um well i’m in london.
apologies to all the folks out there who must have been waiting to read about my exploits or something. it’s actually much more complicated to get on the internet here. i either have to go down to the computer lab during office hours or go to an internet cafe, where i would have to pay. oh, an the notebook i brought with me? basically worthless. the battery dies in 20 minutes, the cd rom drive got damaged in transit so it won’t stay closed, and i didn’t bring any disk drives with me. there is no way to get anything out of my computer unless i go to a place and pay £5 an hour to hook it up to their network, which is something like seven or 8 dollars.
so, that sucks. i’ll have to figure out something eventually. god knows what.
as far as everything else goes, all of us here have gone a little crazy. basically we got off the plane and began the debauchery. on friday, i drank enough liquor and beer before 3:00 PM to get me tipsy. then i went to sleep until 10 PM. (by the way, the time difference is 6 hours, so it’s six hours later here. as i’m typing this at 10:30 in the morning, it’s actually 4:30 in the morning in the US.) everyone else went out that night and came back drunk. i felt kind of crappy for having missed out, but i had been awake for 24 hours running on an hour and a half of sleep (no sleep in the plane).
on saturday, i woke up at 6:00 in the morning (i did manage to get to sleep that night at around 2 AM) and then proceeded to lock myself out of the building. that was fun.
the eating has been pretty cool here so far. on our first day we went to a pizza place the lunch special was a pizza and a beer for £4.95, and the pizza was as big as a huge dinner plate. on saturday, we went to a fish and chips place and discovered how bland and greasy british food really is. that night, we went to chinatown and picked a restaurant (i wouldn’t be able to tell you whether one of those restaurants looked any better than the other. they all looked the same to me.) anyways, i had duck with pineapple, which was really good but the meal was pretty fucking expensive – duck, friend rice, and a beer (asian tiger, which someone said they thought tasted like rice krispies) all came to around £10.
later that night, we went out to a “disco” pub called O’Neils which was packed full of drunk dancing people. i’m not sure if i liked it, really. i spent most of my time watching people, which was entertaining, but i felt kind of isolated in a crowd. this place was pretty expensive, too – £6 for cover, then every pint was £3 and above, and i bought four pints in the hour and forty-five minutes i was there. all in all that day i spent around ?40.
to put that into perspective, when i went to a money changer, i gave them $100 and received £62.
i mean, it was fun, but it was also kind of frightening to see how much money you can spend in so little time here.
sunday we had a scavenger hunt. we were split up into groups and given things to find around the city. basically the other two people in my group figured everything out and i just ran behind them. it was pretty hard to keep up, too, because they were keeping a pretty cruel pace. when it really came down to it, i didn’t really care about the prizes that much. i would rather have walked at a normal pace and actually seen the things we went to instead of running to and from them. after the scavenger hunt was over i got to talking to this girl, Erin, who i had noticed before at school. this girl is 6’2″ – taller than me – and has bright red hair. she’s also a really interesting person, although i wouldn’t really know because for some reason i spent the entire time i hung out with her talking about myself instead of really having a conversation with her. i mean, i sort of did, but i know that i just let myself go loose and i kept talking and talking and talking. ugh. i’m sure i will get the chance to talk to her again and hopefully i’ll be able to control myself this time.
on monday, a bunch of us went to a Salvador Dali exhibit, which has like 500 pieces of art, mostly lithographs as well as a few sculptures. it was AMAZING. i wanted to look at every single piece of art in the place, and probably could have spent the whole day there. it was total sensory overload. i may have to go back just to spend more time looking things over. later that afternoon, we went to this huge carnival that they have every year here called the Notting Hill Carnival. there were soooooo many people there, and the atmosphere was absolutely insane. again, i spent more time watching people than doing anything else – i didn’t really want to drink because i wanted to have my bearings – pickpockets were rife. it was kind of fun and kind of not at the same time. oh well.
shopping here is kind of interesting. things are more expensive sometimes, and they don’t have some things i’m used to. for example, cream cheese in the form i think of it isn’t the same as the spreadable cheese i bought. Dr. Pepper does not taste at all like it is supposed to. also, the way the grocery store works, they don’t seem to restock things but once a day. the baked goods are only baked very early in the morning, and if you miss out, you’re shit out of luck. that goes for a lot of things actually, which is strange because the grocery store is open 24 hours a day except sundays.
also, a lot of stores are closed on the weekends, or they close very early, especially on sundays.
i’m sure there’s more stuff i’ve forgotten, but there will be much more to write about soon enough. anyways, there you go, daniel. that’s an update.