Friday, September 27, 2003
My next-door neighbor expressed incredulity when I couldn’t tell he wakes up drunk in the mornings. Today he woke up with shaking hands. I’ve heard about what it’s like when you get drunk in seven successive days – on the first, you’re laughing at everything, and in the middle, everything’s great, but on the seventh, you’re outside the box. It’s like everyone’s talking to each other, but you’re away from it all, looking in.
In other news, Barcadi doesn’t taste that great, and I think I’ve left a shot glass three-quarters full on someone’s bedside table alongside a tube of Aquafresh. The way you mix it, I hear, is one part Barcadi to five parts Coke. I had it without the Coke, and it was bitter. (I’ll never be a drinker. I’m still all for water.) You can still buy tobacco in loose leaf, so you have to roll it before you smoke it. Strangely, it doesn’t smell as bad as ordinary cigarettes do. Sometimes I wonder if the drink is to take the awkward out of the awkward silences, as someone mentioned. A good hangover cure, evidently, is a shot of gin, which you would think would make you more hung-over, but doesn’t, actually.
This was written at 1.45am, fresh in from the corridor outside my room that now smells of tobacco. One of us was running his finger through a lighter, and he was saying it didn’t hurt. Then again he was sitting on the windowsill. It’s one of those occasions when a furious, “Hey, you!” shouted on the street below makes you look up, the shadow of guilt in your eyes edged with annoyance.
Earlier in the evening we – another set - were out at 10.30pm to pick up a friend from Euston Station because she’d called – it was too dark to walk home safely. On the way back, there were two boys kissing outside the station. Never thought I’d see anything like it. Guess I was wrong. One of them had the I can’t believe I’m doing this in public, but this is so fun look on his face.
And then we watched the Making of Lord of the Rings that I have on my computer, and ate chocolates. And listened to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack and looked at the pictures you’ve seen. Was in friend’s room because her Internet is slightly more sane and mine isn’t, at all. But mine still disliked me, because it was exceedingly slow – and this after installing the XP patch. Couldn’t get on to MSN or ICQ, and managed to look at my LJ – one page after a ten-minute wait, that is.
Saw the London Eye (Massive, overpriced Ferris wheel at the Embankment) through the seventh-floor window! It took some effort – to us, it’s a slight thumbnail curve over a towering building in the way, but we saw it! The best way to describe what we can see of the London Eye is, “Three sparkling lights”. Attempt to See the Eye was marked by a great deal of “Where?” “There!” in grand I-Know-I’m-Looking-Right-At-It-But-Still-C
OH. Miffy – the bunny with the X for a mouth? – is not Japanese, as I’ve always assumed. Said bunny’s creator was from the Netherlands. And over there – Miffy is Nigel. Though it’s spelled Nj-Person-Who-Was-Telling-Me-Couldn’t-Re
I felt the way I did when I discovered Tweety Bird was actually a boy.
Have found two Legolas fans. Why are there so many Legolas Fanciers? One of them has a Harry Potter mug! With McGonagall, Dumbledore and SNAPE! I have a photo! ^_^ Only of the Snape side, of course. XD
Both Fanciers do not understand why I like Elrond. Neither understand why I like Snape, either. Declared that Snape was sexy at past 10pm on Euston Road. Was declared to be weird and in possession of strange taste. XD Everyone tells me that ^______^ Though one Fancier understood why Jeremy Irons. ; )
And then I came downstairs because it was past midnight, and a 1 am nightcap invite became the first paragraph you read.
So that was my first Friday night out in London, all told.
Saturday, September 28, 2003
Tonight marks the first week I’ve been in this Hall. And as I did on that first night – I didn’t sleep. It’s 12.08am now – which makes it morning. ^_^
Have discovered that everyone is awake at night.
