Thursday, October 18, 2007

New York on Crack

Haha so... i stumbled upon this blog entry that i wrote my 2nd day in London. My oh my how things have changed...

I hate London. Ok perhaps that’s a bit harsh, but after spending 3 glorious days in beautiful Paris, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed by London. The streets, traffic, and pace definitely remind me of Manhatten. Same guys pushing newspapers and flyers into your hands, the same magazine and tourist stands everywhere, the same f-ing Starbucks at every corner. Oh btw, that’s where I am right now, Starbucks. Sad huh? In my defense, it appears to be the closest coffee shop, and I was hoping to steal wireless somewhere here. Unfortunately there is none to be stolen. Pas gratuis! So this is being written on WORD to be posted later on the blog if I ever get internet access in this godforsaken city.

Monday morning, I met Claudia for a final rendezvous at our local café. She gave me my flea market treasures from the day before, and I recounted my evening spent finding Madame Patel and her fabulous pashminas in the Latin Quarter, getting the world’s best falafel (and gosh, it really IS the best), and walking down Rue de Rivoli to the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, etc. It was a beautiful night, and I must admit that I got a bit sad from it all. My love affair with Paris has only gotten more intense, and I can’t wait to return. It’s not that I don’t want to see all the other beautiful and equally wonderful cities here in Europe; it’s just that Paris is magic and sort of feels like home. Weird huh? Maybe I was French in a former life. Anyway, after 2 café crèmes and a delicious hot baguette stuffed with fried egg, cheese, and tomato, I decided to make a mad dash for a beautiful paper store Claudia insisted I visit. We mapped out our route and were quickly on our way. Thankfully it was open, and I bought a beautiful wax stamp/sealer, pink wax, and a few other French treasures. If I had more time, there’s no doubt I would’ve spent a mini fortune in there! After bidding adieu to Claudia, I was back on the metro to the Marais and in about 10 minutes, managed to pack and drag my ridiculous luggage down to the street where my cab was waiting. Successfully arrived at the Gare du Nord, struggled to get up to the Eurostar entry, went through all the crap you have to get through to board the damn train, and luckily met a really nice English couple who helped me with my bags. On the train I sat across from 2 English sisters who quickly became new friends. They told me where to go, what to be wary of (the minicabs who ask you over and over, “you want taxi??”, and just how expensive London is, and before I knew it, we had arrived at Waterloo. They helped me with my 120 lbs of luggage down the street, I got in the “queue” for a taxi, and was finally on my way to 168 Drummond St. Good Lord traffic in London is an absolute nightmare. After checking in with the dorm, I was led to my 3rd floor flat (with no elevator, yay 120 lbs of luggage) and once inside my bedroom (if you can even call it that), I got tres depressed. I knew it was a dorm, but COME ON! It’s a prison cell with stained ceilings and walls, a scary carpet on which I’m afraid to walk barefoot for fear of contracting some sort of horrible disease, and the world’s most hideous curtains in the world. I know I sound like a brat, but after the loveliness of all that is Paris, i was pretty grossed out. The first thing I did was light candles and incense (the smell of must doesn’t agree with me) and rip off the hideous curtains. Ah – much better already. After Clorox wiping down my surfaces and febrezing the crap out of my mattress (which btw is really just a 4 inch thing with horrible coils that dig into your back), I put my warm and cozy Hello Kitty sheets on the bed and started to set up house. I rearranged the furniture a bit, but I’m still not crazy about the bed’s location. You see, my room is the weirdest shape ever and no corner is 90 degrees, so the bed placement is a bit… tricky. After a bit of progress, I quickly realized that I needed to head out to the store asap. Found my way to Boots, where I bought a few toiletries and wipes, then to Sainsbury’s for cleaning supplies, and then to Habitat for pillows, a bath rug, and hand towel. I’m still in need of a bath towel, but Habitat was just way too expensive as it is. Damn the pathetically low American dollar!!! By the time I arrived back to the flat, Sam and Martha were there, and we caught up a bit. I then spent the next few hours diligently working at my room, unpacking and attempting to transform it into something warm and livable. After throwing a few pashminas here and there, lighting beaucoup candles, and covering surfaces with my various books and beautiful odds and ends from the Paris flea markets, it looks a bit better. I still need to fashion some sort of curtains for the window, desperately need a comforter as I woke up last night frozen and then proceeded to call my Mum and cry about it, and other necessities like, um, pots and pans, plates, bowls, cups, and silverware. We have nothing. It’s sad, really. Luckily the kitchen is sizable so I can do some cooking in there.

So, okay, my first night in London was less than spectacular, but I am trying to be optimistic. This morning I woke up at the butt crack of dawn, made tea, took a hot shower, and headed out for breakfast and wifi. Breakfast I got, wifi I did not. I’m going to hit a few shops on the way home, and then get ready for Orientation at 10. Thankfully the only mandatory part of Orientation today is a meeting in the morning, so I’m going to skip out on the optional coach tour through London and familiarize myself with the tube and buy blankets!

Till later, darlings. Kiss kiss.

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