a possible giant bed bug family living just millimeters away, Sara called down from her bunk above me for me to hand up her fallen phone. It however, was not in my bunk but behind the wall. Within a few seconds Sara was referring to her phone as “Baby Jessica” (of Baby Jessica who fell into the well fame). Sara reported that “Baby Jessica” had dropped through the window ledge down into the “well” of the bus. There was a lot of supportive reassurance and much digging around when it was decided I would need to clear my bunk for a possible window well/bunk deconstruction. This is when I learned that apparently, the back lounge can be configured into a queen bed should you be travelling with a star – e.g. Lady Gaga. It seems there are no stars on this tour and tonight one less phone will be providing comfort and connection to loved ones who aren’t lucky enough to be sleeping in bunks nearby. My first night on the bus proved to be quite entertaining and action packed. As I fell asleep, I couldn’t help but hope every night wouldn’t be quite as dramatic.