03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004
Sorry I didn't post yesterday, it was busy and I was tired.
It feels like I've been here for a long time, and even reading over my last blog post there's I can see there's lots of new info to add.
Shortly after making that previous post (so the first day I was here) I got a beer at the hostel's bar (guiness of course, £2.50) I had a couple pints and watched Kill Bill vol. 2 in the bar here, because that's what they were showing. When it ended and I went up stairs I met my two roomates here at the hostel for the first time.
They're two Norweigian girls, they're nice, but one of them had just been robbed like half an hour previously! Some asshole literraly stole her purse out from under her. They were understandably upset so we went to a pub and had some beer.
Anyways after that I slept and then it was onto day 2.
I started yesterday by going to the Temple Churtch, a small chuch built by the Knights Templar like 900 years ago. I took enough photos to make the camera run out of batteries, so after a quick run back to Bayswater station and the Hostel to grab more batteries it was time to once again go to the British museum. I Spent some time wandering around there, it was pretty good. They've got some intensley cool stuff, though I was dissapointed the medival gallery was closed due to renovations. After a few hours I went to meet my two roomates outside St. Pauls cathedral. We grabbed a few photos of the exterior of the building before crossing the millenium bridge and visting the Tate Modern gallery.
In the evening we hung out in our room and drank wine and beer.
Today I got up nice and early and decided to see as much as I could.
I started by going to the Natural history museum, where I spent £8 to see animitronic dinosaurs. It turns out robots that cost a crapload of money to see are actually less interesting than the free fossils! The british Natural History museum has a lot of casts of various fossils, once of which is an Albertasuarus from guess where (Sam you should know this). The ROM. They have the exact same Albertasuarus as the ROM does, because they cast theirs, from ours, he even has a broken leg too!
After the Natural history museum I went to the science museum, which is very close by and looked at rockets and brains. It was cool but not the best thing I've seen.
I left the Science museum at about 12:30 and took the Tube to Westminster station, where I crossed Westminster bridge so I could go to the Imperial War Museum.
This was by far the coolest museum I've ever seen. I spent an hour in the main foyer doing nothing but wandering around slack jawed and photographing tanks, artillery and planes. Then I actually entered the museum proper! They've got a lot of really cool displays and galleries, including a comprehensive recap of D-Day, a recration of a WWI trench and a whole gallery devoted to MI5/6 and the SAS
Shit, I'm out of internet time now, I'lll post the rest of this later.
Yes, I'm still here. No, I haven't already been deported.
Still no visas from the South African consulate. I've got nothing to do for a while, also, have to wait for an English volunteer to get her visas so that we can fly down to Johannesburg together.
It's depressing to think that even if the U.S. Congress defeated GWB's planned 'surge', he could just veto it through.
Need a laugh? Check out a This Hour Has 22 Minute sketch that was BAAANNED from TV.
So Ted Kennedy said "Iraq Is George Bush's Vietnam". Which isn't fair: Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam.
Anyway speaking of politics I was involved in a long 2 and half hour General Meeting for my co-op where everyone got to have their say. Which is all great and democratic yada yada yada but perhaps not that interesting. Some people think that more power should go to that mythical entity "the people" and away from the elected Board of Directors (hey, that's me!). These people think that we're too cliquey. Now, I'd have a better defense for this if right after the meeting the Board didn't retire to a wine-fueled sauna party. Anyway while it's kinda cool that some people think I'm the establishment – out to crush the face of the masses with my iron-toed jackboot – I'm really not. Though the person who called us cliquey (who's a really great person) did lose to the machine candidate (recruited and nominated by the Board). So I guess we can wield the boots a little bit.
Also I'm in a Woman's Studies class now. I was gonna shave because I realize that the beard is a symbol of patriarchal domination (as women cannot have beards, by having one you are saying that gender differences are innate and thus ipso facto rationalizing traditional (or "traditional") gender roles). But I forgot to. So I guess I oppressed everyone. Sorry. For the first class the prof talked a bit, then we watched The Sopranos. So barring her suddenly bringing crazy back it looks like it'll be pretty slick (we're doing a paper on Fight Club and then I can do an essay analysing any cultural text. Any!!!).
