The sunny view of the Embankment by the London Eye.
Today I decided to quit being a baby and go into the city on my own.
Because I usually have a male escourt (interpret that as you wish...
you know, Zach, Josh, Big Dave, Mr. Cavaille, etc...) going into a big
city with me, I don't have to worry about all the
partiarchal-society-esque conerns that I'm probably supposed to have. I
guess those things aren't real during the day anyhow, because I had
absolutely nothing to worry about. Hanging out in the city by myself
was kind of nice, actually, because I didn't have to worry about where
everyone else wanted to go, or making sure everyone was having fun, or
trying to think of something interesting to say to make people like me.
It was very freeing.
When a few of us were in Cecil Court the other day, I saw this flyer
for a "Performing Arts Book and Ephemera Fair" that sounded pretty
cool, and it only happens two days out of the year, one of which
happened to be today, also, the sun had decided to come back out, so it
was a perfect day for exploring.
A PIRATE! There were a whole bunch of those "Hey, I'm pretty much like a statue" people around here. They all had their eyes closed...?
I got off the tube at Waterloo and
walked to the Thames. Somebody British told me that since it rains so
much, when the sun comes out, so does everyone who lives in England.
This was definitely true, because as I accidentally walked a ways away
from where I was trying to go, I saw a WHOLE bunch of people, mostly
families out and about enjoying the sunshine. There were a lot of
tourists around here, also, because it's right by the London Eye. It
was happy, though, seeing everyone smiling, enjoying each other's
company. Once I figured out where I was supposed to go, I turned around
and found the Royal National Theatre, which is where the fair was being
held. I climed a few flights of stairs, and came into this theater
foyer with a bunch of little stalls of awesome stuff.
The book (and ephemera) fair in the Olivier Foyer of the Royal National Theatre. P.S. I am sick of spelling theater "theatre."
... everything was
old, and relating to theater or film somehow... old programs and
playbills, old postcards, old production stills, signatures, really
really old books.... that was the coolest part, I think. I don't know
why I get such a kick out of old books... I wanted to buy some of them
just because they are old, but they were expensive. They a lot of books
and newpaper clippings from the 30's, and some of the books were
printed in the 1800's. RIDICULOUS! I was giddy. I almost bought
something, but then I realized how expensive everything was, and what
the heck would I do with some really old fragile stuff in my suitcase,
and then I looked around me and saw that I was the only person in the
room under 50. I listened in on some of the older gentlemen's
conversations and it seemed like most of them were collectors of some
sort. So, feeling poor, I went and sat on the floor downstairs, where
there was some guy playing the grand piano in the lobby. There were a
bunch of people sitting around hanging out, and I hung around for a
little while trying to inconspicuously sort through my Lonely Planet
London book, and eat my PB&J sandwich. It was very nice and
relaxing, and made me miss hippies, and Santa Cruz. I realized I would
much rather sit in a coffee shop all day and listen to someone play
piano than run around shopping and buying expensive things.
After that I wandered around Southwark for a while. It's kind of nice
to just walk around, even though the periodic cobblestone can make it
challenging. On my way into uncertain grounds, I saw a Cornwall Pasty
stand inside the tube station (Waterloo, again, I think?). People keeps
telling me these are good, and they SO ARE! I bought a small one for
only £1.50 and it was completely satisfying. Finally I have found the
solution to a cheap lunch. Thank GOD. Then I walked around, tried to
find Borough Market, got lost, didn't find it, got lost again, and went
back to the tube station to go to Portobello Road.
Portobello wasn't as exciting as it was the first time I was there. I
think it's better to go earlier in the day, because I didn't get there
until 3:30 or 4, and a lot of people were leaving, and some of the
stands were closing up for the day. I walked around trying to find
presents for people, only to remember that the market is famous for
antiques, otherwise known as a bunch of crap you don't need. The stuff
is all really neat to look at, but I can't reason buying someone a
magnifying glass, or a really old looking walking cane, or a set of
silvery, engraved spoons. I just can't. I did buy myself a "MIND THE
GAP" shirt though. I hadn't bought anything tourist-y yet, so I figured
I'd get it out of the way before I had an opportunity to gross myself
out with such tendencies. Next time I go to Portobello Road, I'm going
to go to that cafe I keep seeing on the way out, and I'm going to sit
there, and read a book.