Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Covent Garden

1 October 2005

It’s hard to believe that it’s October already, and only a month ago I was feeling like I would never get out of corporate-America-land. Today, finally, the fantastic Nicki got a day off. I slept in as late as I wanted, had a big breakfast of boiled eggs and toast, and then, once everyone who was going got ready, went into Covent Garden.

Covent Garden is my favourite part of London. I love browsing in the stalls, watching the street performers, watching people, watching my bag so I don’t get pick pocketed…ahhh. Today it was absolutely crazy though. I’m not sure if I just remembered it through the hazy rose of nostalgia, or if my brain had to block it out merely to stay sane, but Covent Garden was unbelievably crowded with people. Granted, we were there on a Saturday afternoon, but we could barely get through the stalls. Keeping track of four people, was nigh on impossible. Nevertheless, we managed to have fun. We even found the H&M store that’s right there (designer knockoffs for cheap) and I found a great London-y scarf and some knit and suede gloves for winter. I just hope they match my winter coat! The piranha metaphor for shopping is sort of overused, but…if you’ve ever stayed up ‘til 2 AM watching the Discovery Channel’s special on these lovely little fish, you’ll get a sense of what H&M was like. Here’s a tip: never come between a 15 year old Londoner and her couture. ☺

We then slipped into a nearby pub for some half pints of Stella Artois and some potato wedges to take the edge off. I love how most pubs in London have their eating area upstairs, so the food has to be delivered in a dumbwaiter, and all three stories have their little bar. Although, I sure wouldn’t want to take those stairs with a tray full of food—it’s hard enough maneuvering when you’re only carrying a rucksack! After the nibbles it was time to head to the theater…the, ah, wrong theater. Oops. I had planned on going to see a new show called Crocodile Seeking Refuge at the Lyric Hammersmith Studio only I ended up at the Lyric where Death of a Salesman was playing. By that point it was too late to get over the Hammersmith, which is why I’m typing this up now at 9:48 (or 21:48) instead of raving about a new play I saw at a quarter to midnight. Oh well. There’s a matinee I think I’ll see this Wednesday instead.

I was a little worried about coming back on the Tube, especially changing at Whitechapel, since that tends to be a rather seedy part of town—and I know some of you have similar concerns. But, as I was relieved to see, standing on the platform was an official Underground employee, directing traffic, but also keeping an eye out, so I felt very safe. I also discovered that there is a train that goes from two blocks away directly into the heart of London without me needing to change, so I’ll probably use that from now on—so rest assured! I am keeping myself safe. I’m just so addicted to the Tube that I can’t stay away from it, but I’m always looking out for myself and keeping one eye open—two when I can afford them. ☺

PS: Oh, and as for Death of a Salesman… can you say “sold out?” Damn.

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