Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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London 2

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After a slow start in the day, well after Chiho and Dave had gone off to work, I made my way into London again. This time, first having a look at Hampstead which Dave suggested as being nice and made a fine walk to start the day with. It's quite posh though, judging from what they sell in many of the little shops there and the cars they park in the residential areas.

Then I went to walk about around Portobello Road, enjoying the shops and the market there. It occurred to me that this is the part of London where Paddington Bear plays and I was quite pleased by that, having been a big fan of Paddington ever since I first read the books when I was little.

Another not-quite-random coincidence was that there is the Rough Trade record store just off Portobello Road. It's not particularly large but the choice of records is fine and I could've easily spent several times the money I had on me there. Having in mind my bank account and the fact that Ryanair only has a 15kg luggage allowance, I left it at 3 LPs, though (The Four Corners, The Datsuns and The Delgados – have to stop buying bands that start with 'The'...).

Wanting to get more down town, I saw there is a bus going along the popular roads (Notting Hill Gate -> Paddington -> Edgeware Road -> Oxford Street -> Regent Street -> ...) and I got on it. Unfortunately there was a large group of girls having a big argument on the bus and the driver refused to proceed unless they stopped, which they didn't. There was a lot of very aggressive shouting and swearing going on. At some stage they threatened to have each other stabbed, which was about when I started feeling a bit uncomfortable. At that stage the driver had decided to take a cigarette break and everybody but the shouting girls got off the bus, catching the next one which arrived shortly after.

Once the bus reached Oxford Street, it basically stopped moving – even with the new Congestion Charge big-brother system they have apparently being a success. The whole road was full with red buses with the occasional black cab squeezed between them. I was faster after getting off the bus and going on by foot. Judging from the shops on those streets, all people ever do is buy clothing (and occasionally perfumes and jewelry). I had hoped to find a large bookstore, which I didn't.

Soon afterwards I already headed back to Chiho and Daves flat, doing a bit of shopping before I returned. As Dave was having a work dinner, Chiho showed me how to make sushi and the nice omelette-style egg filling they sometimes have and I hope I can reproduce it in a way that is approximately as nice as what we had. In exchange I showed her how to make an apple cake. (Why aren't electric hand-held mixers not popular outside Germany? They are tremendously useful little machines)

March 18, 2003, 23:28

Tagged as country:uk, travel, UK.

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