Today the Law Faculty went to France on a drinking trip which I learnt about beforehand and thankfully missed out on. They don’t say it’s a drinking trip, but that is what it is. You get up at 7am to go to France, visit a hypermarket, and drink yourself silly till you get back at midnight. Met a girl named Indiana in the washroom. Before that, I was invited to take a look at what a fellow Law faculty mate on this floor had brought home from France. I was expecting alcohol, but what met my eyes was a huge supermarket trolley, taking up about a third of the room’s floor space, and a “Caution: Wet Floor” cone. The Spoils of France. And apparently this wasn’t the only supermarket trolley they brought back. Two other trolleys are with the other Hall down the road. “How did you bring this up the bus?” asked an incredulous I, for they were all on a chartered bus. “The bus drivers were really nice!” I was told. “They helped us cart them up!”
Met up with risax today. It was almost indescribably good to see her. We walked from Tottenham Court Road to Leicester Square, and then on to Regent Street. We had a massive squee attack in (anyasy, homura, c_dreamcatcher, and SW - I know risax does not squee, but this is the closest I can get) when we checked out the shops. You will be pleased to learn that Asia is not alone in possessing Ghastly Bubble Tea flavors. We found not only a shop that sold bubble tea, but a shop that sold Papaya and Milk-Flavoured Bubble Tea. Papaya.. And you can find unbelievable things in Chinatown. We found shops selling durians. risax said she’d never been happier to see a durian. We found a shop selling you tiao - fried dough sticks - and soya bean curd. We found White Rabbit sweets. We found Yeo’s drinks and sauces. We found ondeh-ondeh. We found wonton skins. And chye sim. And bok choy. And the strange thing is that it does comfort you. We found dumplings. Wrapped in pandan leaves. We found Louis Cha wuxia comics. And in a provision store we ran into a man from Singapore, who told us how he came from there in 1969. And we heard Paya Lebar, Ang Mo Kio and Jurong from someone we didn’t know. We were made to share a table at the Chinese restaurant we had lunch at, to discover that our table-mates were Singaporeans, one of whom was from our junior college, and one was going to risax’s university.
Came back to the hall and inflicted Moulin Rouge on three people. One of whom was cuddling my Nemo as we watched the show. She’s Romanian, and tonight we talked about Christmas in America and visiting Auschwitz (which is in Poland) in the same half-hour. The other was a Legolas Fancier, who agrees with me that Ewan is at his most gorgeous in Moulin Rouge. The third was the Italian postgraduate student who told me that the alley behind our hall sold crack, insists he attended university with the Beatles, went clubbing with Stalin (who was the friend of a friend), and that the Pope was managing the Milanese company he worked at. I am not making this up, but I surmise he is. Now we suspect whether his name really is what he told us it was.
Ran into a guy on my floor, who, when told that I was studying Law, informed me that I wouldn’t be a good lawyer. When I asked him why, he asked me if I was cold and cruel. *wry smile* Next-door neighbor with the tobacco emerged from his room, and said, “She’s so nice!” Next-door-neighbor’s friend also emerged, and said, “Spend ten minutes with her, and you’ll know.”
Oh yes, the Internet, and Why I Still Am Not On. First it was a problem with the software – XP, apparently, does not agree with our ISP. So I went down to the Helpdesk and procured the last English-language copy of the Installation Pack. Then the connecting cable became wedged in the wall socket. I unscrewed the socket with a hairpin, to discover that the wiring was hopelessly mangled, and that I’d need an electrician to get it fixed. Reported it, and was told, “See Office” on a Friday afternoon. On enquiry, I discovered that the office would only be open again on Monday, despite the fact that the Bursar of this Hall lives in this very building. A chance conversation last night with a girl whose telephone socket was similarly ruined enlightened me to the fact that I needed to call the telephone company personally to get them to fix the line. Which the Hall had neglected to tell me. I did so, and was told that they would take down my details, refer the problem to the electricians, who would then call me to schedule an appointment time before coming down. I have serious doubts if they will be able to get me at all, as I’m out in the University. I also have serious doubts if they will materialize at all, since the girl with the telephone problem has been ignored for three days. Am seriously beginning to consider kidnapping an electrician and dragging him back to my Hall, but am told that electricians would not want to handle another company’s issues. At this rate I will be extremely lucky if I regain Internet access in a month. I will still have LJ, through my university’s computers, but that is about the end of it. Still, the Saga Continues! Reconnecting will be met with violent squee-age, and my never logging off. Ever.
My father tells me this is a good way of treating my Internet addiction.
