Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Appropriate footwear

Today was an exceptionally soggy day in London. Usually London rain comes in the form of a light drizzle, which whilst irritating, still allows people to go about most of their daily business without requiring a brollie. But today, the rain decided to fall hard enough to create puddles everywhere. By the time I got into work, my feet were almost soaked. Wet feet are possibly one of these worst ways to start your day (short of the horror of finding a long queue at the coffee store)

Anyway, if this was New York, everyone would be in their wellies. Stylish girls would be in their pastel coloured Hunters or Marc Jacobs wellies. And even the not-so-stylish girls would be in appropriate footwear. (I didn't stay long in NY enough to acquire a pair of these myself, but I certainly had my eye on a pair of baby blue Hunters.)

Now, London being a city which experiences more annual rainfall than NY, why don't people wear appropriate footwear around? Is it because Londoners inherently don't like making life easier for themselves, preferring to have the pleasure of moaning about wet feet instead?

It does seem as though the English pride themselves on a stoicism which on the one hand, represents great tolerance and endurance. However, this pride also allows for self-indulgence in the form of constant moaning about things not working, instead of them getting off their arses to get it done.

People tend to take on the character of the city they live in, or vice versa. Before I left London, I was definitely feeling defeated even before having tried and was ever so weary. This time around, I am feeling revived and energetic and ready to take on this city all over again. But it will be change in small steps and I will pick my battles this time, wearing the appropriate footwear of course!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

2nd post

2 posts in one day after 3 months of radio silence?! Wow, this must be your lucky day! I will have to confess that the double-posting is a little more self-interested than that.

The Flatmate still isn't home. I am wondering if I should call the police yet. His last text message did read
"Sorry for not calling. I had an intense night. I come back tomorrow." Well, at least he's getting some whilst the rest of us (ok, me) are not getting any.

So I am home alone and getting bored waiting for my movie to download from iTunes. (And FYI, there are two versions of the movie Sabrina. You should only watch the 1954 version starring Audrey Hepburn. Watch the 1993 version only if you are Calista Flockhart and are actually in a relationship with Harrison Ford.)

And finally I am trying to get a boy out of my mind. A boy I met only last night at a house party. A boy with whom the conversation started with me telling him he should lie about himself when meeting new people to keep himself entertained if they were exceedingly dull or to keep them entertained if they were exceedingly interesting. For the rest of the night, I was not sure if he was lying in the first place and if he was, if it was for the former or latter reason. Anyway, as I have had so little to do today and my mind so otherwise unoccupied, snippets of our conversation from last night come back to me at random moments. And I realise that amidst all the lying and joking, actually there was a fair amount of honesty. And it's that mixture of lies and the truth which has intrigued me, enough to want to see him again. And I am annoyed that the Boy didn't ask me for my number even after he'd leaned in to kiss me goodnight in the cab. So annoyed that I am going to set up lunch this week with our mutual friend to make it happen. Boy gets my number, we go out on a date, fall madly and wildly in love with each other and live happily ever after. Yes I am losing it.

OK, hope this post has offered me enough catharsis to not come back for a third helping...

April 27th

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, I just arrived in NY, fresh from a month-long break and full of hope and promise about life in NY. This time this year, no month-long break but here I am, back in London, full of hope and promise about life in London.

Not going into details about why I decided to move back, but I think overall London offers a more sustainable pace long-term. And please, I offer no guarantees on where I will be this time next year.

So to follow up on a couple of things...

1) Eligible men in London - Hmmm, this one hasn't quite worked out. Eligible Bachelor 1 turns out to be a commitment-phobe possibly also with a fear of letting people get close. Eligible Bachelor 2 has taken a leave of absence and will only be back in London in August. And Eligible Bachelor 3, we are probably better off as friends. So if you know of any other eligible men in London, I scrub up well, am able to make fairly interesting/funny conversation and can tell my martinis from my whiskeys. Do let me know!

2) I now have a flatmate in London. He's French, Jewish and most definitely a ladies' man. At the time of writing, he was last seen getting ready to go "hunting" and that was about 48 hours ago. He will definitely be an entertaining flatmate...

3) In the past year away, I actually grew closer to a couple of my friends in London than when I was actually in London. Talk about absence makes the heart grow fonder. Anyway, now that I am back, I have managed to catch up with most of my friends. Some of them have moved on, getting married or settling into very long-term relationships. And whilst they remain interesting people and good friends, they're ermm...kinda...less fun to hang out with. So I am on the look-out for new friends in London too. If you know of any interesting and fun singles in London, do let me know!

4) Boy have I missed the English capacity to take the piss! Being back here made me appreciate the English self-deprecating sense of humour more than ever.

5) The restaurant scene around Bayswater has improved like 300-fold! And that is significant given that they already had Gold Mine* when I left for NY. There is now a great little Italian takeaway joint, Arancina, which has fresh pastas and pizzas. There is Bodean's, a great American-styled ribs joint. There's Cafe Anglais, Rowley Leigh's latest venture after Kensington Place. And there is Hereford Road, which has been touted as the St John of the West. Hardly surprising given the chef (Tom Pemberton) used to work there and the menu is strikingly similar. But I have a lot more confidence in the place as it occupies a great space in a very good location; I think it will mature into a very fine restaurant which I will be proud to call 'my local'.

And last one for today, in a NY-LON comparison, London flats seem to be poorly heated or poorly built for heat conduction. I'm freezing!

* In my opinion, the best Chinese restaurant in London.