Oh and in the 'weird-coincedences' file I was wearing a school-shirt (not Queen's) and than got into that school's law school. I won't name it here but it rhymes with "cistern".
I arrived in London this morning and I'm exhausted now. I left at 10:00pm toronto time and arrived at 9:00 am london time, or 4:00am toronto time. I had slept a few hours on the plane so I felt ok when I got off. It took me about an hour to finally get through the long customs line, get my bag and buy a train ticket into London proper. Another couple hours found me in the right neighborhood for the hostel I'm staying at. Unfortunatley there's two streets with the same name side by side, so it took me like fifteen minutes of wandering around to figure out where the building was. Towards the end I'd given up hope it even existed.
Shortly after getting to the hostel I turned around on got back onto the underground so I could start seeing stuff.
I have to say the Underground is a tangled mess, that delves deep beneath the surface and twists and turns to an unfathomable degree. It is also awesome! It's suprisingly easy to get the hang of, its fast and you can get anywhere. For £5.10 I got a day pass for zones 1 & 2, in other words basically all of downtown London, where everything I want to see is. That means I had unlimted travel all day for about 11 bucks, not to shabby.
The first thing I did was take a guided tour of westminster abbey. I walked on soooo many dead people. They're buried in the floors. It was pretty interesting, though I started drifiting off in the middle due to lack of sleep.
After the westmintster tour I got back on the underground and went to the British museum (after stopping to buy a ludicriously expensive cup of coffee!). I only had an hour at the museum before it closed which was too bad, but I'm going to go back later this week for sure. The place is huge, and the artifacts are incredible. There was stuff I recognized from old text books there, and the size of some of the peices was starggering.
After the museum kicked me out I just wandered around for three hours, on foot and on the underground. I'm totally exhausted now, and my feet want to fall off, but I think if I stay up for a little while longer I'll have jetlag beaten.
To endevour to stay up for another hour I'm going to get a beer now.
I will try to post again tomorrow.
I handed in my draft 1 yesterday for my big screenplay. There's a lot more to be done, but in about a week or so I'll show some of ye, if you're interested in seeing, and we could try to solve problems together.
I've been working like a madman for the last 12 days and now that I'm done, I'm sick. That happens all the time. Not just to me. I practically predicted this one.
Also, I made this deal that when I finished draft 1 I got to wear my ridiculous new shoes. The kid's gone crazy! Or I was just envious of Benji's superflashy footwear.
I was walking yesterday to school down Vaughn Road and I heard these incredibly loud sirens. I couldn't figure out where they were coming from, behind me or in front of me around the corner. The woman walking ahead of me kept checking over her shoulder to see if they were coming from behind. Her look was one of anticipation, a little giddiness. I understood fully. Firetrucks are exciting. It's not that you want people to have their houses burned down, but it's just the action and excitement of the whole thing, everyone knows that.
I saw the trucks had pulled up in front of this old folks' home and sort of lamented missing seeing them speeding and making noise. But then, they started coming in from behind me! Roaring down the street, deafeningly loud. In front of me and to the left was a little dark bird on the curb. "Little bird," thought I, with my telepathy, "Hop away from the curb and the road so that you're on the right side of me," The bird did not move. It waited until the massive, speeding red truck was twenty feet in front of it and then jumped. Into the direction of the speeding truck. It flapped into the street, clearing the height of the barrelling truck by half a foot. I saw it almost get sucked into the ladder by the sheer momentum of the gargantuan truck. "Stupid bird".
The building didn't seem to be on fire, the four trucks just sat there. There were firemen out in the street in full gear holding sledge hammers but they were just waiting for the captain to finish talking to some other guy and tell them to head back.
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE RENNY SOUL: The little bird, though, he's not uncommonly stupid. We ignore the massive thing hurtling towards us and wait until the last second to make a decision. When we do, it's usually the wrong one. And we barely escape with our lives.