< angst > He doesn’t understand me. < / angst >
Sunday, September 28, 2003
We have brunch on weekends, which simply means that breakfast is served at 11.30am. Did my laundry for the first time today. Was told that “because this is Britain”, the laundry machines have two slots for coins of different sizes. Unfortunately, discovered this only after I’d fed the machine more money than it needed. One cycle of drying doesn’t get clothes dry, either. Did not think of putting it through another cycle until a friend suggested it, at which I was *thwaps self*. Also, only discovered how to operate the four different dryers, which are placed two atop two, by spinning someone else’s laundry a second time. He paid me, though. *meeps*
Went down to Camden Town with a hall-mate, today. Spent a great deal of time at Woolworths, which was a good thing, as it rained when we were not in. Saw Frodo and Gollum socks. Will evilly get them for homura and c_dreamcatcher. Camden has gorgeous gothic dresses. Think Galadriel. It has basques and corsets that make you think Moulin Rouge. The Camden Market and Camden Lock areas had police patrols, and there was a distinct sense of Something Dodgy This Way Comes, and a very real The Weird Starts Here divide. You see people with orange fur coats, pink dreadlocks, and more piercings than I ever thought was possible on a single human face.
Camden Town. There are mushrooms there for hobbits, but only of the hippie variety. Yep, they’re Magic Mushrooms. Advertised as such. Psilocybin and recreational drugs. We saw lurid green cannabis lollies. And people actually eating them. As well as flavored tobacco wrappers.
Saw a mug that said, “I do what I shouldn’t” at a gift shop. *sneakiness* Also a mug which my hall-mate advised I get for my corridor-mates, which said “F___ this F____ that”. Which I must admit is appropriate.
On the way back, we ran into a lovely man and his grandson Patrick, who was half-Chinese, but 100% cute. “200%!” said the grandfather, after I voiced my 100% opinion. I had to agree. The kid was adorable. He sung the Barney song to us. *glances at ranchelle - Prophetic, you are.* Grandfather insisted I have a bit of English in me, despite hall-mate’s protestations to my parentage. It’s the scarlet in my face, he says.
We walked from 3pm to 6pm, and strangely, didn’t feel the distance. And you do get warm when you walk. Came back in time for dinner. I remember last night’s dinner, where Stalin’s Clubbing Friend insisted that the meatballs were made from Man’s Best Friend. Did not eat them. Yay.
So many people are breaking up in my hall. Down our corridor this week, being the first week of university, there are two break-ups. One happened to a guy who lived down the hall from me. He said he’d changed so much in the week he’d been at university.
Ended up in a room with a television, watching the end of American Pie. Was offered a glass (think the kind you use to brush your teeth with) full of red wine. The trick, as the Fool said, is to take sips. I think I drank 2% of the glass’ contents. Then there was Boudica, after that. I’m all for modernizing classics to make them understandable, but I think there are more refined ways for Nero to tell his commanding general that his theories are “a piece of s__t”.
The oldest students I’ve met here are in the forties, but a guy down the hall is taking War Studies at King’s, and he tells me that there is a man in his class who actually fought in the Second World War. In his year, the oldest students are in their eighties. Amazing. That’s one reason Britain is lovely. That is so cool.
Down my corridor lives a Ronald Reagan and Star Wars fan. Who also likes Hitchcock. Cool.
My hall-mates have known me for one week and they’re already telling me to stop worrying. (It must be obvious.)
The Worst Moments of Being Here – The youngest sibling calls it the “sense of things not being right”. risax is right, though. She says what gets her through is thinking of our immigrant forefathers, who came to what we now call home with absolutely nothing – without their families, without money, without a place to stay. She says, and she is right, that we have everything they never had. We don’t need to worry about food, or where to stay, or about having to find work. And back then, they didn’t even have the Internet, or telephones, and most of them couldn’t even read or write. I never thought of it that way, but it’s important to put things in perspective.
It does get tough without the Internet, though. I never thought I would miss my friends so much. Or my family.
Still, I have it now! *waves* Though only during weekdays, it would seem.
Have heard that the Internet cafe opposite my Hall has MSN. *determined expression* Will go.