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Can you feel the beat?

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Buffy hated London. It was nothing like she had expected it to be when her parents had presented her the idea to spend two semesters aboard.

Of course, now that her parents had both new lovers, the idea to enlarge her horizon was mostly based on the idea to have her out of their way. And she had really not been sorry about it. Not that her parents really had ever cared about her. Not in the loving kind of way. As long as she brought halfway decent grades at home she could be sure that she got everything she wanted and that her golden Amex never rushed into a debt.

And hadn’t had the idea to spend a year in Europe sounded so exciting. And London, yeah London, known to be a hotspot for new trends and also for some kind of cool music, though often both not being really her style. She was a Californian Valley-girl from tip to her glamorous high-heeled toes. And she did not intend to change any of this. BUT EUROPE! LONDON!

Paris would be just a flight of one and a half hours away and she had been sure that Cordelia and Harmony would turn into willing murderers if they could get their manicured nails on such an opportunity. Since junior high the three of them had been the uncontested queens of first high school and now UCLA.

How should it be any different? Jeez, if somebody thought ‘Clueless” was a fashion-statement-movie they hadn’t seen Queen-Bee Buffy and her following Queens. They were the living incarnation of exquisite fashion taste and beauty sense.

But now she was stuck in stuffy Notting Hill, London. Everything and everyone was, simply said, stiff. Same for the university she attended. Who could have guessed that she had to wear a uniform? A school uniform! Just for a university.

And who would consider tennis and rowing to be acknowledged sports? Whereas football was regarded as a degenerated ‘Yankee’ sport! And on top, one only for ‘sissies’ as real men were playing soccer or rugby. The former being called football here. Go with the confusing.

And even worth, cheerleading was obviously not regarded as any kind of sports at all. Since her arrival, she had completely stopped to mention that she had been the captain of the UCLA cheerleader squat. As it either got her pitiful glances or a debate about women’s rights or even worse comments how she could be so oblivious to being sexualized to a brainless, quoting here ‘bimbo’ that presents her body to cheer to testosterone loaded men.

Those limeys had simply no idea what cheering for a winning team was all about. How important it was to heat up the crowed that was fevering for the team she was cheering and to fuel the players. Not to mention that you had to be a top athlete to get all the acrobatic elements perfectly in place. Doing this required years of training and also a will to keep on a diet. Getting to heavy would immediately erase her privilege to be one of the diving cheerleaders.

However, this was the cause when she really had started to feel lonely.

And the London weather in late autumn did any to help with that mood. Not to mention that she would have lost her bronze Californian tan already if she wouldn’t have become a frequent customer of Halid’s Sun and Beauty Parlor. Which was really a poor excuse of a L.A. beauty parlor. But they allowed her to go on the sun bench as often as she liked and also were capable of a decent mani-pedi.

So yeah, she was now stuck in that misty, stiff suckhole of London and had not, since her arrival, really found anybody on the same wavelength she was swinging on. Not that she would ever give herself away to Cordelia or Harmony that London and Europe really sucked. Nor would she tell her boyfriend Riley how football or cheerleading were regarded as stupid sports, if at all, in the Old World. He probably wouldn’t understand. God, even she didn’t completely.

One of the small highlights was that she was now, with eighteen, being legally entitled to drink and smoke. Not that she was much for the smoking and drinking… Beside form one mimosa at a classy weekend brunch with her mom.

Yeah, but apparently British people were not so into brunch culture and mimosas. And there was no way that she would set her feet into some of those sticky, stinky pubs, that could be found at every corner and where beer was served in pints and people were chain smoking and took pleasure in betting and bellowing at TV broadcasts of soccer games and playing darts.

But tonight hold the small promise to be a highlight. Geez, how low have I gone to consider this a highlight?

However, it was Saturday and she was going out!

And to her own surprise she was really excited.

The more it had become clear that she didn’t fit into the boarding school folk the less she had attempted to initiate anything that in the slightest way could be called a fun weekend. Not that there was any fun-time under the week.

But three weeks ago she had met Willow when she had made an exploratory trip to Camden lock. Not that she was really thrilled about it, but as it was mentioned in every tourist guide Buffy had decided that it was an obligation to have seen it once. And to later gossip about how great shopping at underground labels could be. Even if she was faking it. As she had entered the area, she simply had been overwhelmed.

Camden lock had turned out to be a maze of buildings with big shops, small booths, stairs and open areas. She just had stopped in an inner courtyard, watching some Jamaicans, behind an improvised bar, opening coconuts with machetes while another guy was spitting fire with the rum they sold when Willow had bumped into her, spilling coconut water all over her Ralph Laurent dress.

Buffy had been really pissed off, but the way how Willow had apologized and invited her to a coffee and bagel with cream and salmon – she had claimed to know the best bagel shop in Camden Town and she definitely had not been lying – brought them closer together.

Willow was what you would call a new-age addict. She was all into crystals and incense sticks and astrology and what not. And she called herself a Wicca. Up to now Buffy had not found the courage to asked what a wicca was, she just had nodded and throw her a look that hopefully displayed knowledge as Willow had revealed this obviously shady secret.

Willow lived in a flat she shared together with Oz, who was her ex and now her best buddy – Buffy had no idea how such a thing could function at all – and Anya, an exchange student form Scandinavia.

Enough with too much think-y and self-pity Buffy! she scolded herself. Right now she was standing in said flat’s bathroom. Squished together with Willow and Anya in front of the mirror and getting ready for something Willow and Anya called a rave.

Buffy had never been to a ‘rave’, but as far as she understood it was a party with lots of music and drinks. She just worried about the fact it taking place in some of the run-down districts of London. Although Willow and Anya had reassured her that it had to be that way to be good.

And yeah, eventually going to a real party with real dancing since she had arrived here would be of the good. I’m so gonna be the party queen of tonight!