Thursday, May 27, 2010

London, innit (Day One)

So let me continue the story of my travels. My last post on that topic, I had just arrived in London, at Marble Arch. Marble Arch is just near Hyde Park, and who would have thunk, it's a big arch made from marble.

When I was at the airport, the lady told me it wouldn't be too far to walk to Trafalgar Square. She told me to take Oxford Street, then on to Regent Street...just like in Monopoly. My plan had been to get to all the places from the Monopoly board, you can actually do Monopoly bar crawls, but I didn't get the time to do that.

After walking a while, and consulting my map, I decided it was going to be better to get on the Tube. The Tube system is actually amazing, it's rare to wait more than three minutes for a train. So I got on at Oxford Circus, then got off a couple of stops later at Charing Cross.

I had organised from the other side of the world to meet up with Matt Bailey, he was one of my roommates at Worlds in Berlin last year. We had a great room at the Hostel XBerger, just a few steps from the event site. On this trip I decided not to take a phone, nor had I had the chance to check the internet and Matt was coming from Cambridge, so I hoped for the best that we would be able to meet.

I hadn't been able to check the internet, if I had I would have noticed a message on Facebook letting me know I had a little bit more of a wait ahead. We were due to meet at Trafalgar Square, so I wandered around there for a while. I had my big bag and everything, so I wasn't so keen to carry that very far.

It was getting to the point where I was wondering what to do, these people asked me to take their photo, it turned out they were from Brisbane, it later appeared EVERYONE in London is from Australia or New Zealand. Just as I was taking their photo, Matt arrived, we were ready for action.

We started kicking, it was freezing cold. Far too cold to be playing in short shorts. I kept on my long sleeve shirt. When I arrived that morning they said "welcome to London Stansted airport, it's one degree". I don't think it was a whole lot warmer once we started kicking.

Neither of us played that great, however it was good to get in a kick, especially so soon in my trip. Matt was very busy with uni, so it was lucky I could meet him at all. We were both trying some new tricks. The session was a lot more about trying new stuff, rather than hitting long runs, there was definitely not a lot of long strings.

For my last trick, I had been trying a new move for a while, and I finally got it, right on the buzzer.

Unfortunately I dropped the handcatch...

We kicked for a fair while actually, considering the outside temperature. During the kick some guy talked to us about doing some kind of demonstration at a launch of his new clothing score. He talked like he thought he was Dizzee Rascal or someone, and I think he was full of rubbish. He got Matt's number though, so you never know.

After the kick, we went to a nearby purveyor of fine ales, my first experience in an English pub. Matt doesn't drink, but it was a nice warm place to sit, so I'm sure he didn't mind. We chatted about what we had been up to, almost a year has already passed since Worlds. Eventually it was time to go, back to the Underground, and I was heading in the direction of my friend Dan's place.

Dan and I go right back to Bega High, then he had a stint living on my loungeroom floor in Canberra, so it was time for me to return the favour. I had to head to East Acton, which is on the Central line. It involved just one line change, and I managed to get there without any hassles. Once again, I had organised for the meeting from the other side of the world, and once again I had a little while to wait.

Dan met me and we went back to his place. He lives with an unknown quantity of other people, at a guess there were maybe 11 people staying while I was there. Not everyone was living there, but each person would have a guest staying for a few nights. The best part was that every time somebody came home, they would bring more beer. Perfect!

So the first night, there wasn't much on. Everyone was quite happy to hang out at the house. There are four couches there, which was almost enough to fit everybody staying there. Somebody put on the movie 9 Songs.

According to IMDB

In London, England, love blooms between an American college student, named Lisa, and a British glaciologist, named Matt, where over the next few months in between attending rock concerts, the two lovers have intense sexual encounters.

So that's the story. This couple watches a band at the Brixton Academy or somewhere like that, then they have sex. Then it moves on to the next band. I think I fell asleep two songs in. Dan set up a blow up mattress in his room, that was my abode for the next week or so.

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Daniel is now living in Santiago de Chile. You can find some more writing at I Love Chile

Recent Issues of Capital Eyes zine:

Issue 12- Sticky's Target 168: Russia
Issue 11- Yoko Oh No, Elysian
Issue 10- Break Even, Alexisonfire (reprints)
Issue 9- Jerkstore, Ruiner, To The North
Issue 8- 4 Dead, Dangers
Issue 7- Polar Bear Club, Jungle Fever