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"I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. You must climb towards the Truth. It cannot be 'stepped down' or organized for you." - author: Jiddu Krishnamurthi

Sunday, August 06, 2006

L.O.N.D.O.N Part 2

Saturday morning, I was in the corridoor of Ashvin's appartment when I met with a blonde English girl, in nighties??? I thought ohh, how she managed to get in? Where did she sleep? She smiled and introduced herself to me, i'm still no good at remembering names, I was trained to much later :) I then got to learn that she is my cousin's roomate. She told me that I play guitar well since she heard my strummings last night, (hmm good she did not wake up and yell - who the hell is playing at 2 in the morning!!!). She even said that she liked the songs I played, especially Behind Blue Eyes by Linkin Park??? I said yeah Linkin Park is a great band even though that song is originally by The Who and then later taken up by Limp Bizkit. It did not seem to bother her that she was talking to me dressed with ONLY a sexy nighty (i'll spare the details...) and I could not help not noticing her interesting properties and beautiful curly hair :) Well anyway we did not talk much and when Ashvin got up we set up a plan to visiting the city.

London is as much busy in the day as it is during the night, at least during the week-end I guess. We started by Kingston itself but soon set off to central London by train. Note: I still hate walking. So we went to see the London Eye (would have taken hours to wait for my turn for a ride), Thames river - nothing much to see in there, House of Parliament, Big Ben, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, The British Museum and landed at Camden Town. The market place they have there is quite nice and you can get things cheap compared to central London prices and there are lots of nice chinese (-_-) food!!!

As we travelled through the tube and train I finally started to understand how all this works. My sense of direction got better and I could easily locate myself within London. No big deal huh ;) Just need tube maps, a guide to London by bus and its done.

Camden Town

Saturday evening, after having taken a pause at Hyde Park, we dined at Wagamama and headed straight to Soho. Went to a few pubs but we eventually ended up in Leicester Square again and guess what, we met with the italians again, Alice and the japanese who think she's an italian :) Only this time there were a lot more of them than the day before. So I was introduced to Vincenza another cute italian girl from Milan and as usual I forgot the names of the others. I learned that they were all university students and they come to the UK for a few weeks to learn to speak english and then fly back home. I remember that the spanish told me the same the previous night. Ashvin says it is a common practice and I thought it was not a bad idea, knowing that travelling within europe can cost you far less than taking up a language couse. When we started talking I had the impression that it would have lasted for hours, they are quite easy going and the conversations varied from the beautiful beaches of Maoricius to the wonderful Italy and their home towns Palermo, Milano and of course the mafia connection of the girls from Sicilia :) I was even warned not to mess around with them as I could have mafia reaching our for me back to my home country...huh?? I bet they don't know anything about Maoricius mafioso .... :) I was trying to explain to a bunch of fanatic Italians that even though Italy won the world cup, living 5 minutes away from a wonderful beach is no big deal in Maoricius. But they all thought I was trying to tease them which was not completely false anyways, it is kind of true that they don't have any decent beaches in Italy, as far as I know ;) Well I finally had to agree that my country is like a pea in a plate of pasta :p

Anyways we finally decided to go to an irish pub, Waxy O'Connors. After a few drinks Vincenza challenged me to dare taking a tequilla shot with her, which we did but while heading to the bar I noticed Alice talking in italian with one of her friends and I think what she was saying about Vincenza did not sound very nice. Did I miss something there??? I'm sure I did. Some time later during the night Vincenza and I went for another shot of tequilla and this time Ashvin noticed Alice's reaction... well, there was something going on right then but I did not want to get involved into gossips. After some time we returned back to the group and soon after it was closing time for the pub. I had a tiring day and badly needed a sleep. While exchanging the good byes I was pretty sure I was never going to meet my italian friends again. Having met them was a nice experience though, they have proved to be very friendly and their openness have helped us in becoming friends quite easily. But chances that I would bump into them again in a London pub would be scarce. Since they were going back the same week and I would be back to Birmingham the next day. Ashvin took some email adresses and I told them I would take it from him, which I never did. At most I could have mailed a few times but eventually my hectic life would take over and I would end up not having time to reply back to them. Finally, we took a picture and the group parted in 3 with Ashvin and I heading back to Kingston, only that at that time in the morning you don't get trains and have to travel by bus. This promised to be another adventure since I my cousin told me it would take over an hour to get there.

