After my mom’s great visit for our wedding, we planned where to go on our honeymoon. So where would a professional football player and an exile from the English language decide to go on their honeymoon?
For a Canadian, going to England is not complicated. You just have to show up at Customs with a Canadian passport. For a Cameroonian, it requires an application, a $100 payment and an interview. I felt like we’d won the lottery when William got his passport back and they’d given him a six-month visitor’s visa.
We arrived in England on November 8, 2005 and set out for our flat in Barking, East London . . . very, very east. The flat was very charming and much cheaper than getting a hotel. Seven days accommodation only cost 185 GBP. Eventually, we moved to something right in London, near Victoria Station. It was, of course, more expensive, but we did save some money with our reduced transportation costs.
We didn’t do much tourist-y stuff in London. I finally got to see the mummy exhibit at the British Museum. It had been off limits the last time I was in London in 1999. I had a lovely visit to the Tate Modern, which was a new building for me to see. William and I also went to the London Zoo for my birthday (November 23rd). It’s a relatively small zoo, but has some pretty impressive big cats and a family of lowland gorillas. From the map outside the gorilla enclosure, we think they may have been from Cameroon.
William also had distant family and some family friends that we could visit while we were there. We even went to an African nightclub with two friends one Friday night. The dancing brought back fond memories of our wedding reception.
While we were in London we continued a conversation that had started before we left Cameroon. Due to other factors, but mostly inspired by my new pregnancy, we had been discussing whether I should stay in Cameroon or return to Canada for pre-natal care. We made the final decision in London that I would return to Canada and not go back to Cameroon . . . sigh.
I left London at the beginning of December to return to Toronto. William remained in England, staying with family and friends. He even met an agent who gave him some insights on the football opportunities in Europe.