The streets of London on an early Sunday morning is simply chaotic, the big traffic jam speaks for itself. After a while we got a bus and people were struggling to get it. As I managed my way through I came face to face with Alice again :) Now isn't that a coincidence. The bus was fully packed but we managed to sit together and talked till she arrived at her destination. Meanwhile, a gorgeous young lady managed to sit beside Ashvin. He was talking to me in french so that no one else understand what we are saying but suddenly that young lady beside him started to laugh. We looked at each other puzzled... huh??? Finally an english lady who can speak french it seemed... The two of them started what seemed to be a laughing conversation and I later learnt that her name is Joanne, quite frenchie actually...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

L.O.N.D.O.N Part 1

The conversations with Carine throughout the train trip kept me awake hopefully and that made me go a few years back in my memories. I landed in London coming straight from Birmingham on a friday night at Maryleborne train station. Not bad for a first train trip I thought to myself, and I guessed that my list of first encounters would grow as I would get more into the week end. My cousin Ashvin who lives in London was waiting for me at the train station and I was seeing him after more than 3 years. He has been staying there long enough to know the city inside out but man does he walk in those streets :) Me who hates walking, I would have preferred taking the bus around. But I guess you get to know a place better when you are on foot but hey costs a lot too travelling around in London.

We took the tube and and some moments later I was in the streets on London. All seemed the same to me and I thought it would have taken me weeks to get used to them, the city seems so huge. First night there and we were to what I call one of the hotspots, Leicester Square. It was almost 22hrs and the streets were crowded. The pubs were all full and some of them so much that the people were having their beers on the streets just outside the pub. He made a few phone calls and soon we ended in one of those pubs too. I was having a drink and taking a rest over the long walk we had when he went to fetch his friends. As I was sitting there alone with a beer noticed some of the pub staff offering and massage to the clients on the spot. Of course they still had their clothes on and it seemed relaxing.

I did not have to wait long when I saw Ashvin coming back with 3 beautiful youngs ladies, as she introduced them to me I learned that they were all spanish, hmmm... Even though Martha, Helena and Maria Helena speak English quite well, I kind of like that spanish accent. All 3 are very friendly and easy going and soon enough I found myself increasing mu spanish vocabulary.. Como esta es? Muey bien y tu? :) After some talking we were on the streets again with the girls and came to a pub where there were lots of foreigners. The spanish girls introduced me to their friends, the Italians. So I met with the cute Alice (pronounced Ali - che : from Wonderland i said? she said noooooooooo don't call me that ... lol ), Sara who seemed very friendly, Yu (a cute Asian girl who was desperately trying to convince me she was Italian too ;) and that she was Alice's sister... I learnt later she is Japanese in fact - So I teased her that she should have dressed up like a geisha:) What? I never met with a Japanese before!!!) and a few others I could not get hold of the names. It was easy getting friendly with the girls though and I easily got along with them. The big thing was trying to explain to them where I was from. They said I speak english very well and seemed to have no apparent accent, and they did not know where is Mauritius. But with some effort I managed to say Maoricius, ohhhh...bingo!!! they seem to know it by that name, phewww finally. Later I learned that Ashvin did not know any of the girls with whom I was talking to :) I spent some time chatting with them and then Ashvin and I went to the train station to go to Kingston, the town where he lives. He had a guitar at his place, I tuned it and strummed a few songs. What a cosmopolitan night I thought, before falling off to sleep.

The Spanish Night!!!
LTR : Some Mauritian guy we met, then Helena, Martha, Me, Maria-Helena and a friend of hers. But who the hell is that bald guy??? Don't know where he came from and manage to get into the pic. But hey that's cosmopolitan London!!!